After last week’s top of the table clash in group B of the 2019 CCA #MoneyGram T20 Cup, this week saw the meeting of Group A leaders CTL College and second-placed Nicosia Tigers in a crucial match at Ypsonas.
Batting first CTL were in all sorts of trouble with the score 2-2 after the first over. However, captain Murali (11) along with Gopi (20) steadied the innings, until Murali got out in the 6th over with the score on 28.
However, incoming batsman Mani had a decisive effect on the game, initially biding his time in the middle as his team reached the halfway stage at 65-3, before brutally dismantling the Tigers attack as he raced to his century in 46 balls with 9 sixes and 6 fours. Shekar provided able support to Mani as CTL finished on 195-8.
Nicosia Tigers’ reply started disastrously, as they lost their captain Faysal in the first over. Only Yasir Khan’s 35 managed to delay the inevitable as Tigers were bowled out in the 17th over for just 100. Gopi starred with the ball for the college boys with 3 wickets. Mani for his explosive century won the man of the match prize.
The group B game between Sri Lankan Lions and Moufflons turned out to be a low scoring encounter. Moufflons were put in to bat and started aggressively as they racked up 88 runs in the first 10 overs for the loss of 3 wickets. However, Muhammad’s departure in the 11th over for a well crafted 46 resulted in a mini collapse as Moufflons closed the innings on 147-9 in 20 overs with only Ravi (28*) managing to counter Lions effectively and helping Moufflons post a competitive total.
The Lions’ reply started cautiously. Moufflons did not make a breakthrough until they removed opener Sadun in the 5th over with the score on 32. They then attacked the Lions relentlessly and kept them on the back foot. Sri Lankan Lions eventually finished on 117 for 8 wickets in the allotted 20 overs, with Lakhwinder Singh taking 4 wickets and Muhammad holding on to 3 catches in the outfield.
In the other group A game played at Happy Valley, Sri Lankans batted first against Amdocs and managed to post 137 for 5 wickets.
Sri Lankans were indebted to Mangala (68*) who kept his composure despite losing partners at regular intervals and eventually finding some support from Chandana (33*) as the Amdocs bowlers maintained a good line and length to keep the Sri Lankans to a reachable target.
However, Sri Lankans managed to defend the total in fading light as Amdocs finished on 122 for 7 wickets. Mangala was awarded the man of the match prize for his outstanding display with the bat.