27th July 2022 at 11am
Switzerland fresh from their winning performance against France were taking on the rested Estonia team. The morning sky was overcast and it was windy, with sunshine beating down on the backs of the spectators. There was excited anticipation in the stands, with Australian Brett Lee watching as the ambassador for Estonian cricket.
Switzerland won the toss and elected to bat. They opened with Faheem Nazir and Osama Mahmood. At first, runs were hard to come by, and the normally free-hitting Swiss seemed less confident. When Osama fell for just 4 off 8 balls, Arjun was out for a duck and the score was 17 for 2 off 4.3 overs, everyone feared the worst.
Sathya Narayanan was put in to steady the ship and offer his experience and ability to hit a run a ball. In the 9th over, there was a no-ball, which changed the momentum of the game: Faheem Nazir suddenly hitting two 4s off the last two balls of the over. Sathya hung around with Faheem, giving him the strike, taking the total to 85, when he was out caught by Vislapuu off the bowling of Obili for 25 off 29 balls.
The wicket of Jai Sinh followed just 8 runs later, which brought Ali Nayyer into the attack. After his heroics with the bat in the previous game against France, which earned him the Man of the Match, expectations were high. Ali and Faheem were in their element, hitting freely around the ground. The Estonian team, whose fielding had been very tight, let the odd ball through and missed a few chances of run-outs and catches. The score quickly moved from 93 for 4 off 14.3 overs to a reasonable and then a very good total of 173 for 4 off 20.
Ali Nayyer ended the innings with 22 off 12 balls and Faheem Nazir scored an excellent century, 107 off 68 balls. The best bowlers were K Vislapuu, who ony conceded 11 runs off his 4 overs, also taking one wicket, and Habib Khan, whose figures of 21 for 2 off 4 overs were excellent.
After a short break, it was Estonia’s turn to face the music. They got off to the worst possible start, losing three wickets in quick succession, and the scoreboard read: 2 runs for 3 wickets off 1.5 overs.
It seemed like it was going to be a walkover, but the opener Ali Massod and Stuart Hook dug in deep. They put a straight bat to good balls; hit the bad ones for boundaries; they picked out gaps in the field; and ran hard to make 2s out of singles. Try as they might, Switzerland could not get this pair out, and lost much of the intensity in the field. Although Estonia never really looked like they would get the total, they were also always within touching distance. The stands were biting their nails again!
Although the run rate was ever increasing and a few overs went for double figures, Switzerland managed to keep their cool and Estonia ended the game with a score of 142 for 3, Switerland winning by 31 runs.
The two Estonian batsmen to score runs, both scored 69 not out. The standout bowler was Ashwin Vinod with figures of 18 for 1 off his overs. Faheem was Man of the Match for his 107 off 68 balls and his 28 for 2 off 4 overs. He was presented his certificate by Brett Lee.