30th July 2022 – 11am
Following the Friday rest day, Cricket Switzerland and the Czech team were full of anticipation for today’s game. The third place in the group was up for grabs, but for Switzerland, a stunning result still held possibilities of topping the group. Switzerland won the toss and elected to bat, givng themselves the best chance to post a big total. After the customary ‘Hopp Schwyyyz’ from the Swiss team and the equivalent call from the Czechs, the game could start.
The Swiss openers, the brothers Faheem and Azeem Nazir started positively; two fours off the first two balls. But before the end of the over, disaster struck and Azeem was out caught on the boundary for a duck, bringing the hard hitting Ali Nayyer to the crease. The Swiss focus was on scoring a huge target to give themselves the chance of topping the group on net run rate. Ali enjoys the pressure situations and is a strong hitter, so he was moved up the order. He started well, scoring his first boundary after four balls. However, immediately ater that, he was out going for another big shot, caught bythe bowler for 7 off 5 balls.
With the loss of Ali, in came Noorkhan, his first full outing in the tournament. Right from the start, Noorkhan played attacking shots, connecting well with the ball, and making regular singles to rotate the strike. The score went from 17 fr 2 when Ali got out, to 81 for 3 when Noorkhan was out LBW after a good fight, scoring 32 off 19 balls.
Asad Mahmood and Anser Mehmood both got out cheaply; the former not quite getting hold of the ball going for a boundary and hitting it straight to a fielder; and the latter fell to a brilliant catch, which had the fielder running in and taking the catch by his feet. With the fall of those wickets, Arjun Vinod came in to settle things down and focus back on scoring runs. He did a good job, rotating the strike and hitting a 6 off a bad ball. Similar to the other batsmen, Arjun was out, caught on the boundary, going for another big shot. Sathya Narayanan (2 off 4), and, in the end, Faheem Nazir (113 off 67), one ball before the end of the innings, also fell to that fate, hitting the ball straight to the fielder.
Switzerland had played well, scored a good total, higher than any other of their totals, and their captain, Faheem had scored another century. Everything was looking good for a victory, but a bit short of that huge target they were hoping for.
Switzerland’s fielding started well. They were calling to each other, encouraging one another, and, although the overs were sometimes expensive, the Czech team were still behind the run rate.
Unfortunately at over 5, when the Czech team managed to match the Swiss run rate, the fielding intensity appeared to drop. The Czech team found the gaps in the field; they played with the wind; they hit the ball over the fielders’ heads; and they ran quickly. They looked like they were on a mission, and it became clear that the Swiss score might not be enough.
In the middle of the innings, Aneesh and Faheem bowled very tidily, building on the good work already carried out by Fletcher and things started to tighten up again. The Swiss team started gain their confidence and voice back.
Unfortunately, with a few bad balls and some good shots, the Czech team got themselves right back in to it, and they never looked back. They reached the required 184 14 balls before the end, scoring an impressive 187 for 3 off 17.4 overs.