Thunder strike down Sri Lankans to win T20 final
In perfect conditions at Happy Valley on Sunday 19 November the top two teams met in the final of the CCA Autumn T20 competition. Sri Lankans and Nicosia Thunder had won all the group matches they played, and an exciting final was in prospect, as Amila won the toss and decided to bat first.
However, the Thunder bowlers proved to be too strong on the day. The quicker bowlers – Shah, Changaiz and Shoaib – soon took the first four wickets for 22 runs. Then it was the turn of medium-paced Manan and spinner Shaby to take three wickets each, to restrict Sri Lankans to just 95 all out, with three and a half overs unused.
Only Sujantha (13) and Prasad, who topscored with 23 at number 10, made double figures. The total would have been far worse without a last-wicket stand of 27 by Prasad and Indika. Ayaaz Khan took three catches behind the wicket before handing over the gloves to Umar, who also caught one.
Sri Lankans' woes continued when they missed a chance off the first ball, then watched Sandy and Umair put on 54 for the first wicket. Shoaib then added a rapid 27 before he was well caught by Mangala, giving Nalin his second wicket.
Thunder reached their target for the loss of just two wickets, with seven overs to spare. Umair played the innings of the match with a classy 52 not out, including 2 sixes and 6 fours.
The match was well umpired by Tom Smith and Roger Fear, and in a nice gesture at the presentations Shoaib allowed his vice-captain Sandy to come forward to collect the trophy.