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 😉