Cricket: Stewart gives French lesson: Scyld Berry reports from Worksop on a comfortable triumph for Germany in the European Cricketer Cup

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The Independent Online
HAVING lost football's European Championship final last month, Germany had more than adequate compensation yesterday when they won the European Cricketer Cup. In the 40-over final at Worksop College they defeated France quite comfortably, although the margin of three wickets was narrower than most German victories in general over them.

France scored 174 for 9 after deciding to bat first on a firm pitch freshened by rain. Their decision surprised Germany's mastermind of a captain, Francis Stewart, a lean molecular biologist from Sydney, who lost the toss.

Germany's pace bowlers are a bit round-armish, but they are of minor county standard, like most of their team: they could even leave out Nasir Rajput, an off- spinner who had played for the Pakistan President's XI against the 1972-73 New Zealanders.

Above all, they played with the ruthless efficiency you would expect, not of Germans, for none was born in Germany, but of people wearing sweaters sponsored by the Financial Times.

France, with fewer Asians, did not pick up the singles which professional batsmen take when the going is difficult. When they did hit out, Stewart materialised at long-off to catch three skiers and curtail the French slog.

After the first European Cup, two years ago in Guernsey, Germany decided to drop all their native players, who were not good enough. According to Stewart, they wanted to win here to put the game on the map at home, and ideally to get a purpose-built cricket ground. But it has become a vexed question, whether to insist on a minimum of nationals: for then, if teams are not selected on merit, we are into the murky waters of tokenism.

When Germany replied, the game was not even close so long as Amir Bin Jung was in. A nephew of the Nawab of Pataudi, and living in Frankfurt where he deals in precious metals, he drove handsomely until he chopped on for 99 (in five innings in the competition he hit 318 runs).

There was a late lurch from 160 for 4 to 161 for 7, after a couple of warmly disputed lbw decisions in favour of France's captain, Simon Hewitt, but Stewart coolly saw Germany home.

Today Germany play MCC at Lord's, their sixth one-day game in as many days, which should deter any of them thinking of turning professional.

Everyone is agreed that the competition was a jolly fine show, and should be repeated here in two years' time. There is talk of Berlin, but most European cricketers have appreciated the unique treat of playing on grass pitches.

EUROPEAN CRICKETER CUP Final (Worksop College): Germany beat France by three wickets.

(France won toss)

FRANCE

A Hall b Zaidi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

M Hafiz b Newton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

G Wilson c Senaka b H Bhatti. . . . . . . . . . .0

*S Hewitt c Senaka b Newton. . . . . . . . . . .18

S Shahzada b Taneja. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

V Karunaratne c Stewart b Taneja. . . . . .27

M Perera b H Bhatti. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

G Brumant c Stewart b Taneja. . . . . . . . . .15

P Schofield c Stewart b Taneja. . . . . . . .18

J Payne not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

J Ebert not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Extras. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Total (for 9, 38 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . .174

Fall: 1-9 2-10 3-52 4-75 5-129 6-134 7-134 8-169 9-169.

Bowling: H Bhatti 8-0-28-2; Zaidi 8-1-19-1; Newton

8-1-25-2; Sahi 8-0-42-0; Stewart 3-0-24-0; Taneja

5-0-29-4.

GERMANY

G Stevens b Ebert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

A Bin Jung b Shahzada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99

A Bhatti b Ebert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

S Taneja c Shahzada b Brumant. . . . . . . . .16

F Senaka run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

T Rathor not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

H Bhatti lbw Hewitt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

P Zaidi lbw Hewitt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

*F Stewart not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Extras. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Total (for 7, 37.1 overs). . . . . . . . . . . .177

Fall: 1-28 2-37 3-73 4-130 5-154 6-161 7-161.

Did not bat: G Newton, P Sahi.

Bowling: J Ebert 8-4-23-2; S Hewitt 7-1-25-2; P Schofield 7-0-42-0; G Brumant 8-0-40-1; V Karunaratne 4.1-0-23-0; S Shahzada 2-0-13-1; M Perera 1-0-11-0.

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