The weekend’s cricket in the 2022 CCA #BAOGroup T20 Cup featured a 16-ball half century by a number 9 batsman, a century reached with three consecutive sixes, and a generally tough time for the bowlers under the hot sun.
Punjab Lions 217-9 beat Limassol Zalmi 195-7 by 22 runs
In the day’s first game Limassol Zalmi’s lack of discipline let them down as they conceded 40 extras and dropped several catches against Punjab Lions. Zalmi looked set for an upset when they reduced the Lions to 143 for 7, with three excellent catches by Zia Ur Rehman, but skipper Gurpartap Singh mixed good fortune with controlled hitting as his century single-handedly got his team up to a winning score.
The excitement was not over yet however, as Umar Shah led the Zalmi charge with 77. Once he was out, the required rate started to increase and although the batsmen kept trying, the task was just beyond them.
Riyaan 156-1 beat Limassol Moufflons 155 by 9 wickets
A young Limassol Moufflons team put up a creditable performance with the bat, Hamza Ali batting with a left-hander’s elegance for 53 to help his team to 155. Riyaan’s Sohail Khan picked up 3-33. Then Riyaan made short work of their chase, with classy batting from Waqas Akhtar (62 not out) and Awais Liaqat (63”) taking them to their target inside 12 overs.
Limassol Qalandars 222-9 beat Sri Lankans 180 by 42 runs
Performance of the day belonged to Qalandars, whose captain Muhammad Farooq led the way initially with 39. But when he was out at the start of the 16th over with the score 150-7, it seemed insufficient against a strong batting side. Enter Shayan Khan at number 9 to hit 5 sixes and 4 fours to reach his fifty from 16 balls, helping the total up to 222 and giving the team a chance of an upset.
Sri Lankans, or more particularly Akila de Silva, set off confidently and were initially well ahead of the required rate. But Akila was brilliantly caught on the boundary for 81, with the score 112-2 in the ninth over, and a procession of wickets followed until Sri Lankans were all out for 180. Jawad Ali Shah took three quick wickets at the end, and Farooq added three more to follow his fine innings. But there was no doubt the most significant impact on the game had come from Shayan’s explosive and unexpected innings.
Cyprus Moufflons 208-8 beat Sri Lanka Lions 183-6 by 25 runs
Cyprus Moufflons confirmed their passage to the final stages of the competition with a win over one of their nearest rivals. A strong scorecard with four batsmen making over 30, led by Zeeshan Sarwar’s 59, took Moufflons to a commanding score at the Happy Valley ground. In reply, with Roshan Lakmal and Sachithra Nalin both in the forties, Sri Lanka Lions were well poised at 135-2 after 14 overs. But once this pair were dismissed the following batsmen could not maintain the necessary rate and the innings subsided to a 25-run loss.
Black Caps 142 beat Nicosia Fighters 113-9 by 29 runs
Black Caps’ openers Pawandeep Paul and Rupinder Singh each made 38 as they put on 79 for the first wicket to get their team on the way to 142, with Nicosia Fighters’ “Jony” Sourav and Anowar Hossen taking three wickets each. But none of the Fighters’ batsmen could make any headway as their overs ran out 29 runs short of the Caps’ total.
Nicosia Tigers 87-4 beat Limassol Bangladeshis 86 by 6 wickets
The lowest score of the day was made by Limassol Bangladeshis who were dismissed for 86, due largely to the incredible figures of 5 wickets for 6 runs by Ataur Rahman of Nicosia Tigers, who knocked off the runs in just 9 overs for the loss of 4 wickets, thanks to Shakhawat Hossain and Abid Ali.
The tables are starting to take shape with teams having played 2, 3 or 4 games, and the leaders of Group A are currently Black Caps, while Cyprus Moufflons lead Group B. In Group C Punjab Lions and Napa Kings both have three wins from three games, and the pair meet in a vital match this coming Sunday.