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Runs galore on opening day of Cyprus T20

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A Sri Lankan batsman getting into difficulties at Happy Valley

The 2022 CCA BAOFinancial T20 Cup got under way on Sunday with two high-scoring matches at Ypsonas, and two where the teams found run-scoring rather more difficult at
Happy Valley.

It was there that the reigning champions Punjab Lions got off to a flying start with a comfortable 6-wicket win over new team Cyprus Super Kings, whose total of 104 owed much to Manikanta Ranimekala’s 43. Tejwinder Singh followed up his miserly bowling (only 4 runs conceded in 3 overs) for Punjab Lions by hitting a decisive 46 as they reached their target inside 15 overs.

The other match in Group C, also at Happy Valley, produced something of a surprise, as established team Sri Lankans from Nicosia were beaten by new boys Napa Kings. After restricting Sri Lankans to 125 for 6, the team from Ayia Napa knocked off the runs for the loss of 6 wickets, with Karanvir Singh to the fore with 48.

It was a different story at Ypsonas, where both matches saw a high-scoring first innings which was too much for the opposition to chase down. Limassol Sri Lanka Lions got their season in Group B off to a perfect start by smashing 274-4 from their 20 overs, with a century for Chamal Sadun (114) and 52 by Suresh Gedara.

Their opponents Kings XI Punjab, another new team, made a spirited reply of 195-6, with 37 by opener Sukhjinder Singh, and runs in the middle order from Lovedeep Singh (69 not out) and Ravi Gill (48).

In the afternoon game in Group A Black Caps continued the run spree with a total of 198-9, which had looked highly unlikely early in the innings, until they were rescued by number 7 and 9 batsmen Parminder Singh and Resham Singh who scored 54 not out and 48 respectively, to give their team a winning score. Opponents Royal CC mustered 133-9 in reply – a tough introduction to the league for them.

Next week sees five matches. In Group A Black Caps will try to continue their impressive start as they take on Limassol Moufflons. In Group B Cyprus Moufflons and Nicosia Tigers face each other in their season openers, and Sri Lanka Lions will try to keep up their high scoring exploits against Limassol Bangladeshis.
Meanwhile Group C has two intriguing contests – the keenly contested Limassol derby between Qalandars and Zalmi, and a heavyweight clash between Sri Lankans and Punjab
Lions.

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