Year: 2016

Geneva CC ends the season on a high!

Bout-du-Monde, 24 and 25 September 2016, GICC Cricket Festival – T20 tournament

For the last tournament of the season, Geneva CC waved goodbye with a smile and finally lifted a well-deserved trophy after a hard-fought season. The Geneva International Cricket Club gracefully organised an action-packed cricket festival lasting two days over a very beautiful and sunny weekend. A great initiative, well appreciated by all cricket lovers in the region. Aside from a few injured ones, nearly all players of Geneva CC contributed to the victory. Moreover, the Genevans displayed a wonderful team spirit, definitely something that must be perpetuated till the next season and beyond! Check below the brief summary of the matches played that weekend.

 

First match, 24 September

Geneva Cricket Club, 201 for 7 in 20 overs (Ahmad 57*, Ankit 45, Idrees 40, Bilal 4-22), beat CERN Cricket Club, 155 for 7 in 20 overs (Claston 39, Paul 32, Ankit 2-14), by 46 runs

Quite to the contrary of the usual pattern in most competitions, the games went from harder to easier. Indeed, the first match against CERN CC proved to be a tough one for Geneva CC , which saw another total collapse of its middle order – a trend this season –, save Ahmad who batted with a loud bang (57* not out with 6 fours, 5 sixes plus… one single and a double!). Geneva CC batted first and thanks to him, they reached an excellent total of 201. A difficult target for CERN to chase. Their lack of power-hitters that day did not allow them to be competitive enough to get past the average +10 run rate required to win. Special honours to Geneva CC newcomers Dalwinder and Zahid who both bowled pretty well in the first innings.

GCC v CERN 1st innings.jpg
Geneva CC v CERN CC – 1st innings
GCC v CERN 2nd innings.jpg
Geneva CC v CERN CC – 2nd innings

Second match, 25 September

Geneva Cricket Club, 196 for 8 in 20 overs (Idrees 39, Saad 37, Girish 3-31), beat Geneva International Cricket Club, 130 all out in 17.5 overs, by 66 runs

The second match on the following day was definitely less tense than the previous one, thanks this time to a more-than-decent batting display from the top and middle order. As GICC lost the previous day by 12 runs against CERN, the former had no choice but to win in order to qualify for the final. A fierce fight was thus expected. And the game actually started very well for them. GICC commenced with the bowling, and only 3 runs were conceded in the first 3 overs, with one wicket down too. The whole situation changed rather quickly when Idrees and Aamir were able to put their eyes on the ball. In the first innings, nobody passed the half-ton mark but scores were consistently good for a T20 format (Idrees 39, Aamir 28, Ankit 25, Saad 37, Zahid 30, Ahmad 18). Geneva CC managed again to score enough runs to feel confident for the second innings, which to some extent, reflected very much the first match against CERN CC. Unfortunately, we do not have access to the scorecard nor to the notes about the second innings, so comments here can only be a bit limited. Overall, GICC players fought well but lost early wickets, which jeopardised seriously their victory. Sharp fielding and bowling by Geneva proved to be decisive. Props to Zahid who saved a boundary six while jumping in the air, took marvelous catches and bowled swift short balls. Further miscommunication between batsmen led to three run outs and GICC were all dismissed with 13 balls remaining.

GICC v GCC 1st innings.jpg
GICC v Geneva CC – 1st innings

Final, 25 September

CERN Cricket Club, 79 all out in 19 overs (Faysal 28*, Zahid 3-10, Massoud 3-18), lost to Geneva Cricket Club, 80 for 1 in 9.3 overs (Idrees 45, Bilal 1-17), by 9 wickets

As the visitors did not unfortunatey have their best team that day, the final was clearly a one-sided game. CERN won the toss and elected logically to bat. The match started with a maiden from Afif, followed by Paul’s wicket in the next over, scalped by Ankit. Wickets then fell about every couple of overs and none of CERN’s batsmen could stay on their crease for long. The only noticeable performance was from Faysal who scored 28 runs not out. CERN did not have their best team on the field that day but. The Afghan bowling pair of Zahid and Massoud took 3 wickets each, followed in the figures by the well-known opening bowlers Afif (2 for 7) and Ankit (2 for 14). CERN was all out before they could face the last 6 balls and had gathered 79 runs to defend.

The second innings was played in a rather nonchalant way by Idrees, Dalwinder and Saad. The first stayed until the end, the second was caught behind in the fourth over, whilst the third simply accompanied Idrees until the end. The target was reached in less than 10 overs, thanks also to a large number of extras conceded. Kudos to the kid Arsalan for bowling with a very good line and giving out few runs. Geneva CC won by 9 wickets with 63 balls remaining. A great way to end the season!

Final 1st innings.jpg
Final: Geneva CC v CERN CC – 1st innings
Final 2nd innings.jpg
Final: Geneva CC v CERN CC – 2nd innings

 

Good victory against GICC

Bout-du-Monde, 11 September 2016, 40-over friendly match

Geneva Cricket Club, 257 for 9 in 40 overs (Aamir 63, Khurram 61*, Richard 3-42), beat Geneva International Cricket Club, 234 all out in 37.2 overs (Vipin 62, Tariq 3-38), by 23 runs

One of the last match of the season took place on a bright day in Bout-Du-Monde. Geneva CC faced their fellows from GICC in a tight match, which was ultimately won by tail-ender Aamir and skipper Khurram. While the latter was suffering from a constraining lower back ache, the pair still scored a +100 runs partnership which propelled Geneva CC to victory. GICC had to reach a decent target of 258 runs to win and nearly did so if Vipin at one down was not dismissed with 62 runs in his tally. Tariq finished the match with the best bowling figure of 3 for 38, while Richard from GICC started very strongly by conceding no runs and taking two wickets in his first three overs. Congrats to Geneva CC for their good victory against GICC and kudos to GICC for putting up a hard chase.

1st innings.jpg
Geneva CC innings
2nd innings.jpg
GICC innings

And now exit from the Pickwick T20 Cup…

Buchholz, 4 September 2016, Pickwick T20 Cup Semi-Final

Nomads Cricket Club, 115 all out in 19.2 overs (Waqas 21, Massoud 3-13), beat Geneva Cricket Club, 83 all out in 17.3 overs (Anser 24, Faheem 3-2), by 32 runs

Full scorecard

High stakes for Geneva CC as they could have gotten into their first major final since 2014! It was overall a great season for the Genevan club. Too bad that it ended with a bitter loss which could have been avoided. Again and again, Geneva’s batting lineup did not hold up and did not manage to chase successfully a rather easy total. Nonetheless, this does not take away the hosts’ impeccable performance in terms of bowling. As expected, Nomads were outstanding with the ball and excellent on the field too. For spectators and players, it was a thrilling semi-final!

A sky leaden with overcast and mild temperatures provided decent conditions for cricket. Nomads won the toss and decided to bat, confident that their renowned bowling attack would wipe out the opponent in due time. It then all started very bad for the visitors: in just 5 overs, 57 runs were conceded by the opening pair of Afif and Idrees, as well as Ronak in the fifth over. Two wickets were put down though. Ball-magnet Saad caught Faheem’s hit at long off and Ronak bowled a killing full length inswinger to dismiss Waqas.

The next 15 overs proved to be a totally different innings though. Indeed, the run rate for the first five overs was at 11.40, while it was at 4.05 in the last 15 spells! To put it into a different perspective, just 58 runs were scored after 5 overs… Nomads were all out at 115 with 4 balls remaining, thanks to an amazing comeback from Ronak and Afif, as well as some precise bowling by Anser and Khurram (and a pretty cool direct hit from short third man by Idrees to run out Noman for a diamond duck, the second of the season!). The bowling medal should go to Massoud who took 3 wickets in 5 consecutive balls (all nicks caught behind by keeper Ahmad). He basically destroyed Nomads’ middle order and finished with a great figure of 3 for 13. What an amazing turnaround for Geneva CC!

Geneva’s hopes to win the match and qualify for the final were pretty high then. All were conscious that Nomads’s bowling attack is perhaps the best in Switzerland and that it could damage us pretty hardly. Nevertheless, none expected that our main run scorer this season, Idrees, would go out off the second ball for a strange duck (after hitting the pad, the ball rolled to hit the stumps). While sustaining a back injury, Khurram followed suit in in the fourth over after a tremendous one-handed catch by Sudath. Although few runs were grabbed after ten overs (42 for 3), Geneva CC “only” required to score 74 runs off 60 balls to win. Easy peasy in a T20 right? But one hast o take into account the fierce bowling quartet of Sudath, Shafqat, Faheem and Farid.

Anser and Ronak, at no 2 and 5 respectively, started to build up a partnership that could have been the winning one, but Ronak got run out for a non-existent run at 10.5 overs and Anser was lbw’ed by offspinner Sudath at 12.1. The five remaining wickets then fell nearly every over. Visitors clung to a glimmer of hope when Massoud started to time his hitting and scored 15 runs in the 17th over. Too litttle and too late as Faheem concluded the bowling dance with two successive wickets in the 18th over. He finished the match with figures of 3 for 2, so more wickets taken than runs conceded. Just wow! Geneva CC were thus all out in 17.3 overs with 83 runs.

Geneva CC would like to warmly thank Nomads CC for the fantastic hosting and delicious lunch provided after the match (that syrupy baklava was finger-licking!). It was overall a great semi-final and Geneva CC is looking forward to new challenges for the next season. Cheers!

Exit from the Premier League!

Bout-du-Monde, 21 August 2016, Premier League Quarter-Final

St Gallen Cricket Club, 203 for 9 in 40 overs (Nasir 114*, Anser 3-18, Ronak 3-67), beat Geneva Cricket Club, 176 all out 36.4 overs (Idrees 49, Anser 44, Nasim 4-39), by 27 runs

Full scorecard

What a great feat for Geneva CC to reach the quarter-finals after being away for such a long time! Unfortunately, the oldest cricket club in Switzerland fell off the competition after another weird batting lineup collapse. The crumbling down of the middle order has become a trend this season that finally proved to be fatal. Quite amazing how this match mirrored the one Geneva played against Cossonay, with the notable difference that we were not victorious this time… Overall, it was nonetheless a great match in which St Gallen’s skipper Nasir propelled the team to a good total with his stellar score of 114 not out. The visitors’ bowling attack excelled too and took wickets at very opportune times. Geneva’s opening batsmen and bowlers also displayed some nice batting and swinging skills, although they were not consistent enough to pass the mark. A pity, as the match could have been won, if it were not for the huge amount of extras conceded and the collapse of the middle order.

A beautiful bright day in Geneva on the bouncy and pacy wicket of the Bout-de-Monde set the tone for the day. Given the short boundaries and the soon-to-be-dried wet field, St Gallen won the toss and logically elected to bat. Afif and Aamir started the bowling attack and it did not took too long before St Gallen lost a wicket. At 3.2 overs, Sweeper Saad moved quickly to long on to catch a good ball by Aamir. In the next over, Afif damaged further the visitor after Naresh mishit the ball for a bowled-and-caught.Wickets then fell regularly and brought St Gallen to the edge. At the drinks break (20 overs), the score was at 67 for 6 with nearly a third of the score conceded through wides… Noteworthy was Ronak’s sharp outswinging balls which crashed twice in the same fashion against the stumps and Khurram’s super sharp boundary catch at forward square leg off Anser’s action. Two overs later, Bajwa’s wicket at number 8 fell for a slight top edge thanks t Anser. The only man to look unshaken and imperturbable was the skipper Nasir, who kept blocking the ball, scoring singles and ticking few boundaries here and there. Excellent batting from the visitors side’s captain.

At this stage, SGCC looked in real trouble. The score after 22 overs was 70 for 7. Then the same scenario that the one in Cossonay happened. Nasit stayed on the crease and started building up a good 53-run partnership with Niroj off the eighth wicket. Things started to accelerate dramatically after the 100 runs mark was passed after 31 overs. Niroj was bowled out by Ronak at 33.2 and Waqar was eliminated by Idrees at 36.1 (crazy diving catch by Khurram, fielder of the day), but nothing could stop Nasir who then started to blast the ball for sixes and fours all around the place. In 9 overs, the score went from 101 to a total of 203. Tremendous that is. While SGCC could have been stopped at about 100 runs, the perseverance and patience of the captain allowed the team to reach a more than decent score.

The second innings started quite well for Geneva CC. At the drinks break, the score was at 117 for 2 compared to 67 for 6 for St Gallen, which seemed promising. Idrees allowed the tally to go up quickly thanks to his usual aggressive batting and Anser commenced slowly, only to shift gears after having faced enough balls. Idrees was unfortunately caught behind just before scoring another half-ton and Anser followed suit in the same fashion just before the drinks break with 44 runs in his pocket. St Gallen’s bowlers bowled with fiery pace and sometimes swing. Khurram at no 3 and Saad at no 4 were setting themselves well on the crease when they got dismissed by Nasim who just shattered the whole middle order. Indeed, Nasim dismissed number 3, 4, 5 and 6 and sealed the deal with just 28 balls bowled. In just 11 overs, Geneva lost the 6 following wickets, as if batsmen lost completely hope to win the match, despite the very comfortable score at the drinks break. Reckless batting, useless slogging and lack of concentration got the best of the rest of Geneva’s battign order. Niroj put the cherry on top when last man Tariq was bowled out at 36.4 overs. SGCC won by 27 runs with 20 balls remaining.

There are no doubts that such loss could have been easily avoided, but that is how cricket goes. Geneva CC is now hopeful that its players will learn from their mistakes and develop their batting techniques further. All in all, it is a great achievement for Geneva CC to reach the quarter-finals after a +6-year hiatus in Swiss cricket, but a lot work is still required to ensure that the team can lift trophies again. Geneva CC will now play the T20 Swiss semi-final on 4 September and hope to improve and adjust in the meantime.

Go GCC!

 

Geneva CC number 1 in the League and number 2 in the T20 Cup!

After conceding two successive defeats in official matches, Geneva CC’s players had to step up their game in order to qualify for the T20 Cup semi-finals and secure the number one spot of the group stage in the 40-over League. The two matches to be played over the last weekend were thus more than crucial. Could Geneva CC make it and seal an amazing comeback in Swiss cricket? Little reminder: although it is the oldest cricket club in Switzerland, Geneva CC did not play in any major Swiss competition for more than six years. What a great achievement as the Genevan team is now part of the cricketing elite of the country!

Back on topic, Geneva CC’s played on 6 and 7 August its last group stage matches in the Pickwick T20 Cup and the Premier League. GCC played first against Colts on Saturday and then against Cossonay on Sunday. Overall, it was quite a wonderful weekend with a rather stress-free and unbalanced match against Colts, followed by an astounding and extremely tense game the next day against Cossonay. Here is what happened:

 

First match at Bout-du-Monde, 6 August 2016, Pickwick T20 Cup

Geneva Cricket Club, 59 for 5 in 8 overs (Khurram 26, Ashwin 4-10), beat Swiss Colts, 58 all out 15.2 overs (Massoud 3-8), by 5 wickets

Full scorecard

What promised to be a tough game between a young and dangerous side (Colts) versus an experienced and solid team (Geneva) turned out to be a somehow unbalanced game. Indeed, even before the match started, the situation already tipped the scale in favour of Geneva CC, as Colts came with seven players only. The rest of the team was touring in Jersey so how could one blame the blokes for enjoying cricket on a beautiful Channel island?

Anyway, there was no doubt that Colts came for the honour and would put up a fight. The truth is that they actually did so superbly. That’s the spirit of the game! With only seven wickets in hand off the first ball, Colts started slowly but surely, in a fashion that indubitably reflected their truncated batting line. Openers Yash and Jai defended carefully and displayed some nice shots to give their team a very decent start. It took 39 balls for Geneva’s bowlers to scalp the first wicket through Ronak, granting keeper Ahmad a classic catch behind the stumps. The second, third and fourth wicket then came rather swiftly as Colts reached 38 for 4 after 10 overs. Massoud was the marksman behind the story. It is worth noting that Yash’s dismissal at 7.4 overs was made possible by a terrific backward one-handed diving catch by Ankit at the extra cover boundary. The ball was going for 6!

So Massoud could maybe not concretise a hat-trick in the tenth over, but the damage was done. It was only a matter of time before the two remaining wickets would fall. The innings could have ended even earlier if fielders did not miss a few run out opportunities. In the end, Swiss Colts were all out in 15.2 overs with 58 runs in their tally. Not so bad given the circumstances.

Colts then showed that they did not come for nothing and bowled beautifully, scaring a bit the hosts and threatening them earnestly. The fact that Captain Cool Anser (not skipper that day but that nickname fits him so well!) waved goodbye for a duck demonstrated that very well. The man left the ball and got tricked by a slick inswinger from Ashwin, only to see it slamming the off stump. Ashwin took his captaincy role seriously and bowled like a bull. He hit bullseye four times in that innings, including thrice in a single spell at 6.1, 6.4 and 6.5 overs. More than noteworthy: out of the four wickets that Ashwin took, three of them were ducks, all bowled –> Anser in silver, Saeed in bronze and then Ankit for the golden ducky.

Unfortunately for the visitors, Ashwin’s tremendous bowling in the seventh over was too late as the previous partnership between Khurram and Saad permitted Geneva to get closer and closer to the target. Idrees and Massoud finished the job and blasted the ball over the boundary in the next over, scoring together 21 runs to close the match. Kudos to Colts for the fight and congrats to Geneva for qualifying to the semi-finals!

 

Second match at En Marche, Cossonay, 7 August 2016, Premier League

Geneva Cricket Club, 219 for 9 in 39.4 overs (Idrees 61, Ankit 53, Vikas 2-27), beat Cossonay Cricket Club, 215 all out 39.5 overs (Zahid 58, Saurab 53, Afif 4-46), by 1 wicket

Full scorecard

Just check the scorecard and look at the over comparison. This game was purely insane. Its nail-biting finish gave stomach aches to all players and spectators! Geneva CC won by a single wicket with two balls remaining whereas the final scenario could have been clearly different. The two teams played beautifully. A ridiculous amount of wides were conceded by both sides and a few fielding mistakes here and there could have given the winning edge to any team. Cossonay scored 215 runs thanks mostly to Saurab “The Tenacious” and Zahid “The Blaster”. Geneva chased the score with ease in the beginning, only to see his batsmen suddenly losing control and leaving the tail to finish the job with immense pressure.

Conditions were overall perfect for a good cricket match with wind, sunshine and reasonable heat. Cossonay won the toss and decided to bat despite a vigorous bowling-friendly wind. Ankit and Afif were back as the usual opening pair of bowlers and did a very decent job although the numerous wides let Cossonay cruise with a satisfactory +3 run rate. The first wicket came at 5.5 overs as Aman hit Afif’s ball super hard towards mid-on for a low catch to Saad, who actually injured himself. He actually took it like a man and came back home with a giant swollen right hand! Thereafter in the tenth over, Idrees dismissed skipper-keeper Sathya with a fierce bouncer top edging the ball towards Ronak at third man. Score after ten overs: 44 for 2.

With Ronak and and Ankit involved in the bowling attack, the high pressure was maintained constantly. Opener Sunil – who rotated the strike well but perhaps did not take enough responsibility – was finally taken out by Ankit and the middle order crumbled down in the 17th over when Ronak lbw’ed Bernard and bowled out Thileepan. Cossonay looked like they were in a really bad situation with 61 for 5 in 17 overs, but Saurab at no 4 and Vinay at no 7 stayed on their crease and defended well. The hosts passed the 100 runs threshold when Afif wreaked havoc again by bowling out Vinay. Next thing you know, Anser’s precise spin bowling finally paid off after he gave an easy catch to Idrees at long off to dismiss Manas. Everything looked in place but The Tenacious Saurab was still on the crease while The Blaster Zahid at number 9 came on the pitch with one objective: blasting it! In a bit less than 10 overs, the pair scored 84 runs together, both reaching their half-century in two successive balls in the 38th over. Zahid reached fifty in 27 balls and Saurab in 88 balls. In between the 117 to the 201 runs scored by them, Geneva’s fielders could have stopped the partnership on at least two occasions but failed doing so (missed run out chance and another catch by Saad but with one foot on the boundary). Zahid’s knock was impressive and his reflex and timing were excellent, whilst Saurab rotated the strike magnificently.

In the very end, Tariq managed to halt the partnership and gave a good nick behind to keeper Ahmad at 38.3 overs. Afif subsequently took honourable wickets in the last over to allow Geneva’s bowling attack to claim all wickets. Cossonay all out in the penultimate ball with 215 runs. All in all, a satisfying score, actually unexpected in the middle of Cossonay’s innings! This boded quite well for an exciting chase.

And what a chase it was! Ankit “Da Test Dude” and Idrees “Boom Boom” imposed their game with a 133 runs partnership. They definitely paved the way for a fluent innings. It took 140 balls for Cossonay to break the bat affair between the two, who both scored a half-ton with ease and class. Ankit displayed jaw-dropping strokes with stylish cover drives, leg glances and cool sweeps, whilst Idrees tempered his usual agressive batting, but still slapped the ball towards both the leg and off sides with power and shrewdness.

At 18.2 overs, when Idress was caught at long on by Saurab after a good bowling comeback by Vikas, things looked pretty okay for Geneva thanks to a fine +7 run rate and plenty of wickets in hand. Khurram at 1 down showed immediately that no one on the visitors’ bench should worry. He continued to play with a tranquil Ankit until all hell broke loose. Indeed, spinners Manas and Thileepan started to improve their length and turn. Thileepan then magically tricked Ankit for a good stumping in the 26th over. Anser, who just came to replace the former, miscommunicated with Khurram on the batting end, which lead to an avoidable run out. In the next over, Anser was caught at gully after a rash stroke. 14 balls later, Massoud was caught in the same fashion, followed straight away by Afif in the next over. Manas and Thileepan were both responsible for five crucial wickets and brought down the visitors from an appeasing 161 for 1 in 25 overs to a troubling 172 for 6 after 30 overs!

The spinners turned the game (pun intended) into Cossonay’s favour but Saad at number 8 kept the party alive. Saad slapped the ball for two long awaited sixes in the 32nd over, but then the tremendous pressure overwhelmed and trapped Ahmad as well as newcomer Ronak. The two were eliminated by pacer Rohit in the next over with Ahmad caught behind after a slog, and Ronak caught at point by Zahid. Scoreboard was showing 190 for 8 after 33 overs, so 26 runs to win in 42 balls. Plenty of balls one could say, but the tail is known for not being able to keep its wicket… What a game we were witnessing!

Slowly and not so surely, Saad “Gigantik Hand” and Tariq “The Finisher”at 8 down got closer and closer to the target. Every single delivery was looked at with fear and anxiety by Geneva’s players on the bench. None could stay still, and all continued to cheer the stressed batsmen. The turning point then came when Tariq hit a four with a straight bat at 37.5 overs. The ball was rolling rather slowly on the field but could not be stopped by Aman who unsuccessfully used his feet to cut the trajectory. Tariq then hit the ball for a double. Over up and Vikas replaced Saurab. Score at the beginning of the penultimate over: 212 for 8. 4 runs to win. Vikas conceded a wide off the first delivery but managed to trick Saad after four dots. Caught easily at mid on by Rohit.

Manas, who participated in the pure discomfiture of Geneva’s batting lineup, came to bowl the last over. 3 runs were required to win. Parit at number 11 left the first ball for a wide and the second one too, not wide this time. He hit the third one for a single and the score was leveled. Pressure was not relieved at all as Geneva still needed to win to secure its first spot in the group’s ranking. And the last wicket could fall anytime. Two balls later, Tariq finally hit a short-pitched ball for four towards the third man boundary and Geneva CC invaded the pitch to celebrate. 219 for 9 in 39.4 overs. Geneva CC won by one lonely wicket.

That was the end of an extraordinary match. A great battle between two teams which showed resilience, patience and composure. Everything we love about the sport was contained in that match. The next rendez-vous for Geneva CC is the League quarter-finals against St Gallen CC on 21 August, followed by the semi-finals of the Pickwick T20 Cup against Nomads on 4 September. Cossonay might still qualify for the quarter-finals if Colts lose their match against GESLCC on 14 August. So stay tuned for the next episode!

 

♪♫ Cruuuuisin’ to the knockout stage ♫♪ (with bumps here and there)

You thought we disappeared because no news were updated for some time? It is true that since the intergalactic victory against Rhône CC in early July, we were not able to update you about what happened next. Let us say ups and downs. Mostly ups actually, as the Geneva Cricket Club is now qualified in the quarter-finals of the Premier League and the semi-finals of the Pickwick T20 Cup! From oblivion to favourites in just a year. What an achievement by our team players.

Before we explain to you in details what occurred this last marvelous weekend of 6-7 August, allow us to brief you succinctly on our trials and tribulations of July:

  • In the T20 Cup, Geneva CC went from potential winners of the group stage to mere absentee of the knockout stage.
  • In the Premier League, we also faced our first defeat in the hands of our fellow friends from GESLCC and lost our number one spot in the standing table.

In the end, even though our 8-victory winning streak in official matches was cut short, Geneva CC remained afloat. Yes, we cruised to the number 1 and number 2 spots of the Premier League and T20 Cup respectively with two successive wins over the last weekend!!!

Now let us unfold the drama a bit and sort out for you the highlights of July:

 

1) Vernier, 10 July 2016, Premier League

Geneva Cricket Cub, 111 for 0 in 9.3 overs (Idrees 74), beat Uprising Cricket Club, 107 all out in 19.3 overs (Sarbrinder 34, Anser 4-24), by 10 wickets

Full scorecard

Sometimes, we can just let the numbers talk. A 40-over match turned into a de facto Twenty20: Uprising all out for 107 in less than 20 overs, chased thereafter successfully by a lonely pair of openers in just 57 balls. Indeed, Geneva’s sharp bowling attack proved too hard for Uprising. And when Idrees came on the crease pumped up, he – as usual – let his bat talk –> 68 runs of boundaries out of a total of 74… what else? Honours to special guest Gullu who gave delightful strokes to let the main man do the show. Another victory in the pocket, ka-ching!

 

2) Vernier, 17 July 2016, Pickwick T20 Cup

Geneva Cricket Cub, 213 all out in 19.3 overs (Idrees 44, Anser 44, Khurram 44, Wasim 3-39), beat Uprising Cricket Club, 116 all out in 19.5 overs (Nelson 32, Anser 2-12, Ankit 2-17), by 97 runs

Full scorecard

No reason for Geneva CC to decelerate that day. Back again on the bizarre Verniolan pitch/field, the Genevan neighbours nearly won with a +100 margin. A great batting display during the first innings proved too tough for the hosts to compete with. Idrees, Anser and Khurram all scored an exact 44 runs each! Bat Ball-n-Harmony! Albeit the excellent total of 213 runs scored, seven wickets were thrown away in the last five overs… a trend that has become worryingly common this season. Interesting fact too: Uprising totalled an amount very close to the previous match of 40 overs with nearly the same number of balls. President Nelson demonstrated some classical cricketing skills with the bat that day (and with the ball too!), but the man alone could not save his team. Off to the clásico of the western division!

 

3) Onex, 24 July 2016, Pickwick T20 Cup

Geneva XI Stars Cricket Club, 158 for 7 in 18.4 overs (Houmayun 45, Ronak 3-23), beat Geneva Cricket Club, 157 for 7 in 20 overs (Saad 47, Qaiser 3-26), by 3 wickets

Full scorecard

Games between GCC and XI Stars are renowned for being super tight ones. El Clásico de Ginebra! This match was no exception to the rule as it basically determined who would sit on the group stage’s throne of the Pickwick T20 Cup. Through a superbly competitive match, XI Stars finally managed to terminate Geneva’s long 8-victory winning streak in official matches. No luck for Geneva CC in T20 games against them this season… But as expected, the game provided quite a show for spectators. For more details, check the match report on Geneva XI Stars’ Facebook page (post of 24 July 2016).

 

4) Bout-du-Monde,  July 2016, Premier League

Geneva Sri Lanka Cricket Club, 127 for 2 in 22.3 overs (Sanjeewa 57, Ravi 42), beat Geneva Cricket Club, 125 all out in 30 overs (Ahmad 56*, Wadood 3-14, Ravi 3-42), by 8 wickets

Full scorecard

For the last match of July, our very dear friends from GESLCC gave us a “nice” little lesson we will try not to forget. From Sanjeewa’s clever batting to Wadood’s astute bowling and to Zarook’s super agile keeping, the match was clearly one-sided. Beat hard after 30 overs with a pretty low score of 125, our only star of the day was Ahmad, who allowed the team to lose with heads high thanks to his 56 not out. GESLCC inflicted to us the first defeat of the season in the Premier League and offered us a chilling cold shower too. This indubitably allowed Geneva CC to think forward with respect to what we could do better to avoid such batting disaster in the future. For more details, check the match report on Cricket Switzerland’s webpage.

 

Stay tuned for the next article concerning the T20 and League match of 6 and 7 August. Brace yourself as the last League match against Cossonay was full of emotions and, we must admit, quite extraordinary. Cheers ladies and gents!

 

Oh God! Anser’s 223* lead GCC to a gargantuan 221 runs win against Rhône

Vénissieux (Lyon), France, 3 July 2016, 35-over friendly match

Geneva Cricket Cub, 350 for 3 in 35 overs (Anser 223*, Saqib 34), beat Rhône Cricket Club, 129 all out in 25.3 overs (John 34, Idrees 4-23), by 221 runs

IMG_3782

What was that? Excuse me? 223 runs not out? Who is the beast? The ultimate score of the season was brought to you graciously by skipper Anser, who just decided that this day had to be his day. Supported by Saqib for a jaw-dropping 250 runs partnership, Geneva CC’s captain showed what class is and merely tore off all possibilities for awesome host Rhône CC to chase the score.

There is today a guy who likes breaking records and sending balls flying in all directions. The spirituality and power of fasting brought a man to new heights. Despite a growling empty stomach, Anser at no. 2 scored an unparalleled 223 runs, not out please! Enjoying a delectable weather in the suburbs of Lyon, Geneva CC started slowly but surely. In fact, at the drinks break in 17 overs, the scoreboard displayed a not-so-impressive 108 runs with Idrees and Afif caught behind (score of 12 for 14 balls and 15 for 23 balls, respectively). The too large amount of wides conceded also gave a convenient push to Geneva CC. But then the innings transformed into a different kind of monster after the drinks break…

While Saqib played elegantly and assertively through proper strike rotation and defensive blocks, an extraterrestrial creature of the name of Anser landed from Mars at his side. The rumors are that the ball looked as big as a watermelon to the captain. 20 fours and 16 sixes just demonstrated that the man was on another planet that day. Just to illustrate how he masterfully played his innings, Anser reached his first fifty in 60 balls. It then took him 29 balls to score his first century of the season. The 200 threshold was thereafter overtaken in just 13o balls, that is, only 41 balls after his first century! Balls were dispatched beyond boundaries towards all sides of the ground, in particular on the off side, and in the mean time, Saqib just watched, stroked nicely the ball too and simply appreciated to share the huge partnership of 250 with the Man of the Match.

In the end, sloppy fielding and average bowling by Rhône CC certainly gave a strong advantage to a powerfully packed visitors’ side. In any case, the mammoth form of Anser was unbearable. It gave the Frenchies the inextricable target of 351 runs to win. Total for Anser: 223 runs not out in 137 balls with a strike rate of 162.7; and total for Saqib: 34 runs in 33 balls.

Rhône CC provided then excellent lunch and started with immense pressure on their back. Opener John managed to stay on his wicket until the 15th over, while witnessing the downfall of three of his mates, dismissed by Aamir (no. 2 and 3) and Idrees (no. 4). Massoud was responsible for cleanly bowling out John, out for 34, and took before two superb catches at point given by Aamir and Idrees. Vice-captain Khurram also assisted Aamir with a tricky gully catch from Aamir’s bowling. Five wickets were taken away at the drinks break for 81 runs, right after Massoud gave a classical wicketkeeping catch to Afif.

It subsequently went from bad to worse for Rhône CC when another wicket (Shiva’s) was put down in the over following the break by another inswinger from Idrees. Next thing you know, Afif runs out Remo with a direct hit and Robert is out for a duck thanks to one of those other inswinging balls from Idrees. The latter finished with 4 wickets for 23 runs conceded, including two ducks. The final blow was struck by legspinner Darius at his real bowling debut: a googly killed Philippe (caught by Khurram), who was finally stopped after scoring boundaries after boundaries, and then a ball pitched well outside the off stump gave an edge to Massoud for the final touch. Rhône CC were all out in the 26th over with 129 runs in their tally. Certainly a bad day to be forgotten for the excellent hosts, but a mind-blowing performance for Geneva CC.

The Geneva team ended up winning with a staggering margin of 221 runs. Something that is rarely seen in just 35 overs. Next match on 10 July is a crucial League match where Geneva CC have their chance to secure a spot in the quarter-finals. So stay tuned for the next episode!

4 out of 4: winning streak continues with a successful chase

En Marche, Cossonay, 26 June 2016, Premier League

Swiss Colts, 182 all out in 39.3 overs (Khurram 3-14, Ronak 3-27), lost to Geneva Cricket Club, 186 for 6 in 37 overs (Anser 60*, Massoud 46), by 4 wickets

Full scorecard

The winning streak goes on and on. Geneva CC is getting very close to classify for the quarter-finals with a fourth consecutive win in the Swiss Premier League. Figures of the match are nevertheless misleading. With only 10 players on the field, Geneva won by 4 wickets with 18 balls remaining, but struggled hard against a very solid Colts side.

The young Swiss Colts team won the toss and elected to bat on a sunny and warm day in the picturesque Vaudois countryside. Overall, Colts’ batsmen scored carefully and at a rather conservative pace. Openers both scored 22 runs and after 20 overs, 3 wickets were down for a total of 92. Run rate remained decent at around +4 runs per over when Alessandro at 3 down was dismissed by skipper Anser at a crucial moment in the 28th over. The absolute breakthrough came in the 33rd over when Khurram snatched 2 wickets with style – a cool stumping given to Ahmad followed by a clinical bowl out. 151 runs for 7 in 33 overs. Tail-enders then withstood the pressure and managed to score 33 runs before being all eliminated with only 3 balls remaining. Indeed, Thomas’ 22 helped the team reaching a healthy – but quite defensible – 182 runs in 39.3 overs.

Knowing that Geneva CC’s top order can start hard and big, Colts’ opening bowlers Ashwin and Jai did a superb job. In 10 overs, only 18 runs were conceded and number 1, 2 and 3 were out with only 9 runs combined off the bat (and obviously 9 extras). Excellent line and length combined with sparking speed also led to two maidens in just 60 balls (one wicket maiden by Jai in the tenth over!). Geneva CC in a troublesome situation. The bleeding continued when Thomas took two consecutive wickets in the 17th over. Khurram out with 24 and Kashif going back to the bench for a duck.

Anser then took responsibility as captain and started to score boundaries, singles and doubles. Assisted by a determined Massoud at number 7, the two men steadily lead the visitors to a potential victory. Colts were not able to contain them enough, although hope was still there when Massoud was lbw’ed by Dayn at 31.1 overs. Anser and Ahmad then merely carried out their job as they were supposed to. With 18 balls remaining, Ahmad finally brought victory to Geneva CC with a finishing four. Anser was named Man of the Match for his decisive 60 not out. All in all, a beautiful match where bowlers played a pivotal role in both teams. Swiss Colts were very close to getting rid of their opponents, but a very good innings by Anser and Massoud gave the winning edge to Geneva. Off to the next match!

Bye bye Geneva T20 Cup!

Bout-du-Monde, 19 June 2016, Geneva T20 Cup

Geneva XI Stars, 111 for 8 in 20 overs (Lalit 41, Afif 2-22), beat Geneva Cricket Club, 109 for 6 in 20 overs (Anser 33, Ali Saleem 2-14), by 2 runs

Full scorecard

Geneva CC had the chance to redeem itself after losing its first Geneva T20 Cup against GESLCC, but did not manage to overcome the not-so-high score of 111 set by XI Stars. Both teams displayed excellent bowling and decent fielding and the match ended in a nail-biting finish with Ali Saleem defending brilliantly at the death.

Geneva started strong with Afif eliminating Vipin off his second ball with an edge for keeper Saad. The second wicket fell when XI Stars Captain missed a ball from Idrees that crashed into the stumps. At that moment, the run rate was quite good and getting closer to 7 runs per over. The tenth over bowled by Ronak was a turning point. Massoud was indeed lurking at third man, very close to the boundary, when a ball was dispatched a few metres from him. He then moved like he had boulders in shoes to the ball, so as to entice batsmen to go for a second run. Straight hit by Massoud and Kuldeep was run out! Two balls later a thick top edge went flying towards him for the cool catch. The score after 10 overs was at 65 for 4.

The next over was expensive but crucial as Idrees bowled and caught Lalit who was starting to aim at boundaries and getting close to a half-century. Momentum was broken and XI Stars batsmen were contained very well. Total score for XI Stars to defend: 111 runs with 8 strikers dismissed.

The deceptively “low” score proved to be in the end too hot for Geneva CC. As the latter excelled in bowling, the XI Stars’ players had the intricate task of performing better, which they did so. In just 5 overs, 4 wickets were down for 27 runs. In just two consecutive overs, opening bowler Asad and the young and super economical Ali got rid of Idrees, Saad, Ankit and then Ronak, leaving only skipper Anser in the top order. Score after 10 overs: 54 for 4.

Until the three-four last overs, the run rate was good enough for Geneva to be in chase, but too many dots proved to take a serious toll on the team. Khurram wasted his wicket for a run out at 81 for 5 at 15.1 overs and then Massoud, THE fielder of the first innings, came with the objective of sending the ball to Mars. He nonetheless had to face smart spin bowling by Arjun and also great ball placement by Jasbir and Aman.

Geneva CC thought then the victory might have been theirs but Anser got cleanly bowled out by Jasbir in the penultimate over. With only 2 runs in that over, Geneva required 8 runs to win with 6 balls remaining. Ali Saleem was preserved out for the very last over at the death and bowled superbly (mostly tricky balls outside the off side) to Massoud and Saeed. Massoud was just able to score 5 runs, including a four off the second ball of the over and a single in the penultimate ball. Geneva XI Stars won by the slim margin of 2 runs for a deserved win and will now fight in the final to defend their title. A great match by the two rivals, which both showed the best that cricket can offer.

Geneva CC flexing his muscles again in the Swiss 40-over league

Bout-du-Monde, 12 June 2016, Premier League

Geneva Cricket Club, 246 all out for 8 in 36.4 overs (Idrees 62, Ronak 59, Ankit 52, Jibran 3-43), beat Geneva International Cricket Club, 141 all out in 30.2 overs (Anser 4-38), by 105 runs

Full scorecard and statistics

With menacing skies and drizzles here and there, conditions were far from ideal for a wonderful cricketing day. Both teams nonetheless showed obstinacy and were not ready to give up an awesome 40-over match. With Geneva CC winning the toss (again!?!), skipper Anser decided to bat. Geneva’s favorite opening pair came on the pitch and accomplished their duty royally. Facing strikesman Ankit started the game with a piercing six towards third man. Idress – who came back from injury after breaking his thumb last month as he bowled-and-caught the opponent – got lucky and was dropped twice at point (6.3 overs) and slip (10.4 overs). Sloppy fielding ultimately allowed the man to reach another half-century with Ankit at his side… just as usual. Opening bowlers Jibran and Habib had difficulties to contain runs despite displaying some decent bowling skills.

The beautiful partnership of 105 was broken in the third ball of the twelth over when Habib excelled for a wicket maiden, having Ankit caught behind by keeper Hemant. While Idrees started to score boundaries after boundaries, Thomas tricked newcomer Saqib for a catch at mid-off. Idrees followed suit in the next over when he slightly edged a very wide ball on the off side towards slip. Starting from this point, Geneva CC started to lose their wickets every 3-4 overs. Anser hit an absolutely mind-blowing six towards fine leg in the 22nd over but was dismissed in the next spell, bringing in Ronak at the very end of the middle order. 161 for 6 in 22 overs. The demise of Geneva CC’s strong batsmen continued in the 27th over when Jibran executed an amazing spell by taking two wickets for naught. The double wicket maiden left GCC sweating with pressure with 176 for 7 in 27 overs. It then only took 8 balls to send another batsmen to the bench: Ahmad’s nicked towards Thomas at slip who let the ball slide…but was ultimately recovered in a great team effort by Vivian at second slip.

The deplorable batting from Geneva CC’s middle and low order did not deter Ronak from respecting his wicket and keeping up with the run rate. Ronak accelerated and built up a decent partnership with crazy-running Afif and classy Parit. After successfully hitting the pink ball hard – he hit 4 fours and 4 sixes –, Ronak was finally bowled out by Dilbar for a ball crashing straight on the middle stump. The Man of the Match helped the team reaching a very decent score of 246 runs in 36.4 overs.

After a break blessed by showers, the opening bowling pair of Afif and Ankit started very strong. Afif commenced with a maiden while Ankit’s swinging balls made it difficult for Amar and Khartik to judge the trajectory well. Idress stepped in straight away with a wicket on the first ball, giving a good catch to Saad at midwicket. Anser took a second wicket in the tenth over, leg before wicket style. 29 runs for 2 after 10 overs. Geneva’s captain did it again in his next sequence to offer superb catch to Afif who moved quickly at deep square leg.

The catch of the day took place a moment later in the 15th over when Habib blasted really hard towards fine leg. Parit caught the super fast ball one-handed while jumping in the air. Outstanding. In the last ball of that same over, Sanket brought back the attention to him as he slapped the ball very very far beyond long off for the most powerful shot of the day. 59 for 4 in 15 overs.

With the run rate fluctuating between 4 and 5, and wickets continuing to fall every 3-2 overs, GICC was not able to chase the score as they wanted to. With Hemant and Thomas dismissed in the 21st and 23rd over, the die was cast. It was only a matter of time before GICC would end up all out. At 30.2 overs, Vivian was the last man standing when he was easily caught by Saad (total of 4 catches for the man) after an inswinging treacherous ball by Saqib. Another victory for Geneva CC in Cricket Switzerland the Premier League, which brings the team closer to a quarter-finals qualification spot.

International Friendly in South of France

 

Entrecasteaux, France, 21 May 2016, 35-over friendly match

Entrecasteaux Cricket Club, 98 for 5 in 30 overs, beat Geneva Cricket Club, 97 all out in 28.4 overs (Saqib 17, Brad 4-23), by 5 wickets

 

Geneva CC travelled on Saturday 21 May to Entrecasteaux, in the Var department (South of France), to dispute a friendly match against the prestigious Entrecasteaux Cricket Club. Leaving very early in the morning, Geneva players drove for six hours to reach the lovely location. Surrounded by lush hilly groves and overlooked by an old thrilling castle, the ground is simply idyllic, gorgeous… and quite large, which is actually very nice comparing to the smaller outfields in Switzerland.

The match started at 13:10 under a bright and beautiful sun, clear skies and a sweet heat. With less than half of the usual team players, Geneva CC went on for a fight, although they had to cope with serious tiredness stemming from the lack of sleep and long hours of driving. All in all, the first innings proved to be more than mediocre, with Geneva CC all out in the 29th over with 97 runs scored. None of the batsmen were able to respect and yield their wicket, despite a rather ordinary and predictable bowling from Entrecasteaux’s pacers and spinners.

The match was fortunately not one-sided, as Geneva bowlers and fielders showed great discipline and seriously aimed at winning the match in the second innings. The run rate per over was revolving around 2 but not enough wickets were taken. The main man responsible for that was Entrecasteaux’s opener Brad, who played very intelligently and scored only when needed. A true first-class player. He stayed on the wicket till the end of the chase and tot up a half-century with ease and class. In the first innings, he also displayed some excellent bowling skills, taking 4 wickets for 23 runs. Saqib, Anser, Khurram and Afif displayed some great bowling but not enough to prevent Entrecasteaux from winning the game.

Overall, Entrecasteaux proved to be amazing hosts and provided great food and a lovely atmosphere. This is undoubtedly not our last occasion to do a little tour over there! The defeat was then quickly forgotten and Geneva CC went on to spend the night and the following day in a marvellous region for a wonderful cricketing weekend! The beach cricket the next day was outstanding, but no official scorecard could prove that 😉

 

T20 Domination Weekend for Geneva CC

Two games = two victories! The Geneva Cricket Club played brilliantly its first matches of the season in the Mr Pickwick T20 Cricket Cup. With its consistency in both batting and bowling, the old Genevan club is now undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in the cricketing world of Helvetia.

 

1st match in Bout-du-Monde, 15 May 2016, Pickwick T20 Cup

Geneva Cricket Club, 170 all out in 20 overs (Massoud 33, Aftab 3-29), beat Cossonay Cricket Club, 129 for 6 in 15 overs (Yateendra 47*, Anser 3-20), by 41 runs

Full scorecard and statistics

 

A difficult start of the day for the visiting team Cossonay CC as they thought the match was scheduled at 12:30… while it was supposed to start at 11:00 in the morning. Geneva CC thus won the toss automatically and decided to bat. Despite being more than an hour late and that the following match was supposed to commence at 15:00, both teams wanted to play and agreed to have an unusual 20/15 overs match.

The first innings started off very well for openers Ankit and Saad as many wides were conceded off the first over. The batting romance would not last long, with Ankit caught behind in the second over, Saad dropped luckily at backward point in 5.1 over and on the next ball Anser bowled out by a sharp inswinger. All these resulted from mighty bowling by Vikas, who took advantage of the good swinging conditions that day.

Saad and Massoud at two down carried the weight and had to create a run-scoring momentum, crucial at this early stage of the innings. Massoud scored three consecutive massive sixes towards mid-wicket but then Saad was finally caught by keeper-n-skipper Sathya for a mishit in the twelfth over. Score at that time: 105 for 3 in 11.1 overs. Power hitter and T20 Captain Saeed Raja stepped in the crease with the objective of killing the game but had to bow down two balls after blasting a great six towards mid-wicket. Spinner Aftab showed excellent bowling skills by taking the scalps of Saad, Saeed and Saqib, and managed to put a hold on many boundaries. With Massoud caught behind following a mishit in over 14.2 (126 for 5), the next batsmen just carried out the duty to finish the game off and added 44 runs to the tally in 39 balls. Geneva CC ended up all out in the very last ball of the innings when Aamir was caught at mid-off while trying to hit a nice boundary. Bowlers Vikas, Saurabh and Aftab displayed overall excellent bowling and kept their economy rates at pretty good levels. Total score: 170 all out in 20 overs.

With 15 overs to reach the target, Cossonay had to score at least at a rate of 9 runs per over but this proved to be particularly arduous due to the efficiency of opening bowlers Ankit and Afif. Right after conceding the first six of the innings in the third over, Ankit gave Khurram his first opportunity of the season to catch a ball while standing on the boundary at forward square leg, which he did with ease. With opener Rohit out, skipper Sathya came in and aimed straight away at scoring big numbers. He was bowled out by Tariq on a free hit at 4.1 over but no second lives were given when Saad caught him comfortably behind two overs later. The run rate was then increasing, although Anser worked hard and took 3 important wickets in 9 balls. The total at the end of the tenth over was 76 for 5 after Saurabh was run out by a straight hit from Massoud.

Aside from Bernard’s 21 runs performance (who was caught by Khurram in the same place than Rohit), Cossonay’s batsmen were not really able to compile runs significantly… until Yatee came to replace Bernard in defiance to Geneva’s bowlers. Although the required run rate was perhaps too high, he proved to very deadly by hitting boundaries after boundaries. He finished the innings with a beautiful six beyond mid-wicket, with a total score of 47 not out off 17 balls (3 fours and 5 sixes) at a gargantuan strike rate of 276.47! Unfortunately not enough for Cossonay CC, which ended up losing by 41 runs after 15 overs.

 

2nd match in Bout-du-Monde, 15 May 2016, Pickwick T20 Cup

Geneva Cricket Club, 208 for 6 in 20 overs (Ankit 91, Kashif 37*, Balaji 3-32), beat Geneva International Cricket Club (Balaji 25, Afif 3-29) 121 all out in 20 overs, by 87 runs

Full scorecard and statistics

 

While Cossonay gave a hard time to Geneva and battled like lions, the second match was more one-sided, with Geneva CC reaching a comfortable 208 for 6 in 20 overs. The toss was won by GICC and they decided to bowl first. The final result proved this decision to be a mistake as batting conditions were rather good.

Captain Thomas opened powerfully the bowling with fast-paced deliveries. This however did not prevent openers Ankit and Saad to comfortably dispatch sixes towards both the off and leg side. One of Thomas’ balls was unfortunately dropped by Amar when Saad smacked it towards backward square leg. Saad was finally cleanly bowled by Thomas on the 12th ball he was facing and here came Anser with the objective of scoring hard just like Ankit. The latter seemed to be on another planet that day. Not only he left out intelligently a number of dangerous balls pitching on the off side, but he timely rotated the strike and scored boundaries whenever the opportunity arose. A very complete batsman on that day (and bowler as you will see later)! In the tenth over, Anser was caught behind by wicketkeeper Hemanth following a good ball by Sikander. The scoreboard at the end of this over: 87 for 2.

Ankit reached again a comfortable half-ton in 36 balls with a nice mid-on drive at 11.1 overs. Old school not-to-be-fooled-with Kamran came on the wicket to and played beautifully with leg glances and powerful drives until he was tricked by Balaji (caught by Hemanth again) at 16.1 overs. Big big problems ensued for GICC as Kashif – on his debut for Geneva CC – squeezed the game tightly into his own hands. Sixes after sixes, Kashif cruised till the end of the innings. “Fours are for kids, sixes are for Kashif”. He actually did not say that but that is what we thought!

Following Kamran’s dismissal, Ankit was prevented by Balaji from reaching his first century of the season when he tried to blast a fourth consecutive six. Amar made the catch of the day at the mid-wicket boundary by jumping high to grab the ball in the last millisecond. 91 runs for Ankit the Cricket Pirate. Thereafter, Khurram and Massoud just played a supporting role and faced only 6 balls together while Kashif took care of the rest. From 153 runs in the 17th over, Geneva CC’s total amounted to 208 for 6 in 20 overs, thanks to Kashif’s 37 runs not out… in only 14 balls.

GICC then came to the crease with immense pressure to perform dazzlingly. At a +10 required run rate, the target was difficult – but not impossible – to reach. The word impossible became possible when Ankit and Afif set the tone: only 22 runs conceded in the first 5 overs and 2 beautiful wickets taken between the two opening fellows. Afif bowled out Sanket at 1.6 overs followed directly by a nice gully catch by the former thanks to Ankit’s tremendous swing and fielding placement. Indeed, Ankit opted for offensive fielding with three slips and a gully, which resulted in a wicket maiden for Ankit.

With the run rate oscillating between 5 to 6 runs per over, GICC batsmen were not able to sustain the chase and lost their wickets at a regular pace. Captain Saeed Raja gave the chance to 9 players including him to bowl and nearly everyone took at least one wicket (say cheeeeese Kashif, Anser, Massoud and Tariq!). Special honours to Khurram for taking out Balaji – who showed patience and good batting skills – and off-breaking Sikander for a golden Daffy Duck as the man was slogging it hard. Vice-Captain Khurram finished with 2 for 2 in just 6 balls and also took a tremendous mid-wicket diving catch.

Afif bowled the 18th and last over with the objective of dismissing all batsmen. Indeed, scorer and spiritual coach Darius gave him commanding orders to which he complied with authoritatively: get ’em all out! Both tail-enders Vivian and Jibran were bowled out classically by Afif, with Jibran surviving until the very last ball of the match. Mission accomplished. Geneva CC won by 87 runs with GICC all out for 121 runs in 20 overs.

 

What a Blast! Another Outstanding Victory for Geneva CC

Prévessin, 8 May 2016, Premier League

Geneva Cricket Club, 300 for 8 in 40 overs (Anser 84, Khurram 61, Ankit 51, Saud 2-45), beat CERN Cricket Club, 149-9 in 28.4 overs (Paul 35, Saeed 2-16, Ankit 2-39), by 151 runs

Full scorecard and statistics

 

Geneva CC grabbed a second win in the Swiss Premier League – not by the tail but by the horns! Indeed, opponents from CERN CC were all out in just 28.4 overs (9 wickets down as Dmello retired hurt). The home loss amounted to 151 runs, just short of the half required to reach the tough target of 301 runs.

Geneva CC won the toss on a beautiful and sunny day to play cricket and logically decided to bat first. With the aim of respecting dutifully the wicket, openers Ankit and Saad played defensively and scored few runs in the first ten overs, while bowlers Dawood and Claston conceded many wides but few runs off the bat. Each opening batsmen got dropped once until Saad was finally caught at point by Dawood at 9.6 (42 runs at that moment). Saqib came in at no. 3 and continued to play with sensitive batting. In the meantime, Ankit started to score runs consistently. He again showed his class with cover drives for six until Saqib was bowled out in the last ball of the 17th over by Saud. Geneva CC was feeling the heat and needed to increase the run rate in order to avoid a somewhat easy chase. Things were about to change pretty quickly when spinner Partha Paul stepped in and took two wickets in one over: Ankit was caught-and-bowled after reaching a half-ton and two balls later, Massoud was dismissed thanks to a great catch by Francis at the cow corner. 97 for 4 in 18 overs.

The burden then laid on the shoulders of skipper Anser and middle order batsman Khurram. With six wickets in hand and 22 overs left, they were required to keep their composure and build up the innings. They did so with intelligence and patience by rotating the strike and scoring careful boundaries. Both batsmen scored a fifty, with a total partnership of 136 runs in 105 balls. Saud broke the strong partnership by taking Khurram’s middle stump at 34.3 over when the scoreboard showed 233 runs for Geneva CC. Perhaps too late for CERN? Anser left the crease when bowled out by Francis with 84 runs in his tally (37.3 overs, 268 for 7), but batsmen Kamran, Saeed and Afif made sure that the target would reach the symbolic mark of 300 runs. While Afif ran on the pitch as if it were coated with scorching lava, Saeed Raja packed a super powerful punch and dispatched three awesome sixes, including one behind fine leg on the very last ball of the innings. 300 runs sharp for 8 wickets.

After a delicious garam masala-flavoured break, CERN had the difficult – but not impossible – task to chase a big score. Openers Mathew and Daniel maintained the run per overs at a good rate while Afif and Ankit tried to swing the ball as hard as they could. The first wall fell at 4.2 when Saqib took a simple catch at backward point thanks to terrific bowling from Afif. Ankit, who struggled a bit in his first spells, did a great comeback in the fourth and fifth overs by bowling out Francis with an outswinger and lbw-ing Daniel by surprise. 50 for 3 in 10 overs.

In terms of over comparison, CERN players maintained the score level above Geneva’s, but wickets fell at a regular rhythm. With the objective of maintaining the chase viable, Partha at no. 4 aimed at the boundaries. Just when 100 runs were up on the scoreboard, the man got caught beautifully by Afif at deep forward point following a good bowling by Ronak. Three overs later, it was the turn of captain Imtiaz to bow down when he tried to score a six which landed safely into Ankit’s hands at long on. With 110 runs for 5 wickets in hand in the 19th over, CERN was in a quite inextricable situation. Batsman no. 7 Claston retired hurt two overs later because of a hamstring injury and then all hell broke loose. Saeed wreaked havoc by giving a nice ball to Massoud at long off (the latter returned the favour later when Saeed took a cool slip catch off Massoud’s third ball), followed directly by a ball which crashed the unguarded stumps of Vishal. The hat trick could not be concretised but the innings was closed at 28.4 overs when Dawood gave the wicket to Khurram. 149 runs for 9 wickets. Geneva CC won the match by 151 runs.

Anser was named man of the match for his awesome 84 runs off 66 balls and 1 wicket for 32 runs in 6 overs. The competition goes on and Geneva CC leads the ranking in the West Pool of the Premier League.

 

Action-Packed Weekend Part II – Victorious Comeback!

 

Bout-du-Monde, 1 May 2016, Premier League

Geneva Cricket Club, 375 for 9 in 40 overs (Idrees 132, Khurram 90, Ankit 56, Anser 55, Aamir 5-57), beat Geneva XI Stars, 255 all out in 33.2 overs (Arjun 58, Lalit 49, Khurram 2-29), by 120 runs

Full scorecard and statistics

 

The Cricket Switzerland Premier League got off to an impressive start with Geneva CC scoring a significant amount of runs to register the first victory off the first game of the Western Division.

After a tough start of the season with friendlies rained off or lost wastefully, the first important match of the season took place on a greyish and biting cold Sunday… again! The Geneva Cricket Club has remained out of the main Swiss cricket competition for a prolonged period, so this first official match in six years was no occasion to play just for playing, but rather to play for winning. The weather forecast was determinedly mediocre but no showers were expected. With a wet outfield and soaked pitch, both batting and bowling conditions were set to be difficult for both teams.

XI Stars won the toss and elected to field. A light drizzling rain was falling on the ground, but not enough to deter the concentration of openers Ankit and Idrees. A dropped catch on Idrees by Ali and a failed chance by the keeper to catch Ankit behind allowed opening batsmen scoring a decent 58 runs in the first 10 overs. The aggressive batting of Idrees combined with the as-cool-as-an-ice-cube batting of Ankit proved to be arduous to stop. Ali Saleem from XI Stars bowled efficiently by conceding 20 runs in his first 5 overs. Although with no wickets down, the visitors started to feel the pressure rising. This was reflected during spinner Arjun’s first bowling over (13th over), where 23 runs were given off three sixes, one four and a wide. A pivotal point in the game. With Idrees already boasting a +50 score, Ankit reached also a half-century, only to be finally caught by keeper Kuldeep in 15.5 over. The score was already at 133.

At this point, XI Stars’ bowling efforts were not enough to stop Idrees from continuously blasting the ball over mid-wicket, long on, cover point or even long leg. Batsman n°3 Khurram Alvi rotated the strike elegantly although the wet outfield prevented some of his balls to go for fours. The partnership could not be broken by the average bowling from XI Stars, and both batsmen soon reached stellar scores. Idrees was finally wicketkeeper-caught for a mishit in the 29th over: 132 runs. Khurram accelerated after reaching fifty runs, but was deceived by a good ball wide off stump from Aamir to be caught at cover point by Mounir: 90 runs. Anser then left the ground bowled out by Aamir with a half-century in his pocket thanks to clinical finishes and a beautiful stroke: 55 runs. Aamir’s overall great five-wicket haul performance was all too late as the score was at 357 for 7 in 37.3 overs when Anser was dismissed. Geneva CC’s lower order was then so eager to score more runs that three of them got run out in a somehow strange fashion in the last over. Total score to chase for XI Stars: 375 runs for 9 wickets after a completed innings.

After the break, the great score by Geneva CC was undoubtedly very high, but it did not break the spirit of XI Stars’ players when they started their innings. Arjun displayed great offensive batting while Waleed adopted a more classical approach to build up his team’s innings by scoring singles and rotating the strike. Opening pace bowlers Afif (with excellent length) and Idrees (with a nice inswinging touch) managed to keep the runs per over at a decent rate but no wickets were falling. Pressure was mounting on GCC’s bowlers. Fast bowler Tariq and offspinner Anser stepped in, with the latter breaking the enthusiasm of the XI Stars crowd by maintaining a good economy rate. Finally, after Arjun reached his half-century and looked good to go further, the partnership was broken in 18.1 over by Idrees, who was bowling his last authorised over. Indeed, a painful bowled and caught followed two balls later by a perfectly obvious lbw on Waleed brought back the momentum on Geneva CC. Wicketkeeping batsman Kuldeep and Lalit had the difficult task to score at a rate of +13 runs per over. But then the required run rate took the best of the middle order, which crumbled down as too many boundaries were required. Kuldeep was caught at extra cover by Ahmed thanks to Ronak’s fast bowling in the 24th over, while Lalit was prevented to score a fifty in the following over when Afif kept his good length and allowed for Anser to catch beautifully the ball at long off… although he nearly stumbled on the wet grass before! 173 for 4 at 24.3 overs.

The rest is history with wickets falling nearly every over. Tariq finally got two wickets after a dropped catch and a missed chance. Khurram sealed the deal by running out Aman off a wide for a diamond duck (the poor Aman just came in and did not face a single ball) and by subsequently taking Ali Muhammad’s wicket thanks to a stunning catch by Saqib at the extra cover boundary. Tail-enders managed to survive 25 balls and XI stars was all out at 33.2 overs for a total of 255 runs.

All in all, a great victory for the Geneva Cricket Club, which starts its season with gusto. Idrees Haque is named man of the match for his 132 runs off 81 balls (including 4 fours and 14 sixes!) and 2 wickets for 53 runs conceded. XI Stars played with honours too and still has six games ahead of them to repair the damage. Cricket Switzerland’s Premier League promises thus to be an exciting competition this year!

 

Action-Packed Weekend Part I – Rainy Geneva T20 Cup

 

After two disappointing friendly matches ending with no result because of the rain, the weather conditions this last weekend were again threatening to delay or simply cancel matches. Beautiful sunny weather during working days and gloomy cold rainy ones in the weekends… This is hopefully a trend that will discontinue in the next months!

Two matches of the friendly Geneva T20 cup were supposed to take place on Saturday 30 April. Only one did in the early afternoon, with Geneva Sri Lanka CC winning by a large margin. The match planned against CERN CC was cancelled due to increasing rains. The next day, Geneva CC fought hard to win the first official match of the season and wiped out their adversaries.

 

Bout-du-Monde, 30 April 2016, Geneva T20 Cup

Geneva Sri Lanka Cricket Club, 211 for 7 in 20 overs (Majuran 62, Uddika 54, Anser 3-38), beat Geneva Cricket Club, 121 for 9 in 17 overs (Saad 39, Kumar 2-10, Uddika 2-15), by 57 runs (Average Run Rate method)

Full scorecard and statistics

 

GCC won the toss and elected to bowl on a very cold and humid day. With a wet field and pitch, conditions were far from ideal to play a great game. Nevertheless, that did not prevent Sri Lankans to display their batting power by hitting the target to a huge total of 211 runs with 7 wickets down. Majuran and Uddika showed their class by both scoring a half-century. They were helped by useful lower scores from Wadood, Ravi and Lalantha, which altogether allowed GESLCC to begin with a strong advantage. The first innings was not one-sided though, with opening bowler Afif showing excellent bowling skills with only 12 runs conceded in his first 3 overs (including a maiden on the first over). Clever placement and a spinning ball allowed Geneva CC’s skipper Anser to take 3 important wickets, including a tight stumping by wicketkeeper Saad. In the end, this was not enough for Geneva CC to stop their fellow GESLCC opponents.

Geneva CC’s innings started under even worse conditions, with a drizzling rain which slowly became consistent rain in the middle of the innings. Openers Ankit and Idrees started with a bang by targeting boundaries, but early wickets of Idrees in the second over – bowled out by Uddika – and Anser in the fourth over – caught behind by Zarook the wicketkeeper who was overall impeccable and sharp – brought down the chances of winning. The downfall continued in the sixth and seventh over when the middle order could not resist Wadood and Lalantha. Only Saad at n°4 managed to keep his wicket for some time. He scored 39 runs to be finally caught at the boundary at 13.2 overs. Only then Saqib (not out) managed to keep a decent run rate but it was not sufficient to chase the high score. Moreover, Geneva CC was unluckily playing under the rain during its whole innings and the match was finally suspended at the 17th over. The victory was finally awarded to GESLCC by 57 runs (Average Run Rate method).

 

Prévessin, 30 April 2016, Geneva T20 Cup

CERN Cricket Club v Geneva Cricket Club – Match abandoned due to the rain

Second Friendly of the Season Rained Off (Again!)

Bucholz, 24 April 2016, friendly match

Nomads Cricket Club v Geneva Cricket Club – No result (rained off)

Full scorecard and statistics

 

On Sunday 24 April 2016, players of the Geneva Cricket Club moved to Uster (close to Zurich) to play against Nomads CC for the second friendly match of the season. Hopes to play a great game were on the high but the weather conditions brought down the enthusiasm a bit. Temperatures were revolving around 5°C and a very unusual mixture of rain and snow was intermittently falling on the ground during play and the breaks.

The hosts won the toss and decided to bat. With no wickets falling, a high number of extras conceded and efficient batting, openers Azeem and Asvin cruised with a +10 run rate in the first ten overs. It is only when Ronak bowled out beautifully Asvin in the 11.3 overs that momentum was created and ensued with a classical wicketkeeping catch by Saad in the next over thanks to sharp bowling from Tariq. But this was not enough to stop Azeem’s superb form. The opener reached a century in the 19th over, only to be caught at long on by Ankit when he tried to score a third consecutive six.

Nomad’s middle order continued to score at a very decent rate and broke the 300 runs barrier in the penultimate over, reaching a total of 312 runs with 6 wickets down. Although Geneva CC players displayed good ground fielding, the (too great) amount of dropped catches turned Nomads’ batsmen into cats with nine lives. Let us say that those drops were a pre-season mistake that will not be repeated!

When the lunch break took place, a strange mix of hail/snow/rain started pouring on the ground. Nomads proved to be a great host by providing great drinks and a delicious curry dish.

Geneva CC’s innings started with the difficult but feasible task of keeping the run rate per over at just below 8 runs, which was done successfully in the first three overs. Ankit showed his class and experience by keeping the ball on the ground and aiming at rotating the strike while Idrees targeted the boundaries in order to relieve some pressure for the coming batsmen. The partnership was unfortunately broken in the fifth over when Farid set up his bowling for an easy catch at cover point. With Idrees out, the next batsmen had difficulties to extract runs from the excellent bowling of Nomads’ pace attack. When spin bowlers Sudath and Shafqat stepped in at the 15th over, pressure was strongly maintained and Geneva CC’s middle order crumbled down. Only Ankit kept his wicket and continued to score at a steady and stable rhythm.

An unfortunate incident happened in the middle of the innings when Satbir, positioned at long off, kneeled to take a reverse cup catch. The ball dispatched by Ankit could not be caught by the tall man and hit him directly on the face. Satbir was fortunately conscious and was moved directly to the closest hospital to ensure that he did not sustain serious head injuries. The Geneva Cricket Club would like to wish him a great recovery and we hope that he can play again very soon.

Finally in the 29th over, Ankit blasted a ball for 6 towards mid-wicket and the ball was lost. A pretty strong rain came back and interrupted the match for good. The pitch was covered and a decision to call the game off was taken.

Geneva CC’s Captain Named Man of the Match at the DBMT

Winterthur, 16 April 2016

Power Cricket Club 192 all out (27 overs) lost to Swiss Representative XI 196-9 (39.5 overs) by 1 wicket at the David Barmes Memorial Trophy

Geneva CC players played a pivotal role in the victory

Last weekend, two players from Geneva CC, skipper Anser Mehmood and opener Idrees Haque, went to play with the Swiss national side against Power CC with one simple objective in mind: lifting the David Barmes Memorial Trophy (DBMT).

Both our players boasted superb stats: Idrees took 1 crucial wicket in the first innings to dismiss Power CC’s opener and caught two balls bowled by Anser. His batting was the second best of the team with 32 runs in 26 balls, which undoubtedly help the Swiss side building up a decent chase.

Anser was named Man of the Match for his outstanding performance. Indeed, a five-wicket haul and a fifty were not enough for him: Anser “just” took 6 wickets for 44 and batted an unmatched 71 runs, not out of course. With only 1 wicket standing and an intense pressure, Geneva CC’s captain kept his head super cool by dispatching a winning six in the penultimate ball.

Mission accomplished. What an amazing start of the season for our two players!

About the David Barmes Memorial Trophy

Since 2011, Cricket Switzerland has been organising the DBMT. The late Dr Barmes was Geneva CC’s president for more than 30 years until his passing in 2001. He was also the first President of the Swiss Cricket Association, Switzerland’s first cricket governing body.

In honour of his memory, Cricket Switzerland has established a tradition that the winners of the previous season’s league championship play a 40-over cricket match against the national team to mark the beginning of the season and for the prestige of winning the David Barmes Memorial Trophy.” says Cricket Switzerland in its website.

Click here to read the official report from Cricket Switzerland.

First Friendly of the Season Rained Off

On Sunday 11 April, the Geneva Cricket Club’s finest moved to the Parc des Evaux in Onex for its first friendly match of the season 2016. GCC players were all pumped up and ready to play a hard hit-the-ball-and-catch-it game with fellow Genevans from the XI Stars Cricket Club. Unfortunately, the vagaries of the weather took away the best part of the day. Whilst the match was supposed to start at 12:30, the rain was too heavy and consistent to commence the party. Players from both clubs found shelter and had a nice lunch graciously provided by XI Stars.

At around 14:00, it was decided that teams would play a T20, or perhaps a 15-over match. Rain was still falling, nonetheless feebly. A proper hard cricket ball was wrapped in tape to protect it further from water. The match finally started with GCC winning the toss and obviously deciding to bat first.

After a solid start with two wickets down and a total of 89 runs in 8.5 overs, the match was interrupted again when the ball was lost and the rain was pouring again. The weather conditions finally compelled the match to a full stop. Players from both team left the ground with disappointment that no result could be obtained.

Off to the next match on Sunday 24 April in Zurich against Nomads CC!

First Practice Session on 10 April

Brace yourselves gentleman and get ready for our first practice session of the season on 10 April at 12:00 AM!

Soon, very soon are the gloomy and chilly days of early spring over. Soon, very soon are the brighter and milder days of the cricket season coming. And what does this sound like for a GCC cricketer? Hard balls, nets, soft outfield, diving catches (well, one does not want to dive on the tough concrete ground we play during winter time).

The 2016 cricket season is on! GCC players are warming up and working out! The first official practice of the season is taking place on 10 April 2016, 12:00 AM, at the Bout-du-Monde. Make sure you will get there as all active players are required to come, unless you are getting married that day or travelling around the world, of course. This will be a great opportunity to spend some quality time at the crease, hit a few boundaries and getting ready for avoiding golden-feathered Daffys and Donalds.

It is time to oil the bat and practice in the nets.

See you at the ground gents!

Annual General Meeting 2016 Report

The Committee and Full Members of the Geneva Cricket Club convened the Annual General Meeting of the Club on 6 March 2016.  The Committee highlighted the fact that the Club obtained Affiliate status to Cricket Switzerland and wanted to congratulate all actors involved in the process.

Positions within the Committee were not changed. Two new Members were welcomed, namely Idrees Haque and Tariq Khan, who both played on various occasions for the Club in the past. Anser Mehmood  was elected new Captain for 40-over games while Saeed Raja remains Captain for T20 games this year.

As the Club is now back to play matches within official Swiss cricket competitions, a number of organisational matters were settled, mostly with respect to responsibilities related to ground managing, umpiring, scorekeeping, the provision of food and drinks during matches and the procurement of gear and equipment.