Winterthur Pip Power to the Post

With the two Winterthur sides making the long trip to Cossonay, the spectators at a sunny En Marche eagerly awaited a level of entertainment to match the size of the carbon footprint required to get there by leaving Deutweg's nice new pitch empty for the weekend. They were not disappointed.

With Power getting first use of the batting track, Winterthur's first challenge was not the aggressive opening pairing but was rather getting wedged into the skin tight lycra cricket pyjamas which had some of the sturdier players regretting that extra mid season curry. Although Jiten Patel was not in the starting eleven, it was fair to say that the seam on some of the trousers took more of a hammering than the seam on the Dukes ball over the coming twenty overs. the match. Power began confidently with opener Sajid stating his intent by belting Sanjeev past his head first ball for four. At the other end, Nasir was harder to get away with his extra pace and bounce causing more problems. Power went for their shots and dealt mainly in boundaries during the opening six overs with the fielding restrictions in place. Waqar and Ashgar joined the attack and provided some control for the skipper with Sajid eventually holing out to Waqar on the boundary.

To their credit, WCC kept their heads up against some big hitting and never gave up, although wickets were hard to come by once the batsmen were well set. Power accelerated their score in the latter overs with Afzaal hitting several big sixes as the scorers were kept busy. With a few overs to go, WCC claimed the important wicket of Afzaal as he tried to take a quick single to short fine leg not counting on typical Swiss precision as Urs Stuker lined his throw up which lasered in on middle stump to leave Afzaal short of his ground. Power lost some momentum in the final two overs as some big shots did not come off to leave WCC chasing a big score of 170 to win in 20 overs.

In reply, WCC opened with Sanjeev Theaker and PIp Kirkpatrick who got the innings off to a steady start. Both took their singles and found the boundary in the early overs and Sanjeev got the ball over the ropes a couple of times when the fielding restrictions were still place. At 40 - 0 after 6 overs, WCC were still in the game but still needed 130 over 14 overs. With the change bowlers coming on, Pip played second fiddle to Sanjeev as he upped his big shots and began to look really good. Alas, he perished charging down the wicket to Afzaal's second ball and yorked himself for 46. With Waqar the new man at the crease and the run rate at around 9 an over, Pip took the attack to Power to let Waqar settle, smashing 18 off an over from Mubarak including consecutive straight sixes over long off.

Waqar did not want to miss out and with a few big hits, including a six over square point which travelled not much more than head height, got his eye in and put WCC in a position where they took control over the match. Waqar's breezy cameo eventually ended for a fine 27 which brought Raj into the middle to chase the last 40 needed in the last 5 overs. With Pip well set and happy to do the Michael Bevan "finisher" role, Raj used those hours of training in catching practice to good effect to as he snicked a series of outside edges through the slip cordon for either a single of a four. It was almost like he meant it.......almost.

With the tension higher than a WCC Committee meeting discussing match fees and the pressure hotter than a Madras vindaloo, the pivotal over of this match was the 18th, bowled by Afzaal. Four wides was followed by a full toss which Pip smashed over the floodlight pylon for six. A fast bouncer next ball missed his attempted hook and smashed into his face grill. Getting another bouncer next ball, Pip showed he was none the worse for wear and hooked it away for four through square leg. With the match in its final stages, it was left to Raj to do some more of those "hey guys......I really meant it to play it there" outside edges through the slips to get WCC to what seemed at one stage as an unlikely victory. Raj ended not out in the teens and PIp carried his bat for 64 not out.

Credit goes to both teams who played the game in a good atmosphere throughout and to Cossonay CC for providing the facilities. WCC's T20 bandwagon comes back to the Romandie next week for a double header on the same ground where the neutrals will be hoping for another finish tighter than Sanjeev's red pyjama shirt.


Reporter: Pip

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