Image credit to European Cricket and Diana Oros
An excellent event that provided a chance to learn and grow.
The ECC T10 tournament was held at the Cartama Oval, Malaga, Spain and featured teams from 21 European countries playing over 5 weeks for the 2022 title.
This was the first time Switzerland had been given a chance to take part after confirmation of their ICC status last summer. Switzerland were drawn in qualifying week 4 with Romania, Norway, Italy and Germany. The first 4 days were scheduled as pool matches with all teams playing each other twice and eventually just the top 4 teams going into finals day. The winner of the finals day knockout would go through to the week 5 Championship against the other 3 qualifying week winners and England, the 2021 champions.
The tournament started well for 5th ranked Switzerland with wins against Romania (Man of the Match Kenardo Fletcher for bowling of 3/19) and Germany (Man of the Match Ali Nayyer 49 runs and bowling of 2/9). These two wins placed Switzerland at the top of the points table at the end of Day 1. A further win on Tuesday morning, including a Man of the match performance by Sathya Narayanan 32* and an excellent catch was also followed by a first loss against Norway. The question would be how would the Swiss recover from the loss? The answer came in a great team performance against Norway on Day 3 in a very close and tense match going to the wire. Although Switzerland didn’t get the win they hoped for, the performance said a lot about the squad mentality in a game that was won by some fantastic and fearless hitting from Norway’s Ibrahim Fahimi with 24 from 8 balls to turn the game.
As the team progressed through the tournament, injuries were picked up and players rested, meaning every player in the squad played a part on the field, as well as 2 players each match supporting the playing 11. Following a good win including a hattrick for Jai Sinh and Man of the Match against Germany in the first of 2 Day 4 matches, Switzerland qualified for finals day. Although a final group match loss against Italy came later in the day, Switzerland ended the League stage in 3rd position.
The knockout match was against Germany, the team against which the Swiss squad had won both the close league matches. But in yet another close match, Germany got over the line despite an excellent knock of 55 from Asad Mahmood. Germany then went on to beat Norway before losing to Italy in the final.
The whole squad performed well all week and learned a lot about the requirements of T10 and tournament cricket.
4 Man of the Match performances
A 50 and 192 runs from Asad Mahmood
155 runs in 8 innings from Faheem Nazir
12 wickets from Kenardo Fletcher
A hatrick from Jai Sinh
6 catches and a run out from Ashwin Vinod
and 6 catches and a stumping from Sathya Narayanan