Sri Lankans are All Cyprus Champions
Cyprus Lions 162 all out (25 overs); Sri Lankans 167 – 6 (17 overs)
Report by Richard Boxall
The annual All-Cyprus Final was played on 1 May at Bellapais Stadium in the picturesque village in the hills above Kyrenia, between the North Cyprus champions, Cyprus Lions, and Sri Lankans, who had won a play-off against Mustangs to decide who would represent the South of the island.
On a cloudy morning Cyprus Lions batted first and had little trouble in scoring boundaries over the small outfield, so the score initially rose at a rapid rate, with Gafor making 43, Bilal 32 and Imran 38 not out. But Sri Lankans stuck to their task and fielded tigerishly, holding some good catches and not allowing any easy runs. The best bowling came from the left arm of Budhika, who had the terrific figures of 5 for 14 from his 5 over spell. Mangala claimed 3 for 25, and there were wickets also for Dilan and Amila, as Cyprus Lions were dismissed in the final over for 162.
It was a tricky score to chase because although the boundaries were short, the pitch was not the easiest for batting. This did not bother Mangala, who hit the first ball for 6 and scored a rapid 31 to get the innings off to a good start.
A burst of rain did not stop the game but it did make the pitch slippery for the bowlers, and changed the ball into a bar of soap which the Lions dropped on at least half a dozen occasions. These missed chances were crucial to the outcome of the match.
Chandana and Nalin kept up the run chase with valuable innings of 45 and 24, and with the run rate ahead of what was needed, the main problem for Sri Lankans was the loss of wickets, which was threatening to turn the game towards the home team.
At this vital stage Danuka played a wonderful innings of 37 not out from 11 balls, and, with Amila supporting him sensibly, he guided Sri Lankans to victory with four wickets and 8 overs to spare.
The match was played competitively and in good spirit, and well umpired by Ian Fell and Manan. Trophies and medals were presented to the winners and runners-up, and after celebrations and photographs Sri Lankans returned to Nicosia with the status of Champion Team of Cyprus.
Sri Lankans win epic final to take 40-over title
In one of the most exciting finishes seen in Cyprus cricket, Sri Lankans came back from a losing position to beat Mustangs by 2 runs in the 40-over final at Lakatamia on Sunday, in front of a large crowd of mostly Sri Lankan supporters.
Chandana won the toss and chose to bat first, only to lose his first three partners cheaply to Qasim and Happy. But he was then joined in a good recovery by Sugath, who at last found some form with the bat with a battling 35. On the last ball before drinks Chandana played a loose shot and was caught for an excellent 60, leaving the score interestingly balanced at 108 for 4 after 20 overs.
In the second half of the innings the Sri Lankan middle order contributed well, with 38 from Dilan, 24 by Dananjaya and 15 from Kapila, taking the total to 224 all out from 36.3 overs. For Mustangs, Qasim and Happy took 3 wickets each, Rashid and Jassi 2 each, and Dogar held two good catches.
Sri Lankans would have been keen to dismiss danger man Jeewan early, but although Dilan removed his partner Aijaz, Bimal now joined Jeewan in what looked like a match-winning partnership of 101. Both batsmen scored freely with fine attacking shots, and Sri Lankans were forced to turn to their less regular bowlers. This worked, as Bimal, who actually outscored Jeewan, was caught behind by Sugath , standing up to Malka, for 52.
Jeewan continued to bat in his elegant, untroubled style, until the turning point of the match, when he was run out by a great combination between Chandana and Sugath for 79. Chandana was now able to turn back to his main bowlers to try to finish the match, although Mustangs still had plenty of overs and wickets in hand to win if their batsmen could stay at the crease.
Rashid and Jassi made contributions but fell to Suresh, who soon added two more wickets. Ali dug in and tried to farm the strike to see Mustangs home but, with the spectators becoming increasingly excited, Dilan returned to polish off the final two wickets with just two runs to spare.
Trophies, kindly sponsored by Lakatamia Municipality, were awarded to:
Winners: Sri Lankans
Third place: Moufflons
Man of the match: Chandana (Sri Lankans)
Tournament best batsman: Jeewan (Mustangs)
Tournament best bowler: Suresh (Sri Lankans)
Tournament MVP: Chandana
Spirit of cricket award: Ahmad (Mustangs)
Umpiring awards: Manan (Thunder), Tiwary (Punjab Lions), Jahid, Roman (both Nicosia Tigers)
The Cyprus cricket ground at Tochni has been badly damaged when the local river overflowed following a thunderstorm. Richard Steenhuis has put together this very sad video of the damage. We need to repair the damage and clean up the ground and we're sure many people associated with Cyprus cricket will want to help. More to follow.
Mustangs win Spring T20
Mustangs re-established their position as top team in Cyprus by winning the Spring T20 competition, defeating Punjab Lions by 9 runs in an exciting final at Tochni.
The top four teams from the league phase of the competition met in the semi finals the week before. Punjab Lions, who finished top, thrashed Moufflons by 9 wickets, while second-placed Mustangs comfortably got past Sri Lankans by 38 runs, setting up a final between the two best teams, who had only lost twice each during the season.
Mustangs chose to bat first and made a satisfactory 156 for 9 from their 20 overs. Jeewan started in great form, and although he slowed down later, his 57 runs formed the backbone of the innings, greatly assisted by the 40 extras conceded by the Lions. Satnam was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 18 from his 4 overs.
The Punjab Lions reply also relied heavily on an opening batsman, in this case Tiwary who made an excellent 52. Five other batsmen made double figures but no-one stayed to finish the job. For Mustangs Qasim took 3 wickets and Vikas 2, but the key bowling came from Dogar with 1 for 15 from 4 overs and Brar, 1 for 19 from 3.3. The batsmen were just not able to score quickly enough off this pair, and the innings ended at 147 all out with 3 balls remaining.
A happy Dogar received the winners' trophy for Mustangs, while Satnam collected the trophy for Punjab Lions as winners of the league phase. The following awards were also presented:
Spirit of cricket - Akrotiri, Dhekelia Poachers, Moufflons
Scoring award - Sri Lankans
Best batsman - Mehran (Moufflons) - 620 runs
Best bowler - Satnam (Punjab Lions) - 24 wickets
Most Valuable Player - Mangala (Sri Lankans) - 102.97 points in the CricHQ MVP standings
The next competition will be a 40-over league starting on 16 September - details soon.
Cyprus' cricketers are defying the summer heat to practise ahead of their tour of the Netherlands. The tour is to compete in the ICC World T20 Europe Qualifier and runs from the 27th August until 3rd September. The squad for the tour was recently announced:
Muhammad Husain (Captain) (Moufflons), Mike Kyriakou (Vice Captain) (Fellows), Abdul Manan (Nicosia Thunder), Azan Baig (Gladiators), Balbir Singh (Fellows), Harvinder Singh (Punjab Lions), Mangala Gunasekara (Sri Lankans), Md Rafiqul (Moufflons), Mohsin Raza (Nicosia Thunder), Nalin Gamage (Sri Lankans), Nalin Sachitra (Sri Lanka Lions), Ruwan Manawasinha (Sri Lanka Lions), Shoaib Ahmed (Nicosia Thunder), WCP Wellage (Sri Lankans)
The 4 reserves are:
Iftekar Jaman (Punjab Lions), Kamal Raiz (Sri Lanka Lions), Nauman Shafique (Gladiators) and Niroshan Pelawattha (Fellows)
Cyprus will be competing against Germany (Aug 29 at 11am at Kampong CC), Denmark (Aug 30 at 11am at Salland CC 1), Austria (Sep 1 at 11am at Salland CC 2), France (Sep 1 at 4pm at Salland CC 2), and Portugal (Sep 2 at 4pm at Salland CC 1).
All times indicated are Central European Summer Time (GMT+2).
There will be no live video streaming available. However, video highlights for selected games will be available from icc-cricket.com
The team will be based at The Postillion Hotel in Deventer, Netherlands.
We take this opportunity to thank our sponsors MoneyGram, Cyprus Tourism Organization, Studivest, Ayurvesh Resorts, and Ape Kada.
Also, thanks to Rudolph Crasto, Emily Trescothick, and Mangala Pradeep for arranging the sponsorship deals.
Furthermore, we also take this opportunity to thank Yaspal Chauhan for his help in preparing the team for the competition. Also, thanks to the Commander British Forces Cyprus for his support and the time that He spent with the Cyprus National Team.
We wish them all the best and hope that they will be able to put together a good performance against much fancied opposition.
Amdocs (fielding) vs Mustangs at Tochni on the first day of club cricket at the ground
The first club games have been played at the CCA ground at Tochni. Moufflons beat Fellows by 7 wickets and, in a much closer game, Amdocs beat Mustangs - also by 7 wickets. Match reports are here.
Richard Steenhuis has prepared a "slideshow" showing the story of the ground - from farmer's field to cricket ground.
Nicosia Thunder beat Cyprus Lions by 3 wickets to win the Creditwest All Cyprus Trophy. For a full match report see here (leaves this website).