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Double century stand sees Lions through

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Riyaan's man of the match Muhammad Shoaib Ahmad

By Richard Boxall

The last four matches in the group stage of the CCA BAO Financial Autumn 2022 T20 Cup were played over the weekend, and the results confirmed the last five places in the quarter finals.

Pride of place must go to Sri Lanka Lions, who had to beat Nicosia Tigers to join them as qualifiers from group D, and faced an uphill task when the Tigers made 218-7 from their 20 overs, with Rasedul Hasan scoring 65.But the Lions made short work of the task, as Akila De Silva, who earlier took 3 wickets, and Chamal Sadun put on 206 for the second wicket.

Sadun fell for 99 (from 51 balls with 6 sixes and 9 fours), but Akila brought up his century with the winning hit, made from 47 balls with 5 sixes and 12 fours. Remarkably the Lions had more than 3 overs to spare as they won by 7 wickets to claim top spot in the group, ahead of Tigers on run rate.

In a crucial match in group A, Riyaan beat Black Caps by just 4 runs to claim top spot. Both teams plus Sri Lankan CC from Nicosia finished level on points and were separated only by net run rate. Black Caps did just enough to have a better run rate than the Sri Lankans.

Riyaan made 183-9 with Waqas Akhtar hitting 68 and Md Shoaib Ahmad 43, while Black Caps bowlers Chetan Sharma (4-23) and Rajesh Kumar (3-16) made life hard for them. Shoaib followed his batting with 2-19 with the ball to help restrict the Caps, for whom Bhupinder Singh made a great attempt with 74 from 36 balls. Needing 13 from the last over, Bhupinder hit 8 from the first two balls before being caught in the deep by Shoaib, and Riyaan managed to close out a narrow victory.

The other two games were in group C, where Cyprus Moufflons secured top position by beating Amdocs comfortably on Saturday. Moufflons’ top three were in the runs as they totalled 237-5. Minhas Khan (51) and Muhammad Husain (58) found a welcome return to form to put on 132 for the first wicket, before Mehran Khan continued his good season with 40 not out from 16 balls. Amdocs’ Vimal Khanduri took all 5 wickets to fall before top-scoring with 43, but his team fell well short on 151-6, with left arm spinner Riyaz Kajalwala taking the bowling honours with 3-30.

The next day Amdocs were in action again, against Kings XI Punjab. Captain Chaitas Shah’s 52 from 26 balls, with good support from Preetaj Deol and Srikanth Komiripalepu, took the score to 190-7, with Sukhjinder Singh taking 3-25 for the Punjabis, who subsided in reply to 94-9. Amdocs bowlers Abbas Kazi, Ashish Nath and Avinash Rane took three wickets apiece as they secured a 96-run win.

Amdocs. Nicosia Fighters and Markhor all finished level on points, but on run rate it was Markhor who progressed to the knockout stage.

The qualifiers for the quarter finals are:

Group winners – Riyaan, Punjab Lions, Cyprus Moufflons and Limassol Sri Lanka Lions.

Runners-up – Black Caps, Bazigar, Markhor and Nicosia Tigers.

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