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Satish helps Royal vanquish Super Kings in Cyprus Cup

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Royals enjoyed their best victory since joining the Cyprus cricket league. At this early stage of the season they sit second in the table, behind only the in-form Amdocs

In the 2022 CCA BAOFinancial 40-over Cup on Saturday, Royal CC vice-captain Satish Bardwaj took 5-19 and Muhammad Hamza 3-12 to bowl out Cyprus Super Kings for just 61 at the Happy Valley cricket ground.

The runs were quickly knocked off by Jeevan Lamsal (36 not out) and Amandeep Singh (22 not out) for a 9-wicket win – Royal’s best victory since joining the Cyprus cricket league. At this early stage of the season they sit second in the table, behind only the in-form Amdocs.

Next day the semi-finals of the 2022 CCA BAOFinancial Summer T10 Cup were played at the Ypsonas cricket ground, both matches featuring a Nicosia team against one from Limassol, and both being won quite comfortably by the team batting first.

Nicosia Tigers powered their way to 152-3 against Limassol Qalanders at a scoring rate of over 15 runs per over. Rasedul Hasan led the way with 73, including 7 sixes. Roman Mazumder made 35 and Iftekar Jaman 32 not out.

It was a formidable target, and Qalandars were not helped by losing two wickets in the second over, bowled by man of the match Rasedul Hasan, who finished with 3-12 from his two overs. Jawad Ali Shah and Prashant Patel (both 25) tried to revive the innings, and Sohail Ahsan Ahmed, coming in with only four overs left, hit 31 not out from 10 balls, but the final score of 128-7 left Qalandars 24 runs short. Iftekar Jaman and Aminul Islam each took two wickets for the Tigers, who appear to have hit top form going into the final.

The other semi-final produced an upset as Limassol Zalmi overcame Riyaan by 36 runs – a large margin in a 10-over game. Zalmi batted first and scored 120-6, with six batters getting into double figures. Faisal Khan top-scored with 27. Umar Farooq had good bowling figures of 2-15 for Riyaan.

Faced with a seemingly gettable score, the star-studded Riyaan top order failed miserably. Zalmi’s Babar Ayub, Faisal Khan and Hasher Ullah each took two wickets, and the only batters to produce any form for Riyaan were Shoaib Ahmed (22) and Ali Raza (21) as they reached a meagre 84-8 in their 10 overs.
Tigers and Zalmi will meet in the final on Sunday at Ypsonas, after the T20 final between Black Caps and Punjab Lions.

The last super-6 match in the T20 league was also played on Sunday, and although it could not affect the top two positions, it did produce the closest game of the weekend, as Sri Lanka Lions beat Cyprus Moufflons by 5 runs.

It was a game of fluctuations. The Lions were cruising at 157-2 in the 18th over, thanks to Chamal Sadun’s 84 in 47 balls and Sujith Tennekoon’s 41. But just when they would have hoped for a late push for a big total, they contrived to lose 6 wickets in the last 14 balls, for the addition of only 9 more runs. Credit must go to Moufflons bowlers Gurdeep Sharma (3-23) and Waqar Ali (3-30), but for the Lions it seemed a wasted opportunity.

In reply Moufflons lost their first four wickets for 62 but were ahead of the required run rate. The innings was stabilised by Gurdeep Sharma (48) and Lakhwinder Singh (24), and when both were out a further 30 runs were needed from 21 balls. But Roshan Lakmal and Chamal Sadun bowled tightly as wickets fell, including that of Muhammad Husain who had briefly given Moufflons hope.

Roshan’s figures were 3-37, while Sadun, who had a terrific all-round match, took 4-15 as Moufflons were all out for 162 with one ball left.

After next weekend’s T20 and T10 finals the next competition – the Autumn T20 league – will start at the beginning of October and will run alongside the already started 40-over league. A record 20 teams have signed up for the T20 league, demonstrating the increasing popularity of cricket in Cyprus.

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