Sunday saw the first big upset in the 2019 CCA #MoneyGram T20 Cup, when the formidable Sri Lankans team were beaten by Nicosia Tigers at the Ypsonas cricket ground.
Sri Lankans usually prefer to bat first and rack up a large total to apply pressure on their opponents. On this occasion the tactic backfired, as none of their batsmen found any form, and a five-wicket haul for Tigers’ medium-pacer Manan helped restrict them to a modest total of 124 all out inside 17 overs.
Tigers relied on several useful contributions in their reply, and in a tense finish reached their target with 6 balls and 4 wickets to spare. The result confirms Tigers as the early leaders of group A, while Riyaan currently sit top of group B.
As well as the regular league games, Cyprus also hosts a number of touring teams each year, and this weekend it was the Hammer Bottoms from the south of England who came in search of fun, relaxation, a taste of Cypriot culture, and of course cricket.
They played two games at Happy Valley, Episkopi, where they enjoyed the picturesque cricket ground as well as friendly games of cricket against two of Limassol’s established teams. In the first game Limassol Sri Lanka Lions amassed 185 for 9 wickets, with the best batting coming from Sanju.
Hammer Bottoms were never seriously in the hunt for victory, but managed to bat out time to secure a draw at 104 for 9.
Next day Amdocs batted first and found the steady bowling and slow outfield quite restricting as they managed 145 for 9. The visitors also found it harder to score runs as they lost five quick wickets.
After a spell of mid-innings resistance, the tail collapsed against the legspin of Rahul, who added 3 wickets to his unbeaten 32 runs, and an all-out score of 44 left Amdocs winners by 101 runs.
Meanwhile potential Cyprus cricketers of the future were introduced to the game when Kato Polemidia primary school invited two coaches to provide taster sessions to seven groups of children of different ages. A busy and fun-filled day which hopefully will have sowed the seeds for a love of cricket in some Cypriot hearts!
This Sunday’s games: Eastern Cyprus v Moufflons and CTL College v Akrotiri, both at Ypsonas, and ESBA v Limassol Gladiators at Dhekelia.