TRNC Cricket Club starts a
The TRNC C.C. opened the new Creditwest North Cyprus Cricket League with a commanding win over the pre-tournament favourites Moufflons from Limassol, at the Bellapais Stadium last Sunday.
The visitors agreed with Team Manager Nigel Holman when he said, cricket around the World enjoys some beautiful grounds, but few could compare with the Bellapais Stadium snuggling between the green mountains and the sea. Others in the crowd were heard to say, George Ward and Keith Lloyd in their formal Umpires attire added the final touches to the scene.
It was particularly historical for an 80 year old Turkish Cypriot, who was new to cricket, he said it was exciting the match was between a team from Limassol where he was brought up in the South and was being played where he now lives in the North.
TRNC captain Danish Afridi has made a habit of winning the toss and again asked the visiting team to bat first. Cyprus Cricket Association Chairman Muhammad Husain opened the innings and soon made his genuine class show. Quickly hitting 3 fours and a six, taking the score with fellow opener Tony Papadorolous to 38 before a superb, match changing flat throw by Jawad Ahmad from cover saw him run out for 22. There was some further resistance from Sonu 24, Muhammad 16 and Mulkern, 12 but wickets consistently fell and the TRNC took control. The pick of the bowlers from a very talented side, was the ever smiling Jan Walli with 4 for 37 and spinner Zafran Khan 3 for 3 in a devastating spell of 1.3 overs. Finally, the Moufflons were dismissed for 112 runs, only using 19 of the 30 overs available.
The target set never looked enough, the TRNC side knew steady batting at 3.8/over would see them comfortably home. Not out opener Tad Haigh knew this better than anyone, with a carefully crafted 37 including 21 singles. The home side lost a couple wickets, before a very different type of batman in Zafran Khan strode to the crease to punish the visitor’s bowling, hitting a quick fire 35 including 5 fours and a mighty six. The required 113 came in 21 overs and the TRNC won by 8 wickets, putting them top of the league with 60 league points and the Moufflons 10.
Walli 6-0-37-4, Khattak 4-0-37-0, Kamal 4-2-7-2, S.Khan 2-1-7-0, Adshad 1-0-14-0, Zafran 2-0-3-3
Muhammad 6-1-19-1, Rakib 3-0-20-0, Usman 6-0-30-1, Riyaz 4-0-17-0, Roberts 2-0-16-0, Wood 1-0-1-0
The talk afterwards was all about if the TRNC side had been allowed to compete in the South Cyprus League, would they have won it. Richard Boxall Secretary of the Cyprus Cricket Association thought a semi-final position highly likely and progression to the final very possible, then with a little luck anything could have happened. Communication officer Ian Fell just hoped those from the South claiming the top team in Cyprus crown would come to the North to find out who really is the best.
The next fixture in the Creditwest North Cyprus League is in the Buffer Zone next Sunday the 2nd November between the Nicosia C.C. and the Moufflons.
Pictures courtesy of Lynn Holman.