Sadun Chamal of Limassol Sri Lanka Lions CC receives his Man of the Match certificate from the President of the Sri Lankan Welfare Association in Cyprus, Wickramasinghe
Sunday was a momentous day for Cyprus cricket. Not only did the sport resume after the enforced Covid-19 break, but it was also available to be viewed worldwide thanks to a new arrangement with the European Cricket Network (ECN), who provide live internet coverage of cricket from several European countries.
Cyprus is now able to showcase its cricket to a vastly wider audience, giving teams and players a massive incentive to develop their skills and performance levels.
To prepare for this opening of our cricket boundaries, the chairman of the Cyprus Cricket Association Muhammad Husain and his band of helpers worked tirelessly in the preceding weeks to bring the Ypsonas cricket ground near Limassol into a prime state, and teams were greeted by superb conditions when they turned up for the first matches in this years CCA BAO Financial T20 Cup.
Three matches were played on the first day, with the last one being the best game, pitting the ever-strong Sri Lankans CC from Nicosia against their rival countrymen, Limassol Sri Lanka Lions CC. On winning the toss, Lions skipper Nalin asked the Nicosia team to bat first, and boldly put mystery spinner Ruwan on to bowl the first over. The ploy worked as Ruwan dismissed Sri Lankans’ captain and dangerman Mangala in the first over.
The Lions maintained control throughout the innings, with tight bowling especially from Kamal Raiz (3-14) and Sujith (2-17). Sri Lankans slumped to 48 for 5 before a sensible partnership between new player Ranathunga (37) and their own Nalin (28) helped them to a final score of 136.
The Lions’ openers Kumara (39) and Sadun made sure there were no alarms with an excellent partnership of 73. Nalin (19) kept the momentum going, and Lions were able to comfortably reach their target in the 17th over, with Sadun unbeaten on 55.
The earlier matches were very one-sided affairs. In the first game Nicosia Tigers were no match for Punjab Lions and were bowled out for 85, with captain Faysal topscorer with a lucky 25. For the Lions the bowling honours were taken by Kulwinder (3-11), captain Tiwari (2-11), Sushil (2-15) and Guri (2-19).
Despite good spin bowling by Shabbi (2-13), Punjab Lions easily knocked off the runs in 9 overs, thanks to a rapid 30 in 9 balls, including four sixes, from Guri, and unbeaten innings of 26 by Zeeshan and 21 by Sonu.
The second game followed a very similar pattern. Despite a breezy 29 by captain Benojir, Nicosia Fighters succumbed to 58 all out, with left arm spinner Ravi taking the amazing figures of 6 wickets for 8 runs in his four overs. Yamin and Waqar chipped in with two wickets each.
Moufflons needed less than 7 overs to win the game by 9 wickets, with an unbroken half-century partnership by Mehran (24) and Gursewak (32).