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CS T20 Elite Division: Lions lost to St. Gallen CC by 3 Wickets, 12 May 2024, Embrach

In a fiercely contested match, Zurich Lions showed strong effort but in the end fell short against the defending T20 Champions, St. Gallen CC.

Date & Time: 12th May 2024, 16:30 CET

Venue: Embrach

1st Innings: Lions choose to bat first

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, ZLCC began their batting innings. Due to the absence of regular openers, Kanishk had to open with a new partner, Mayank. Kanishk adopted an aggressive approach, displaying exquisite strokes across the ground, including 5*4s & 1*6s, while Mayank took his time to settle into his new role as opener. He rotated the strike well and found the occasional boundary, hitting 3*4’s. By the end of the power play, the score stood at 50/1, with Kanishk scoring 31(20) before being dismissed by a slower delivery that dragged on to the stumps. Ankush joined at number 3, cautiously starting his innings. However, just as the partnership was building, Mayank unfortunately lost his wicket after his decent start of 24 (24). The middle-order batsmen, including Senthil, Seshu, and Najeeb, failed to capitalize on the momentum, losing their wickets at regular interval, with the score at 90/5 in 13 overs.

Mayur partnered with Ankush for a crucial rebuild after losing quick wickets. Ankush efficiently rotated the strike and smashed 2*6s before being dismissed for 22(19) balls. Mayur, quickly settled in and began attacking the bowlers with wristy shots and precise timing, hitting 4*4s and 1*6. However, he was run-out at a crucial moment due to a mix-up between the wickets, with the score at 134/7 in 18 overs.

Mayur’s dismissal (29 off 21 balls) halted the scoreboard with 2 overs to spare, just before he seemed poised to dispatch a few incoming boundaries, which could be crucial and played a part in the final outcome of the match. With a set batsman getting out at regular intervals and SGCC bowlers maintaining accuracy in their line and length , the lower-order batsmen found it challenging to keep the scoreboard ticking. However, Osama provided a glimmer of hope by finishing with a six. ZLCC wrapped up their innings, reaching a total of 152 all out with a ball to spare .

For St. Gallen CC, Mohammad Jafer stood out as the bowler for SGCC, claiming 4 wickets for 32 runs, well supported by Haroon (25/2) in 4 overs. Sanagul and Hekmatullah also chipped in with a wicket each.

2nd Innings: St. Gallen to geared for the chase

Considering the high-scoring nature of the ground and ZLCC's bowling being their core strength , the team is confident of defending the formidable total against SGCC's attacking batting lineup.

Kanishk began his spell conceding a couple of boundaries, but Omid quickly halted the scoring in the 2nd over by claiming the first scalp, Sher with the score at 19/1. Despite occasional loose deliveries from ZLCC's fast bowlers, SGCC capitalized on them, reaching 54/1 at the end of the power play.

Spinners were introduced during the power play, but Ali and Hematuallah sensibly kept the scoreboard ticking with occasional boundaries, building a decent partnership until Ali was dismissed by Osama with the score at 77/2 in 9 overs. Mayur bowled economically, maintaining a consistent line and length, and was well supported by Osama, tightening the scoring rate, while Abdul leaked runs by giving away freebies to SGCC batsmen.

Lions rotated their bowlers in an attempt to halt the scoring, but struggled to contain the momentum during the middle overs. At one point, SGCC needed 50 runs in the last 6 overs with 5 wickets in hand, but ZLCC's plans didn't unfold as expected in their bowling , and they also struggled to maintain composure in the crucial moments on the field. A late assault from MB Bhat and Musa swung the game in SGCC's favor, resulting in Lions loss in the 19th over by 3 wickets.

Osama and Kanishk took two wickets each, while Mayur contributed with an economical spell and a wicket. Hekmatullah (38 off 30), Ali (24 off 23), and MB But (24 off 14) stood out as the top performers for SGCC's batting lineup.

It was a valiant effort in a pressure situation, especially with a few newcomers added to the ZLCC team. They will undoubtedly emerge stronger in the upcoming games, learning from this experience and building on their strengths.

Senthil on behalf of Zurich Lions


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