March 11, 2018
National Team hopefuls got together for the first training session in preparation for the European Qualifiers to be held in The Netherlands in August / September later in the year.
On a clear sunny day, the smile from the players faces disappeared - just like the clouds vanished after a wet February - when Azan Baig started the warm up drills.
Fortunately, the sympathetic Azan kind-heartedly concluded the drills before He had to resuscitate any concussed victim.
Nevertheless, the merciless Muhammad extended the ordeal; first with a game of quick hands and then with a game of hand hockey.
The exhausted group was given a respite to quench their thirsts before they got involved in fielding drill with the aim of improving ball pickups, under-arm throwing, over arm throwing, catching, backing up, and executing run outs.
Later on, the group got involved in a drill that involved running between the wickets, under-arm / over-arm catching, and effecting run outs.
Once the drill completed, the individuals were timed on running between the wickets. With Dilan, the clear winner as He completed his 3 runs test in mere 10 seconds.
The morning session concluded with more fielding drills, involving high catches and short catches.
The afternoon session saw the Cyprus XI took on the 2017 Lakatamia T20 Winners, The Eastern Cyprus Cricket Club – also known as The Pandas.
Cyprus batted first and thanks to Fahad Khan’s brilliant opening knock, Harvinder Singh’s efficient fifty, Mangala’s laboured innings, and Azan’s late cameo, managed to post 203 for 8 wickets in 20 overs.
In reply, the Pandas found it difficult to score against a hostile Azan Baig and a very accurate Shoaib Ahmad. Depen Gurung top scored for the Pandas with 63 runs as the innings closed on 130 runs.
Cyprus XI, played with discipline and despite a long day out, put together a convincing effort. Though, it was only the first outing together for the group, the players gelled well and were full of positive energy.
The team will assemble next on April 7th at Happy Valley when they will take on the touring Bedworth CC.