Optimists Cricket Club News story

Junior cricket - Bavarian Cup 5 & 6 March - U9s & U12s

10 Mar 2011

Last weekend the Luxembourg junior cricket squad took another step into the unknown, participating in the 5th Bavarian International 6 a-side tournament, played at the European School in Munich.    

The U9’s were skippered by Andrew Fry, accompanied by Alex and Brice Barzin, Oscar Ramsden, Suriya Selvaraj, Liam Mulholland and Max McVeigh. They faced four sides in the first round.  Early morning nervous energy was soon transformed into a blistering salvo of boundaries to which our opponents had no answer.  Chasing a total of 100 the shell-shocked Hessen team was restricted to just 17. Bratislava provided a sterner test. However, tight bowling, including three wickets by Brice, kept their score down to 19.  His brother Alex together with Liam then peppered the boundary wall for Luxembourg to cruise to a winning score of 83. Game three was against Munich, the hosts and the weakest side. After keeping them down to just 17 off 6 overs Andrew and Oscar raced to 38 off 2 overs for Luxembourg, a major contribution to a tournament best total of 103.

Against Vienna the wheels came off in spectacular fashion. Defending a score of 44 our bowlers did well to fight back.  However, this proved to be in vain as Vienna passed this comfortably.  Pleasingly, though, a lesson had been learnt.  Despite an occasional stumble we recovered in the second phase match with Bratislava. The Slovaks took advantage of some fielding errors to make 37. Thankfully though, our boys had remembered how to bat and hit 101 with Oscar and Suriya scoring heavily to finish the first day with positive momentum.

Sunday morning saw the penultimate game against Hessen. After a sluggish start Max and Brice accelerated and Liam and Suriya accumulated at the end to reach 84.  Max then took 3 wickets in the first over and the nerves settled, leading to victory by 18 runs.  The final showdown was against the old enemy, Vienna. Having learnt from past experience Luxembourg set intelligent fields, showed great energy in the field and more doggedness with the bat. They scored 56 for 4 wickets leaving the contest finely balanced.  Vienna started well but a flurry of run outs created panic. Luxembourg looked favourites for the cup until a sparkling cameo by the last pair took Vienna to victory.

Our team surprised the coaches with its ability, togetherness and mental toughness, and for a fledgling outfit this was a good performance.  A number of opposing coaches complimented them for their all-round ability. This was the first step on a very exciting adventure for this talented group. 

In the U12s section, Luxembourg were to meet five other teams. The squad of eight consisted of Marcus Cope, Robert Walker, Zach Foley, Thomas Martin, Owen Williams, Isak Schiodt, Luka Galliver and wicketkeeper Max Vickers. We started with a tough opening game against the strong Austria Vienna team but fine bowling from Marcus, with 3 wickets, limited the score to 55. Our chase ended desperately close with defeat by just 2 runs. A run of victories was now needed and then delivered.  First to the sword were Bratislava as Luxembourg set the tournament’s highest total of 83, with Owen hitting a stylish 14. Bratislava struggled and the winning margin of 39 runs was well deserved. Next came Munich Jaguars and again Luxembourg set a tough target, 69, thanks to Thomas’ 22 not out. This total would also prove too great a challenge as Luxembourg ran out winners by 36 runs. Last match of day one was a potentially difficult one against a strong looking batting line up from Hessen.  Our teamwork in the field restricted them to 49, a respectable total. Confident running between the wickets ensured the target was reached and we batted on to chase the bonus points reaching another good total of 74.

Sunday morning dawned and Luxembourg needed to tame the Munich Tigers. Another strong batting performance with good contributions from all ensured a tough target of 74.  Despite a brave effort the Tigers ended up 27 short. These four good wins left us to face Vienna in the final, an 8 over decider. Cheered on by a noisy crowd Luxembourg started very well reaching 45 runs off 4 overs. Vienna rallied and restricted Luxembourg to another good total of 77.  Was it enough? Vienna began well but then excellent Luxembourg fielding began to take effect producing numerous run outs. The drama reached a peak in the final over, the entire tournament resting on the final delivery. Vienna’s best batsman was on strike and confidently stroked the three needed to sneak a victory in the best match of the whole tournament.

Luxembourg U12’s therefore finished second in the tournament with 4 wins and 2 very narrow defeats but travelled home with huge pride in the quality of the cricket they had produced and the spirit in which it was played.

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