Black Caps gained a narrow victory in the top match in the eastern group of the 2021 CCA #BAOFINANCIAL T20 Cup on Sunday.
Their match at Happy Valley pitted them against Sri Lankans, with both teams joint top of the group going into the match.
Black Caps struggled to 110 for 5 from their 20 overs against some tight Sri Lankan bowling, with Kapila Hemantha especially economical, conceding only 6 runs from his allocation of 4 overs. In reply Mangala Gunasekara led the way towards a seemingly easy target with 31, but received little support from the rest of his team in the face of steady Black Caps bowling, led by Rajinder Singh (3-13) and Parminder Singh and Waqas Akhtar, who each took 2 for 11 from 4 overs.
In an exciting finish Sri Lankans were bowled out for 102, leaving Black Caps clear at the top of the table.
Riyaan jumped above Sri Lankans into second place after a convincing win over Singh Is King. The Paralimni-based team made a respectable 155 for 7, but this was no problem for the run machine Rehman, whose 76 helped Riyaan to a 7-wicket victory with four overs to spare.
The other match in this group was a high-scoring affair between two rival Nicosia teams, the Tigers and the Fighters, and against the form book it was the Fighters, who were previously without a win this season, who prevailed.
Iftekhar Jaman’s 71 led the Tigers to a total of 202 for 9, but he was outshone by Abdullah Al Tasmin, whose 92 took the Fighters to a dramatic last ball win by 4 wickets to lift them off the foot of the table.
In the western group Cyprus Moufflons tightened their grip on top spot with a hard fought win over Limassol Zalmi. Nasser Ahmad hit 54 as Zalmi tried to chase down Moufflons’ 155 all out, but in the end his side fell short at 128 for 9.
The other match in this group did not last long. Limassol Qalandars bowled out Limassol Bangladeshis for 42 inside 13 overs, before knocking off the runs in just 16 balls. Jawad Ali Shah took two wickets and hit 34 not out from 12 balls to claim the man of the match award.
On Saturday in the 2021 CCA #BAOFINANCIAL 40 Over Cup presented by Abbeygate Insurance, Black Caps ran up a total of 279, led by Paul Pawandeep’s 63. In reply Cyprus Eagles CTL could only muster 128, losing by 151 runs. The result moves Black Caps into second place ahead of their match with Amdocs this Saturday, while unbeaten Moufflons lead the way.
This Sunday will see a further five games in the T20 league, including the top two in each group facing each other. In the eastern group Black Caps play Riyaan at Ypsonas, while in the west the two teams with one hundred per cent records – Cyprus Moufflons and Cyprus Eagles CTL – meet at Happy Valley.