Geneva T20 Cup 2018, bout-du-monde, 14 and 15 april 2018
It was a rather busy weekend at the Bout-du-Monde for Geneva CC. The oldest club in the country participated in the Geneva T20 Cup 2018, organised by the Association Genevoise de Cricket for the very first time.
First match, 11:30, 14 April: Geneva Cricket Club 144 for 4 in 15 overs (Ali 46, Jasbir 3-17) beat Geneva XI Stars Cricket Club 143 all out in 19.3 overs (Lalit 35, Afif 3-25) by 6 wickets
Geneva CC won the first match by a good margin thanks to some pretty tight and agressive bowling, which promises to be a landmark for the team this season. Losing some early wickets meant that XI Stars needed to rely on a solid middle order to pile up the runs. Kashif – he would repeat in a more explosive fashion the same scenario at the final – gave a terrific advantage by taking two wickets in his first over (the fifth one of the innings). Lalit and Mamdi then built up an important partnership of 62 runs, only to be broken by Afif. Anser stepped in and took a wicket off his first ball of the season. It could be felt that the visitors were losing control of the batting. The innings was wrapped up with three balls remaining as Idrees stumped Houmayoun off the skipper’s spinning ball.
Despite being occasionally challenged by Jasbir’s pace and Arjun’s spin, openers Idrees and Ali paved the way to victory with a solid opening stand of 69 runs. Anser and Khurram did the rest of the job and finished the game in 15 overs. This margin allowed Geneva CC to gain a certain precious advantage with the run rate, a crucial element to qualify for the final.
Second match, 15:00, 14 April: Geneva XI Stars Cricket Club 201 for 8 in 20 overs (Lalit 89, Massoud 3-18) beat Geneva Cricket Club 191 for 9 in 20 overs (Ankit 73) by 10 runs
Even though the second match started with a run out off the first ball, Geneva CC did not show the same consistency in bowling and leaked a considerable amount of runs by bowling the wrong length (often too short). Lalit and Mamdi batted again through an excellent partnership of 126 runs, to be broken once more by Afif! Massoud came in the middle overs and brought back the momentum by bowling out Mamdi and dismissing Houmayoun. Khurram played a great supportive role too by giving out few runs and eliminating Aman, but the score was already quite high (176 for 6 after 15 overs). XI Stars’ tail played cautiously and managed to bring the score to a tough-to-chase 201 for 8 in 20 overs.
In the second innings, Geneva XI Stars kept the run rate low enough to put the hosts under constant pressure. Opener Ankit and Irfan at one down partnered over a crucial 81 runs from the fourth till the twelfth over (2 wickets for 107 when Irfan was run out by Waleed). Even though they laid the foundation for a potential victory, the middle order and tail could not withstand XI Stars’ efficient bowling, in particular Jasbir whose pace and line got the best of the batting order. Cameos by Kashif and Ahmad were not enough for Geneva to chase the score, leaving them 10 runs short of the target.
Geneva CC qualified for the final thanks to a positive net run rate.
Final, 15:00, 15 April: Geneva Cricket Club 124 for 1 in 14.3 overs (Ali 51*, Idrees 35) beat Geneva Sri Lanka Cricket Club 123 for 9 in 20 overs (Uddika 36, Kashif 6-28) by 9 wickets
Geneva CC took fellow Geneva Sri Lanka CC by storm thanks to Kashif’s unstoppable angling inswinging yorkers! GSLCC won the toss and elected to bat on a dry, batting-friendly wicket. Idrees Hamidi and Majuran played well the first five overs, even though Afif and Ankit bowled excellently. The game all changed in the sixth over, when Kashif single handedly destroyed GSLCC’s batting lineup. The left-handed medium pace bowler took a triple wicket maiden in the first over of his first spell. Bowled ’em all out with the very same inswinger at yorker length. He bowled out again in his second over and took Majuran’s precious scalp. Kashif took 4 wickets for 11 runs in just 12 balls. A game changer. Zahid then followed his furious pace that left batsmen in awe. Kashif finished the innings by taking two wickets in the last over and nearly wrapped up with a hat-trick. He ended up with amazing bowling figures of 6 for 28, quite a sight in a T20 match.
With the target set at 124 for Geneva CC, GSLCC players had to show the same aggressiveness and impact with the ball in order to win. GCC’s batsmen just had to wait patiently for the bad balls and rotate the strike. The opening bowlers Lalantha and Noor did a pretty good job despite the situation, but a series of bad overs in the middle turned quickly the tides in favour of the title holders. Ali form Geneva CC had difficulty to pick the ball in the beginning, but made his way to his first half-ton of the season (51 not out). He was well aided by Idrees (35) and Anser (28 not out).
Geneva CC won for the second time the Geneva T20 Cup!
Many thanks to the Association Genevoise de Cricket for organising the event, which we hope will become a flagship event for the beginning of each season in Switzerland!