Optimists Cricket Club Optimists (Club side) v Basel CC on Sat 25 Jun 2016 at 13:00
Optimists Cricket Club Won By 27 runs

Match report The visiting team from Basel, Switzerland arrived on a rainy Saturday morning with a thick grey cloud cover looming over the Walferdange mountains on a typical Luxembourgish summer day just a couple of days after the Grand Duke’s Birthday.

The early morning showers had made the ground conditions difficult to start on time and the

outfield was considerably wet. So both teams were looking at a slightly delayed start but certainly with a clear mind set of getting a game of cricket this Saturday. After the initial ground and pitch inspection by the umpire Richard and both the captains it was decided to play a 30 overs per side game. A special mention is required for the great coordinated effort by all the Optimists to clean up the pitch and the water logged areas of the wet outfield including the key task of getting rid of the lumps of wet green grass to make the inner circle look pristine for a friendly game. This served as the level one warm up for well-prepared Optimists and ensured we got a game of cricket.

The visiting Basel team captain Zaheer had got a good looking team who were keen to bowl first. Therefore the Optimists put in to bat, opened the batting with Richard Grundy and Nasir Zubairi (a classic right hand-left hand opening combination) which made a great impact in disturbing the rhythm of the opening Basel bowlers in the first few overs and contributed to the score with a lot wides. The wicket keeper from Basel had a tough time with the slippery conditions and was constantly under pressure to gather the ball cleanly and prevent the agile Optimists to steal extra wide runs. This meant the extras were coming freely and eased the pressure for the batsmen to score runs off the bat from the soaking wet ball.

Nasir got out caught in the covers in the 5th over to Jack “The Aussie” when he checked his shot. The tall left hand bowler Jack who was generating a lot of bounce with decent pace was the most accurate bowler from Basel. Jack was on a roll after he got an excellent caught and bowled off the Optimists number 3 batsman Shiva Arunachalam. Keen to have the left right combination going Vikram Vijh joined Richard Grundy and wiggled in a few wides. That didn’t last too long after Vikram got out to a ball which just took him by surprise and that came off the track with more bounce than expected, eventually a catch in the off side. The skipper Ananth Srisailapathy didn’t trouble the scorers much after he got an in swinging delivery which was adjudged LBW. At the end of 6 overs the Optimists were in deep trouble with 36 for 4. 4 of the 5 top batsmen didn’t score a single run from the bat and the dressing room was suddenly more tense having seen their top order batsman fail and the weather which was worsening. We were certainly at the risk of being called the 4 ducks in a pond!

Richard Grundy was then joined by Salai Poornam who forged a very important partnership and

steadied the batting by running hard for singles and doubles. When rain stopped play for the very first time when the Optimists were 79 for 4 at the end of 12 overs. The Optimists had the run rate in their favour under tough bowling and fielding conditions but with a strong distrust for the weather and if it would appreciate enough to get a proper game of cricket.

Once the players were called off because of rain the umpire took control of the situation and

suggested to get an early tea to keep our bellies warm and maximise the game time as and when the weather improves. Now all the high stake bets were on the confidence interval of the solitary weather app which was predicting dry conditions to follow after 4pm. Only time will tell!

When we did restart the game after a sumptuous tea, the quota of overs per side was set to 25

each. Which meant in the remaining 13 overs the Optimists were to try to set a reasonable target and this was the primary goal which was to be achieved in the post preemptive tea session. The Optimists pushed hard with Keerthi Mohansundaram and Anshuman Chatterjee giving company to our opener Richard Grundy who made a valiant 46 runs and holed out in the last over in attempt to boost the run rate.

The Optimists ended up scoring 142 runs of 25 overs with the loss of 7 wickets. Top scorer Extras with 62 runs! This was a decent score considering the weather conditions and a damp outfield. Jack “The Aussie” turned out to be Jack the Ripper when he got 5 scalps for a mean 8 runs in his allocated 5 overs with a top performance for Basel.

After a short break of 10 minutes, the Optimists then came on to the field hoping to defend the 142 runs on the board and with a sole intention : win the game. Basel CC got a lightning start. They made 17 runs in the first two overs. Openers Rajesh and Umar seemed to be impatient to wait for a bad delivery but try to score hard of every delivery in the initial overs. The first wicket came in the 4th over for Sambhav Puri when he dismissed opener Umar caught behind by the wicket keeper Ananth Srisailapathy with a sharp one handed catch going to his right after Mohit Dixit bowled a fantastic 3rd over which went for just 1 run and to build up the pressure leading to the wicket.

The opening bowlers were maintaining the pressure and Sambhav was rewarded again for his off stump line when he got Julian out caught by Richard Grundy at point in the 6th over. So, the

Optimists with 2 quick wickets were slightly in better position but it did not last long when the other opener Rajesh and Vishal at four started knocking off some runs from the total with a crucial partnership.

The first change bowlers Vikram and Salai maintained good line and length but Rajesh and Vishal played well to reach 65 runs in the over 12 with just the loss of 2 wickets. Shiva Arunachalam was introduced into the attack and the bowling change paid off to get opener Rajesh clean bowled for 33 runs. The celebrations from Shiva Arunachalam was a sight to behold since this was a strong comeback after he had been hit for a boundary on the leg side of his very first delivery. Taking the first real drinks break at this point 67-3 in 12.3 (exactly at the half way mark) the game was evenly poised. The Optimists regrouped to push hard to have the self-belief of getting 7 good deliveries and that was all which was needed to clinch the game from Basel.

The next breakthrough came from Shiva Arunachalam with an excellent LBW of Vishal for 18 in

the 17th over and taking the score to 94-4. The skipper took a gamble at this point to go to his

unconventional deceptive master of the Optimists Cricket Club Mark “Agent” Smith to his second over after his first over went for 12 runs. The gamble paid off in the first ball when Jack “The Aussie” was caught by Richard Grundy at deep square leg on the boundary line. At this point in time Basel skipper Zaheer was trying his hand at playing Mark and maybe wanted to send a message to the dressing room with an expansive cross batted shot and lost his off stump. This meant at the end of the crucial 18th over Basel were down to 100 for 6. And thanks to a double blow from Mark Smith. At this point the Optimists were brimming with confidence and this showed in the field when the pair of Mark Smith and Mohit Dixit enforced an excellent run out which was certainly an outcome of not letting Basel score freely.

After this the opening bowlers Mohit Dixit and Sambhav Puri were brought back into the attack to wrap the tail and not let any loose ends thus ending the Basel’s innings at 115 all out in 21.2 overs and giving the Optimists a well fought 27 run victory. Excellent catching under wet conditions and an absolute collective team effort made this victory possible.

Sambhav got 3 wickets, whilst Mark and Shiva got 2 a piece leaving Mohit and Vikram ended with one wicket each. Overall, it was a comprehensive team effort to defend the runs on the board under tough home conditions.

The Basel CC enjoyed an excellent curry from our club’s favourite caterer’s curry house : New Delhi Restaurant, Luxembourg and the timing no better since some sunshine finally showed up in Walferdange in another wise grim and cloudy summer day which ended up in an Optimists win.

Optimists Cricket Club Optimists (Club side) Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
62w 3b 3lb 
for 7 wickets
Richard Grundy Caught  46
Nasir Zubairi Caught  0
Shiva Arunachalam Caught  0
Vikram Vijh Caught  0
Ananth Srisailapathy Lbw  0
Keerthi Mohanasundaram Bowled  15
Anshuman Chatterjee Not Out  3
Mohit Dixit  
Mark Smith  
Sambhav Puri  

Basel CC Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Basel CC Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1nb 30w 1b 1lb 
for 10 wickets
115 (22.2 overs)

Optimists Cricket Club Optimists (Club side) Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Mohit Dixit5.0029129.005.80
Sambhav Puri5.002739.005.40
Vikram Vijh3.2015115.004.50
Shiva Arunachalam3.001829.006.00
Mark Smith2.001527.507.50