The TRNC Cricket Club
Home Sweet Home win
By The TRNC Cricket Club
The TRNC Cricket Club celebrated its first home fixture with a resounding victory over the classy Nicosia English X1, at their new home ground at the Pia Bella Stadium last Wednesday.
Team Manager and Umpire Nigel Holman said, “standing in the middle looking around the ground, it had the charming feel of an English village match, but with brilliant sunshine”. The Pavilion comprised of two recently purchased large gazebos, which were packed with the teams & their supporters, whilst around 100 expats and Turkish Cypriots, sat under umbrellas around the boundary enjoying the action packed match.
The TRNC were delighted to have won an important toss and elected to bat, forcing their visitors to field in the high temperatures of early afternoon, which made it very tough for them, but they still managed to maintain their outstanding fielding for the entire 25 overs. The home side got off to a rocky start and were soon 45 for 4, losing Tad Haigh 9, Wajid Ali 8, Zafran Khan 0 and Danish Afridi 7. However, the middle order, then the tail rescued the day, particularly an outstandingly aggressive final not out partnership between Craig Reece 32 and Shahzad 65, including 8 fours and 5 huge sixes disappearing into the adjoining Cemetery and car park. The innings ended at 196 for 7, with the bowling in the heat having been shared by seven players, O.Lavia returning the best figures of 2 for 24 off his 4 overs.
|7.||Janwalle Khan||Run out||0|
|8.||Craig Reece||Not out||32|
|196 for 7
in 25 overs
The visitors were set a gettable but demanding total, needing to score at nearly 8 an over to win. Knowing they couldn’t afford a slow start, they looked to be positive from the first ball. However, they soon ran into trouble, collapsing to 21 for 3, having lost their openers cheaply for 1 and 4, then their most gifted player, Lavia batting at three, slipped and was left floundering half way down the wicket and was easily run out for 3. The Nicosia team never really recovered, falling further and further behind with the required rate, whilst also steadily losing more wickets. The only serious resistance was 18 coming from Tonbridge School 1st X1 player T. Pollington, who was on holiday visiting his parents. The final wicket fell at 60 and the TRNC celebrated their first Home win by 136 runs. The pick of the bowlers being Abrar Afridi with 3 for 10 in his 4 overs.
Nicosia English X1
|1.||E Noel||lbw||A Afridi||1|
|3.||O Lavia||Run out||3|
|4.||T Pollington||ct.||Jan Walli||b.||Reece||18|
|7.||S Pollington||Run out||0|
|8.||P Rennie||b.||A Afridi||1|
|9.||K Holiday||ct.||D Afridi||b.||A Afridi||9|
|10.||R Money||b.||Z Khan||1|
|11.||B Roach||Not out||4|
|60 all out in 17 overs|
Pitch Manager Tad Haigh together with scorer Ian Fell, admitted afterwards with relieved smiles, the game nearly hadn’t happened. Until lunch time the day before, the artificial pitch, which had been loaned by the Cyprus Cricket Association in the South, had been impounded by the North’s Customs Department due to the cricket club making an administrative error. Only after several visits and phone calls to senior officials did it get resolved.
In the best cricket tradition, after game the teams retired to the Pia Bella Hotel for well deserved cold drinks, match dissection, to congratulate each other on a great occasion and to arranged a follow up encounter, probably again at the Pia Bella Stadium at Christmas.
Anyone interested in finding out more about North Cyprus cricket, please contact Nigel Holman 0533 8248999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website click here and Facebook click here to see many more pictures.