The first Cyprus edition of the European Cricket Series was played at Ypsonas during the past week.
It is a new event, organised and televised by European Cricket Network, in which all the competing teams played each other twice in 10-over matches, followed by an eliminator and the final on Friday.
It turned out to be an exhibition of sheer brutality by the Punjab Lions, who overwhelmed all opponents in emphatic style. In total they scored 881 runs in just 53 overs – a scoring rate of over 16 runs per over. None of the other teams came close to challenging their superiority in a format that seemed tailor-made for their aggressive style of batting.
Most of their own team did not even get a look in as the opening batsmen scored over 600 of their runs. Gurpurtap Singh hit out in his usual style to amass 242 runs, only once failing to pass 25. But he was still outshone by his partner Mangala Gunasekara, who was borrowed from Sri Lankans CC as they were not playing in this competition.
Mangala hit an astonishing 387 runs, with a top score of 96 not out, and three other half-centuries. The pair – both big powerful men who hit the ball vast distances - reserved their best for the final, when they put on 157 for the first wicket in 9 overs, taking the Lions to their highest 10-over total of 169 for one wicket.
The final – against the Nicosia Tigers, who managed 91 for 6 from their 10 overs, losing by 78 runs was watched by the Mayor of Limassol, Nicos Nicolaides, who kindly presented the trophies to the successful teams and players.