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.