On an exciting day’s cricket at Ypsonas, Nicosia Tigers and Moufflons upset the form book to progress to the final of the 2019 CCA #MoneyGram T20 Cup. Both had finished second in the group stage, but overcame group winners Punjab Lions and CTL Euro College in the semi-finals.
The match between the strong favourites Punjab Lions and Nicosia Tigers provided a gripping contest which was decided in the final over. The Lions won the toss and set off at a fast pace, taking advantage of some dropped catches as they raced to 66 for one off the first 7 overs.
Then, in the decisive over of the match, Umer Waleed bowled a three-wicket maiden, dismissing Gurpurtap Singh to a fine catch by Iftekar Jaman for 37, and clean bowling the prolific Kulwinder Singh and Hervinder Singh for ducks.
Despite Rocky’s aggressive 35, Lions were never able to post their usual dominant score, and had to settle for 149 all out, with Anowar Hossain and Abdul Manan also among the wickets. Umer finished with man-of-the-match figures of 4 for 20.
The game was in the balance throughout the Tigers’ reply, as wickets fell at regular intervals. Roman Mazumder hit a rapid 24, and Yasir Khan batted well for a crucial 39, but when he fell at 123 for 5, the outcome was still unsure. But sensible batting by Abdul Manan, Anowar Hossain and Anwar Qasim saw the Tigers home with just two balls to spare in an exciting finish.
The other semi-final was less close, after Moufflons amassed 178 for 7, thanks to captain Muhammad Husain’s aggressive 77 from just 42 balls, with solid support from Gurdeep Sharma (63). CTL did not help themselves by dropping a number of catches, but Nalluri Charan bowled well to take 2 for 17 from his four overs.
In reply CTL were kept in check by some good bowling from the Moufflons attack, in which Ravi Kumar (5 for 27) and Murtaza Yamin (3 for 30) stood out. Despite Majireddy Vijendher’s 25, the innings fell well short at 101 all out, leaving Moufflons in the final after many years of being the bridesmaid.
The final between Nicosia Tigers and Moufflons will take place on Sunday at 10am at the Ypsonas ground.