In the ski season in Switzerland there is a tricky decision for young cricketers to choose between the snow and mountains or runs and wickets. This year February 22nd was right at the end of the ski holiday for the Geneva area and at the start for Zurich & Basel and with only a limited number of players available, it needed a bit of creativity to come up with teams for a tournament. So Basel Dragons U11s took on the newly formed teams for the day of Gingins Crickets, combining Gingins and Zurich, and Cossonay Nighfuries with Ray, Shiv & Sophie joining our friends from Lausanne. To ensure that everyone got to play a lot of cricket the rules allowed out batsman to go back in but each wicket lost forfeited 5 runs; a popular move with everyone except the scorers who had to manage minus scores and batsmen being out twice…..
Match 1: Basel Dragons 91 for 5 U11s beat Cossonay Nightfuries 46 for 11 by 45 runs
Cossonay captain Tristan won the toss and chose to field. A good opening spell from Hemant & Kian saw the Dragons at -1 for after the first over and 4 for 2 after 3 overs. Max H and James A then steadied the innings but in Tristan’s 2nd over they were both bowled for 11 and the score went back to 16 for 4 after 7 overs. Ethan and Max L staged a much needed recovery with some excellent shot placement and running. Sophie, Shiv & Ray all bowled very accurately and were unlucky not to pick up wickets. When Ethan retired on 14 and Max on 15 the innings was back on track at 53 for 4. Tom and Westy then accelerated the scoring, Westy retired on 23 in the 18th over which left Ethan to face the last ball. All his team-mates shouted to Ethan “don’t get out” and he didn’t but Tom did, run out for 13. The total of 91 looked like a reasonable score but the Cossonay Nighfuries had some big hitters.
The Dragons got off to a good start when Ethan caught & bowled Kian in over 2 but Tristan and Hemant scored freely including Hemant hitting Westy’s first ball for 6. Hemant and Tristan both retired and then wickets tumbled. Westy, Ethan, Soumil, James & Shreyas all took wickets and razor sharp Max took 3 stumpings. Sophie scored 3, Shiv and Ray 6 each. Although Kian (15) Tristan (20) and Hemant (36) came back in and batted very well, in the end the Dragon’s bowling was too strong and taking 11 wickets meant that they ended as comfortable winners.
Match 2: Gingins Crickets 65 for 7 beat Cossonay Nightfuries 51 for 8 by 14 runs
Gingins Crickets batted first and the openers Vedant and Diayyan put on 25 in six overs. Shiv had Vedant caught by Hemant and then picked up his second wicket when he bowled Aryan – a great spell of bowling. The Nightfuries weren’t finished though as Ray caught & bowled Arjun and then ran out former Dragon Tushar with a direct hit from long-off. Daiyyan batted superbly to score 39 aided by some good hitting from Arjun (14) to set the Cossonay NF’s a total of 66 to win.
In reply Cossonay NF’s kept the score moving but the Gingin Crickets kept taking wickets. Hemant (23) did more big hitting, joined by Kian (25) and Shiv scored 6 but the 8 wickets lost proved too much and the inning closed on 51.
Match 3: Basel Dragons 96 for 1 beat Gingins Crickets 40 for 9 by 56 runs
The first two games showed that the key to winning in this format was to take wickets so when Westy won the toss he didn’t hesitate to field first. In the first over Vedant was caught by Tom off Westy and then Tom had Daiyyan caught behind in the next over. Some sensible batting by Arjun saw the Gingin Crickets into a positive score until Ethan trapped him LBW in over 5 with the net score just 10. Aryan batted very well before he retired on 13. Shreyas then bowled an excellent two over spell taking 2 wickets and conceding only 5 runs. Tushar was victim of another direct hit run out this time to Max L. Although Arjun, Aryan & Daiyyan came back in and piled on the runs, the Dragons took 9 wickets leaving a target of 41 to win.
Openers Tom & Westy knew that their job was to see off the strong opening attack of Arjun & Aryan. The bowling was good but the Dragons rotated the strike with some quick singles – actually 2’s as they placed shots into the gaps against the side walls. When they both retired on 11 after 5 overs the score was 30 and the hard work had been done. Ethan was run out for 1 in over 7 leaving the Max’s to reach the target at the end of over 8. The overs were played out without losing a wicket, Max L top scoring on 18.
This was the first time that the Dragons had played together as a team since November and it was great to see that their excellent team spirit continues and they really support and encourage each other in the field. It was also a great opportunity for Ray, Shiv & Sophie to get to know some of the players from other teams and practice their skill in match situations.