By Sven Hansen

The 2008 German cricket season is nearing its end with the national club championship taking place on Sunday, September 14 in Hamburg.

Hamburger Sportverein (HSV) will play hosts to the Sports and Social Club (DSSC, Berlin) at their ground in Hamburg-Billstedt (Beim Saaren, 22115 Hamburg). Both are reigning champions of their regional leagues, Northern Germany and Berlin respectively.

DSSC had a rather easy semi-final win against the Hessen champions (Olympia Cricket Club, Frankfurt) reaching their target of 112 runs with eight wickets in hand. Olympia had qualified for the semi-final by beating the Munich International CC (Bavaria league).

HSV however, had a close encounter with Cologne Cricket Club (Champions of Northrhine-Westphalia league). Having bowled Cologne out for 103 runs in just 18 overs, HSV took things lightly and with four runs needed for victory, lost wickets N o.8 and 9 consecutively. Two wides and a boundary then turned the outcome once more in their favour much to the delight of their supporters. Both batting line-ups will be looking to resist some effective bowling with the DSSC boys having four top batsmen in their favour.

Key Players

Opener Dilshan Rajudeen has been a top scorer in Berlin reaching 99 not out in the final of the Berlin championship. He ll be supported by German national players Imran Chaudhry, Asif Khan and skipper Javed Rana Iqbal.

Zaheer A Malik and Barkatullah Masaud as the leading wicket-takers in the Northern league in 2008 will seek to stop the Berlin run-rate with their colleague Tahir A Butt ready to tempt the batsmen with some leg breaks.

In return, Altaf Rehman and Sohil Mian are expected to attack Hamburg openers ZA Malik and Fahad Saeed, the latter a PhD student and known to turn the crease into his home.

Defending champions DSSC will be looking to take the cup home to Berlin for the third year running. They are, undeniably, the favourites. But as they say in Hamburg: Lobe den Tag nicht vor dem Abend! (Don t count your chickens before they are hatched).

Cricket in Germany

In 2008, Germany played host to the Euro U-17 Division 2 Championships and celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a visit from the Marylebone Cricket Club. Check the Deutsche cricket association website here.