Shakhawat Rasel of Nicosia Tigers was the outstanding performer in the 2022 CCA BAOFinancial T20 Cup. His unbeaten 113 helped his team chase down the stiff target of 205 set by Kings XI Punjab at the Ypsonas cricket ground.
Rasel received good support from Roman Mazumder (56) as the Tigers achieved victory for the loss of only three wickets and with more than three overs to spare. Sukhjinder Singh had earlier scored a half-century for the Punjabi team, while Tigers’ Iftekar Jaman was the most successful bowler with 3-20.
Another high scoring game, with a close finish, was played by Nicosia Fighters and new boys Markhor. The Fighters made 204-7 with Abdullah Al Tasmin making 69 and Asif Mehmood taking 3-27 for Markhor, who then made a brave attempt, reaching 198-7 and falling short by just 6 runs, Shahzad Ahmed top-scoring on 46.
Another team in the runs was Riyaan, whose openers Rehman (47) and Waqas Aktar (37) were the main contributors in their 197-7 against another team in their first season, Royal, for whom Satish Bhardwaj made a good all-round effort with 3-22 with the ball and the top score for his team of 22, as they subsided to 105-9.
A new team who fared better was Napa Kings, who chased down Limassol Zalmi’s 152-7 – featuring 52 by Umar Shah – for the loss of only three wickets, with Shah Zeb (66 not out) leading the way.
Cyprus Moufflons had a fairly comfortable win over Amdocs. Scott Austin’s 58 and Zeeshan Sarwar’s 39 helped them to 153-5, before Murtaza Yamin led the way to victory with 3-21. For Amdocs Pankaj Parvesh made 37 but the team was all out for 114.
Limassol Qalanders bowled out Cyprus Super Kings for 131 with two overs wasted, skipper Muhammad Farooq and Atiq Ahmad Mughal both recording figures of 3-17. Then Qalandars knocked off the runs inside 14 overs for the loss of 4 wickets. Jawad Ali Shah hit a typically quick 38, but Farooq confirmed his man of the match status with an unbeaten 33 to see his team home.
Next Sunday sees two important games in Group C, which is shaping up as perhaps the most competitive. Sri Lankans and Cyprus Super Kings meet at Happy Valley, both looking for their first win, while at Ypsonas Napa Kings and Limassol Qalandars play what looks like the match of the day.
In Group A Limassol Moufflons meet Royal, and Markhor will have a stiff test against the strong looking Riyaan. Group B has King’s XI Punjab up against Cyprus Moufflons and Amdocs playing Sri Lanka Lions, who have started the season in great form.