On another sun-baked day at Ypsonas, the batsmen dominated again as bowlers and fielders wilted in the heat.
By the end of Sunday’s three matches in the CCA BAO Financial T20 Cup, Riyaan and Moufflons had sealed their qualification from group 2 to the semi-final stage. In group 1 Punjab Lions could be joined by one out of Sri Lankans, Limassol Sri Lanka Lions and Nicosia Tigers, depending on the various permutations of results from the remaining games.
The day started with a blistering batting performance by Moufflons, who took advantage of a sloppy bowling and fielding display by Gladiators to compile a huge score of 242 for 6. Once again Mehran was the chief destroyer with 116, including 7 sixes and 16 fours. But Gladiators did themselves no favours by conceding 48 extras, as well as dropping several catches.
Despite Sadiq’s 60 Gladiators managed only 162, with left arm spinner Ravi continuing his marvellous season by taking 6 for 32.
CTL Eurocollege gave Riyaan a scare, after building a useful score of 174 for 8, based on solid contributions from Mani (44) and Raja (51 not out). They then held on to some good catches (two each for Sekhar and Alluri, one by Charan) to dismiss the strong Riyaan top order and reduce them to 90 for 4. Zeeshan and Wellage stopped the rot with a stand of 50, before, with overs running out and a close finish in prospect, Tayyab entered the scene.
Having earlier bowled a tight spell of 2 for 19, he now smashed his way to an unbeaten 35 off just 11 balls, to bring Riyaan victory with 7 balls to spare.
Amdocs boldly put Sri Lankans in to bat, and the ploy almost worked as they reduced them to 116 for 6, of which Akila made 49. But just when Amdocs must have sensed a victory, Nalin and Suresh came together in an unbroken partnership of 82. After consolidating carefully, they upped the scoring rate and brought their team to a formidable 198 for 6, with Nalin unbeaten on 48 and Suresh 24.
Amdocs were never really able to threaten this total, and with Mangala and Dilan both taking three wickets and a catch, they subsided to 142 all out. They can no longer reach the semi-finals, but their game against Sri Lanka Lions next week is an important one for their opponents.
Exciting new event in Cyprus cricket this week:
Monday meanwhile marks the start of a week-long cricket tournament – the Dream 11 European Cricket Series (Cyprus). The event represents the next stage of the partnership between the Cyprus Cricket Association and ECN – European Cricket Network, the organisation which will be broadcasting all the matches online.
Five teams will be taking part – Amdocs, Gladiators, Moufflons, Nicosia Tigers and Punjab Lions. Each will play all the other teams twice during the first four days, with the top four teams then progressing to the finals stage on Friday. Matches will be 10 overs per side – no doubt to the relief of the players in the midsummer weather!
Similar events are taking place in other European countries, such as Germany and Sweden, and the vision of ECN founder Daniel Weston is “to ignite domestic cricket in Europe as fast as possible so that we can reach our long-term goal of making cricket the number one summer team sport in Europe.”
“We believe live streaming will create more buzz about Cyprus Cricket and help our players showcase their talent to a wider audience,” added Muhammad Husain, Chairman of the Cyprus Cricket Association (CCA).
Meanwhile the ongoing BAO Financial T20 Cup continues to be played every Sunday, and will culminate in a final on 16 August. There will also be a weekend 10-overs competition starting in August with a final on 13 September.
Then the busy schedule continues immediately with the Autumn T20 cup, which will again be sponsored by BAO Financial. The teams for this will be divided into a first and second division, based on finishing positions in the current campaign. Any new teams wishing to enter the competition in September are invited to apply to firstname.lastname@example.org
All matches will be played at the CCA’s cricket ground at Ypsonas, near Limassol.