Television coverage is proving to be a mixed blessing for Cyprus cricketers.
On the positive side, it is giving a platform to showcase some fine individual performances, such as Kamal Raiz’s excellent bowling for Sri Lanka Lions and Mehran’s wonderful century for Moufflons on Sunday at the Ypsonas cricket ground.
On the other hand, it also highlights the poor fielding standards of many teams. Numerous dropped catches, misfields, overthrows, lack of backing up – all these faults are cruelly exposed to the viewers and give a poor impression of cricket on the island.
Despite these flaws, Sunday did provide the best match of the season so far, as Moufflons chased down CTL EuroCollege’s impressive score of 181 for 5, which relied on Amandeep’s 61, Raja’s 45 not out, and a helping hand from the fielders.
After losing their openers cheaply, Moufflons were able to enjoy yet another superb innings from Mehran – surely the most consistent batsman in Cyprus over recent seasons – as he hit 7 sixes and 11 fours in his 61-ball knock. He received good support from Zeeshan in an unbroken stand of 93 as the target was reached with 7 balls to spare.
While Moufflons got away with their fielding lapses, Sri Lanka Lions were not so fortunate. They did well to bowl out the group leaders, Punjab Lions, for 136, with Guri hitting a typically robust 41 off 18 balls, but it should have been so much less if they had held a fraction of their chances.
Kamal Raiz bowled an inspired 4 overs to capture 5 wickets for 24, well supported by Ruwan’s 3 for 27. However, in face of Punjab Lions’ tight bowling, the Sri Lankan batsmen could not build on Sadun’s 43, and fell 13 runs short on 123 for 7 at the end of their 20 overs.
Nicosia Tigers were too strong for Amdocs, winning by 27 runs. Sakhawat (40) and Roman (36) were the chief runscorers for Tigers, and for Amdocs Gaurav and Chaitas made thirties, but the tight bowling of Manan and Jaman ensured that the result was not in doubt.
In group 1 Punjab Lions have finished their fixtures with a 100 percent record and will play in the semi-finals. All the other teams in the group still have a chance to progress with them.
Moufflons have joined Riyaan on 8 points in group 2, but from one game more. Again, all teams still have the possibility to reach the semi-final stage.
Another three matches will be staged at Ypsonas next Sunday, starting at 8.00, 11.30 and 3.00.