Slovakia won by 7 wickets
The first international match for the Hungary Natives team was a few hours drive north west of Budapest, to face the village team of Hajske - the fact that they are the only Slovakians playing cricket means that they are also the national team! As well as the challenge of playing together as a team for the first time, the Hungarians were faced with a low-bouncing Flicx pitch - certainly a point of discussion throughout the match and in the pub afterwards...
A solid start from Comenius players Zoltan Mago and Kristof Noll-Batek boded well for Hungary, but some sharp catches and poor stump-defending saw the wickets tumble to leave them on 56-7 in the 11th over. Only Kristof (11) and fellow Comenius student David Berczeli (19) reached double figures in the top and middle order.
At that point Hungary were facing complete humiliation, but a fine unbeaten 54-run partnership between Janos Matyasfalvi (13) and 17-year-old Attila Vakan (31) took the score along to a respectable 110-7. Not only did they use up the overs, they also cut loose with some attacking shots, with Janos hitting three boundaries and Attila six to carry on his good form from the recent matches with MC3.
At the turnaround Hungary were suddenly confident of snatching victory from the hands of defeat, but they just could not take the wickets needed. Slovakian captain Vladimir Chudacik proved the match-winner with a clever knock of 55 not out, including 8 boundaries (many on the leg-side, thanks to some wayward bowling), ably supported in a 76-run partnership by Michal Bogady. Running singles and byes (and overthrows) was easily the biggest difference between the sides, while the home team's fielding was almost uniformly superb.
Cricket is more than hitting a ball with a piece of wood. Playing clever cricket is the key at this level of ability and it is something the Hungary Natives team must learn. The fact that currrently there are only a handful of players to choose from means that this team can train and play together to improve.
Certainly, having nets and practising through the winter was evident in the batting performances of the four Comenius players (plus Janos, who also trains in Szekesfehervar) and the general team spirit bodes well for the future.
Hungarian man of the match: Attila Vakan