Bitter finish to a good season

Last year, the Geneva Cricket Club reintegrated the main cricket governing body in Switzerland and managed quite a feat by reaching the final stages of both the national T20 cup and the national 40-over league. The same has been repeated this year, with this time higher hopes of reaching perhaps the final, or even lifting a trophy. The latest results show that hard work and further practice is still required for the young and mostly unexperienced team to fulfil its dream: put back the oldest cricket club in the country on the map!

Geneva CC lost both the semi-final of the T20 Cup and the quarter-final of the Premier League… exactly like last year… The season is not finished though and plenty of time remains for the club to refine its fine pool of talents. Thinking ahead is the motto and preparations for the next season are necessary to guarantee a larger success for the years to come.

You will find below a very short summary of the two crucial matches that took place in the last two weeks.

1) Geneva CC v. Olten CC, semi-final of the Pickwick T20 Cup in Schonau, Bern, 20 August 2017

(Click on the results below to see the full scorecard!)

Geneva Cricket Club, 79 all out in 16.4 overs (JK 3-11, Tharani 3-12, Ali 3-17), lost to Olten Cricket Club, 81 for 1 in 8.4 overs (Shahid 47*), by 9 wickets

Geneva CC first lost in an disastrous manner in the semi-final of the Pickwick T20 Cup on 20 August. An absolute breakdown of the batting order gave an easy win to Olten CC, which displayed some very fine bowling and fielding.

 

2) Geneva CC v. Olten CC, quarter-final of the Premier League in Bout-du-Monde, Geneva, 27 August 2017

(Click on the results below to see the full scorecard!)

Geneva Cricket Club, 185 all out in 34.5 overs (Anser 42, Gowree 3-25), lost to Olten Cricket Club, 186 for 9 in 37.5 overs (JK 45, Zahid 2-32), by 1 wicket

The last game on Sunday 27 August was a totally different affair. The Geneva Blacks had in mind the ruthless pace attack of Olten, therefore they had to play safely. Geneva CC started batting and went through the first 20 overs in a consistent and solid fashion, losing 3 wickets for 104 runs. Captain Anser gave a few beautiful stroked with crushing hooks and some nice cover and cut drives, but he was dismissed leg before wicket by JK in the 12th over. Ashwin looked very solid and kept his bat straight like a stick. Prospects looked pretty good, definitely not ominous like last time. The second part of the first innings was a totally different game, as the crucial wickets of Ashwin and Khurram were taken in the first over that followed the break. Panic ensued and the normally solid middle order crumbled down like a castle of cards. Nevertheless, Massoud at no 7 and Afif at the very end of the tail held up and gathered a 42-run partnership to bring the total to a low 185. Still a defendable score in Bout-du-Monde, although not an easy one to contain.

Olten CC started their batting at a very convincing run rate. They nonetheless had to take into account the great energy and fighting spirit put up by the hosts. Smart fielding positions allowed the first wicket to fall off Ashwin’s very first ball (nice regulation catch by Leo at deep third man). Ashwin and Afif both continued their amazing first spells and four wickets fell in 9 overs. A great super high catch by Habib at deep square leg and some fine wicketkeeping by Idrees – including a swift direct hit – put Geneva in a good position. Anser and Zahid then stepped up and capitalised greatly on the momentum by scalping three more Olten players. The drinks break was taken in the 15th over after Zahid hit a batsman in the helmet with a tremendous bouncer. The score was at 77 for 7 and Genevans could smell the victory in the air. The eighth wicket fell in the 19th over after Ronak gave Ali a tough ball to catch. 96 for 8. Olten CC needed 90 runs to win in 129 balls with just 2 wickets in hand.

And that is the beauty of cricket (actually a nightmare for Geneva that day!). A match that was supposed to be won slipped away slowly and steadily. JK and Sathees put up quite a fight and batted excellently, leaving all balls pitched outside the line of the stumps and putting away the bad ones. They also provided bowlers with plenty of swing-and-miss chances, but none of them gave a nick or a good enough edge to be taken. Geneva’s players did not lose their motivation, but the confidence insidiously faded away. JK was finally dismissed in the 28th over after giving a big top edge to the keeper. Olten needed 33 runs to win. Just like in the first innings, the tenth wicket partnership was good enough to add precious runs. Kudos to Olten’s batsmen who managed to reach the target in a brilliant manner.

It was quite a stunning and bitter defeat for Geneva to digest. The match should have been won, despite a rather low total. Olten showed incredible resilience and deserved wholefully to win the match. Hopefully, this will serve as a lesson and a valuable experience for the next seasons to come for the Geneva Cricket Club!

 

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