Cricket in Cyprus has started again after a break in the schedule due to coronavirus restrictions and extreme heat, and the CCA BAO Financial T20 Cup is approaching its climax.
The four semi-final positions are now settled after the weekend’s matches at the Ypsonas cricket ground, and Punjab Lions, Riyaan, Moufflons and Limassol Sri Lanka Lions will be the teams to contest the trophy.
On Sunday Riyaan confirmed top spot in their group in a high-scoring match against Nicosia Fighters. Opening batsman Rehman was again in scintillating form, hitting an unbeaten 170, with 15 sixes and 11 fours, as his team amassed 270 for one wicket, with good support from Wellage (48) in a partnership of 219.
Fighters made a good fist of chasing down an improbable victory target and came out all guns blazing. Taskin (68) and Alvi (76 not out) both hit their maiden half-centuries as Fighters reached a creditable 207 for 7. For Riyaan, Ram picked up three wickets. Rehman followed up his batting with two wickets and, inevitably, the man of the match award.
In the day’s other match Sri Lanka Lions secured their semi-final spot by beating defending champions Nicosia Tigers by 35 runs. A century opening partnership between Sujith (51) and Sadun (34) helped the Lions to a score of 151 for 6 from their 20 overs. Jaman hit 31 as the Tigers chased their target, but bowlers Nalin (3 for 9), Ruwan and Sujith ensured the Sri Lankan team had a comfortable victory. Sujith’s all-round performance earned him the man of the match award.
Prior to the league matches there was a midweek 10-over tournament organised and televised by the European Cricket Network, which was won by Riyaan in a closely contested final against CTL Eagles after a few days of intense competition between the five participating teams.
Riyaan will now be confident of also adding the T20 Cup to their trophy cabinet – the next few weeks will provide some fascinating cricket.
Entries for the next competition, the Autumn T20, close on September 24. Any teams wishing to apply should contact [email protected] by that date.