Historic win for Nicosia Tigers
Sunday 18 September saw the first “official” match at the Lakatamia Stadium in Nicosia, and it was also the first league match for the newly formed Nicosia Tigers, played against the reigning 40-over champions Mustangs.
Lakatamia Municipality and Rudolph Crasto have put in a lot of work to prepare the stadium for use, and the result is a potentially terrific centre for cricket in the Nicosia area. There is still a need to grass the outfield, but already the venue is proving to be convenient and very popular for the Nicosia based teams.
Mustangs’ new skipper Rupinder won the toss and chose to bat first, then stood horrified at one end as five of his teammates were quickly dismissed, followed by himself, leaving Mustangs in dire straits at 38 for 6. The cause of their problems was the Tigers’ opening bowling attack, and especially Hanny who was quick and accurate in taking four of these wickets, and eventually finishing with excellent figures of 6 for 17.
Mustangs were saved from humiliation by a stand of 112 for the seventh wicket between Aftab, who played sensibly for 40, and Kulwinder who played a more aggressive innings of 64, benefiting from a few dropped catches. Once these two were parted, the tail put up no resistance and Mustangs were all out for 151.
In complete contrast, the Tigers set off in their innings with no alarms, as Hanny (52) and Rasel (43) compiled a commanding opening stand of 113. The legspin of Rupinder threatened to turn the game round as he dismissed both, taking 4 for 42 as Tigers slumped to 142-6, which might have been worse if all chances had been taken.
A dramatic win for Mustangs seemed possible, but Tomal and Badsha finished the match off without further trouble, giving Tigers a 4-wicket win. Tigers gained 19 points from their first match, with Mustangs picking up just 5 bonus points.