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.
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.
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!