Switzerland under-11s King’s County Festival

Sep 13, 2023 | 2023, Cricket Switzerland News

The Switzerland under-11s team took part in the prestigious annual King’s Cup festival at King’s College, Taunton, Somerset, and took on some top-class English country and international oppositive. And while results did not go their way, they learned plenty of lessons during their intense five days of action. One of the other aspects of the week was seeing many of our batsman play for the first time on proper grass wickets, while the bowlers and fielders faced 40 overs, a considerable increase on the usual 20 maximum back home.

Somerset is cricket country and Taunton is a cricket town. The floodlights of the County Ground dominate the skyline and the city centre is flocked by kids wearing not the latest Premier League kits but county and England cricket tops. King’s College itself is the epicentre of this cricket world. The school, once home to current England white-ball captain Jos Buttler, boasts six resplendent cricket pitches and impressive indoor and outdoor nets. For a week, the Swiss kids were immersed in this cricket culture and their games will surely prosper because of it.

Worcestershire 170/3
Switzerland 31

The opener was reduced to 30 overs after morning rain and when Neelabh struck for the opening wicket five overs in, hopes were high. Some very economical bowling, notably from Rithwik, restricted the English county to a creditable 170 in their 30 overs. 

However, fazed by the conditions and an impressive bowling attack, the Swiss response faltered from the beginning, losing wickets in pairs to fall to 7/2, 14/4 and 16/6. There was some late resistance and the Gingins pair Elliott and Ben both scored well to lift the score to 31 all out.

Gloucestershire 314/5

Switzerland 68

Next up was another first-class English county and another steep learning curve. Switzerland initially kept Gloucestershire to around four an over and after two wickets in three balls in a double wicket maiden from Rithwik, the English side were 91-3. But they took that as a cue to accelerate, with Sam Clifford hitting an unbeaten hundred and two other players hitting fifties, and they finished on 314.

The Swiss side may have known that that target was unassailable, but a promising opening stand of 39 from Moksh and Rithwik provided some hope and showed immense character. Despite some decent resistance, notably from Phoenix, Switzerland were unable to build on the stand and succumbed to 68 all out. 

Switzerland 76 

Barbados 77/6

This Wednesday clash was the centrepiece of the tournament for Switzerland, with the match taking place at the luxurious pitch 1 in front of the green pavilion, against a full international side, and against one of the storied names in cricket, Barbados. Indeed, the island side were coached by the former Nottinghamshire and West Indies all-rounder, Franklin Stevenson. Switzerland won the toss and had the chance to bat first for the first time in the tournament. 

Unfortunately, there was to be no steady start with the bat on this occasion, as the top order fell to some express pace bowling and were 18/5 after just four overs. Again, however, there was a feisty response from the middle and lower order, with Sid’s 13 from 17 the highlight alongside knocks from Parth and Ben. Siddhant also impressed with his brave and stoic 8 from 28, this made sure lower order is not exposed against very quick bowling pair from Barbados.

Barbados were set a target of 77 to win, and, when they slipped to 20-3 after seven overs, it looked like a Swiss win was a possibility. A fine underarm throw runout from Elliott and two excellent catches from Phoenix were the highlights of the fielding display, but the islanders got over the line at 79/6 after 30.2 overs. 

Dorset 256
Switzerland 37

There had been some hope in Swiss quarters that the two final matches in the tournament against smaller English counties might be winnable, but other results had suggested that these matches would be tougher than anticipated. And so it proved. On the plus side, the Swiss bowlers managed to bowl a side out for the first time in the tournament, but they again struggled with pace, the moving ball, and the conditions in the reply. 

From a performance perspective, it was a game to remember for Jesse who produced wonderful figures of 3-18 thanks to some unplayable spin.Equally supported by Siddhant who gave only 28 runs in 8 over creating many chances. Neelabh’s 2-18 were the reward for a genuinely threatening spell. Dorset looked in trouble at 70/4 after 16 overs but rallied impressively to set an imposing total.

It was beyond Switzerland, with the top order again failing to fire against some aggressive bowling. Again, there was some impressive fighting down the order. Elliott hit some excellent off-drives and his run of 10 was only ended by an unfortunate run-out, while Jesse hit a fine 8 off 26.

Cornwall 275/7

Switzerland 71

There were tired bodies and minds on pitch 6 for the final match of the series against Cornwall. The western county won the toss and batted, and raced to 275/7 in the reduced 35 overs. Resistance came in the spirited and talented form of Samiha, who recorded Swiss best figures in the competition of 4-39. Her persistent line and length and variations had threatened all week and got their just reward in the final match. Other notable fielding highlights saw three catches, including two full-length dives, from Moksh, and a brave caught and bowl from Rithwik. A couple of wickets for Ben finished a very impressive week for the all-rounder. 

Switzerland may have fallen well short in reply but there moments to share. Elliott’s redoubtable 32-ball 6 was a ten-over anchor for the side and there was some fine stroke-making from Saanidhya, Sid and Rithwik.

Results did not go their way, bit there could be no faulting the commitment and effort of the Swiss players, who loved being in such a cricket environment.
Special thanks to Russel who made sure the team was always primed to play, Credit to coaches Nilesh and Srini. not just for their work with the team but also in their role as childminders and guardians for the week.   

Tournament Scorecard Summary: 

PlayerMatch 1Match 2Match 3Match 4Match 5Total
Ben F6   21 17   21  0   17201
Elliot H4   0   0 1 10   6   20010
Jesse L4  10   01  83  0   12401
Moksh M3   8   0 1 0   2  413014
Neelabh V01           2   1  0400
Parth G2   81  8   4   1  123101
Pheonix P0   6   3   3  20   12002
Rithwik K3   102 28   111 101 132413
Saanidhya D2    3  1   0  19   12301
Samiha K2   41  01  1 1 84  15610
Sid B01  0   131  0   9   22200
Sid C31  1  181  01  0   12301