Match: Switzerland National Cricket Team – Practice game
Date: Thursday 26.05.2022, 11:00 onwards
Reporting for Cricket Switzerland: Snehil Joshi
Ground: Embrach Baseball Ground
“Practice, hard work and attitude” this was the first line I heard when the coaches Yeti and Chris summoned the players for the latest fitness session.
The fitness session started with a gentle warm up and stretching, before progressing to fitness testing and specific skill work. The squad of 22 players were divided into different groups. The first session of the day saw the players complete a series of different challenges. The first challenge was an individual fitness test, where the players had to run different length sprints inside a particular time to test fitness and speed. Time motion analysis was recorded by Chris during the session, as players were eliminated if they failed to finish a circuit in the given time. After a well-deserved drinks break, the players completed a relay version of the same exercise in their groups.
Then the training moved to the more technical-based activities, including close catching, ground fielding and high catching, as well as a dodge-ball activity. The coaches focused on and emphasised continuous training to develop the perceptual, cognitive, and motor skills required for successful performance in high level competitions.
After the warm and training session, now it was time for the practice match where two teams were formed. Team A – led by Asad and Team B led by Arjun. Team A won the toss and decided to bat first.
Team A: Asad ©, Ankush, Ashwin, Osama, Hasan(wk), Roshan, Senthil, Tanveer, Aneesh, Abdullah, Lavan.
Team B: Anser, Jai, Arjun©, Noor Khan, Waseem, Ruan, Waseem, Dawood, Dayn, Khalid, Nick (wk).
Practice Match Report:
After winning the toss Osama & Ankush opened the batting for Team A, whereas Jai Sinh started the bowling attack for Team B. Osama got out in the 3rd over to Jai, with a score of 9 runs. Hasan joined Ankush and both the players were watchful to see off the new ball. With the new hard surface in Embrach the new ball does swing. After the six over powerplay, the score was 39/1. Ankush was lbw in the 7th over to Ruan for 14 runs. Roshan joined Hasan in the middle and the duo remained watchful. Hasan was going at a run a ball for his first 20 runs and after 10 overs, the scorecard read 65/2. Team B was so far very accurate in their line and length, and tidy in the field as well. Hasan started to open up a little, getting his 50 in just 33 balls and the team scorecard crossed 100. Roshan was bowled by Arjun trying to up the ante; he scored 11 runs. The scoreboard read 14 overs 110/3. When Asad joined Hasan in the middle, a score of 165-170 looked achievable and defendable. However, these guys had a different idea. Both went ballistic in the last 6 overs and scored at a rate of 16 runs an over, as they achieved a 4th wicket partnership of 101 runs in 38 balls. The 17th over went for 23, and with wickets in hand, the last over of the innings went for 33 runs. Initially Hasan looked cautious, but the way he anchored and then launched the attack was one heck of an innings. He scored a magnificent 100 and went on to be not out 117* in 57 balls (3 4s, 13 6s) which included many monster sixes. Asad also batted brilliantly, giving vital impetus as he also scored 44* not out in 19 balls (4 4s, 3 6s). Arjun, Jai & Noor Khan were the pick of the bowlers who picked up 1 wicket each. Team A ended up scoring a massive total of 210/3 in their 20 overs. Team B needed something special to chase the target.
Time for a break – 10 mins. Second innings to start.
For Team B, Ruan & Waseem opened the innings. Ashwin bowled a great first over for only 1 run. Ruan hit one to the boundary but was caught by Osama in the 2nd over, bowled by Tanveer. First blood to Team A with the score at 8. Arjun joined Waseem in the middle. Both were playing sensibly, seeing off the good balls and scoring on the loose ones. After the 6 over powerplay, the score was 51/1. Arjun was crisper and more comprehensive in his batting: he drove, pulled, flicked, and kept the scoreboard going nicely. Waseem being more watchful, but still running some good singles, got out lbw to Aneesh. The duo had a solid partnership of 72 runs for the 2nd wicket, Wassem having scored 16 runs. After 10 overs, the score was 80/1. Then Anser joined Arjun in the middle and both played sensibly, scoring on the loose ones and ticking singles and twos, with the occasional boundary in every over. Knowing that they needed 13 runs per over, they kept the scorecard moving swiftly. However, in the middle overs Team-A spinner Aneesh bowled a superb spell, where he kept one end tight and didn’t allow the batsmen to free up their arms. Anser after scoring a handy 14 runs succumbed, and was lbw to Aneesh in the 14th over. The scoreboard read 116/3. From the last 6 overs 96 runs were needed at a run rate of 16 runs per over. More often than not, you would back the team defending the total, as to score at such brisk pace and not lose wickets doesn’t happen very often. That’s where Jai Sinh joined Arjun, who meanwhile had scored a superb 50* (33 balls) and was batting nicely. Lavan bowled a good 16th over, but the batsman had their eyes on the prize. Firing up the canons from both ends, Jai Sinh was especially severe on the bowlers as he showcased a plethora of shots, from picking up good length deliveries to really punishing the short ones. In the 17th over, Arjun got out, but not before making a splendid 79 runs in 50 balls (7 4s, 2 6s). The scoreboard was at 16.3 overs 149/3. This was the over which went for 23 runs, and the chase took a really interesting turn, as from the last 3 overs, Team-B needed 47 runs. Jai was joined by Noor Khan. It needed something special to pull off this heist. Jai almost pulled this off single-handedly, as he went berserk against all the bowlers and scored his 50* in just 19 balls. Noor Khan also showed some glimpses of what he can achieve. In the last over, 20 runs were needed, and Ashwin was to bowl, Jai was on strike. The first 3 balls all went for boundaries (6,4,4) – what class! Jai made it look so easy! The 4th ball was kept to just a single, and then with the next ball, Ashwin got Noor khan out. Team B needed 5 runs to draw and 6 to win off the last ball. Ashwin bowled a pinpoint yorker and Team A won by 4 runs. Even if Jai couldn’t pull it off, he had already won many hearts as he showed what he is capable of. The match went down to the wire, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Aneesh was superb with his economy, with his 4 overs 21/2. Ashwin, Tanveer and Asad picked up 1 wicket each.
An enthralling day of cricket, with all the players showing why they were chosen for the national squad and are a notch above many of their peers. What would still keep them above is the hard work, practice and fitness.
Post match, both the coaches, Chris and Yeti again thanked all the players for their participation and evaluated the areas for improvement. To outline a few: a positive mindset in any situation; to uplift each other in difficult situations (e.g. bowlers going for runs need support; batsmen need positive inputs from the non-striker, if ball is doing something; wicketkeepers need to encourage their team and support the captains with their unique view of the game); a focus on improving all ground fielding; work in the nets to avoid extras; and being present in the game, not to think too far ahead. To conclude: keep improving every single day whatever it takes.
The rejuvenated squad is looking forward to the David Barmes Memorial Trophy and then towards a successful tour to Luxembourg.
Summary: Team A won the toss and won by 4 runs against Team B
Team A: 20 overs 211/3 (Hasan 117*, Asad 44*, Ankush 14, Arjun 1/28, Ruan 1/29, Jai 1/41)
Team B: 20 overs 207/5 (Arjun 79, Jai 59*, Waseem 16; Aneesh 2/21, Asad 1/23, Tanveer 1/41, Ashwin 1/41)
I hope you enjoyed reading the match report and extend your wishes to our national team. Stay safe and take care.