TRNC Cricket Club hit Nicosia for 6
A remarkable turnaround in fortunes put the TRNC Cricket Club’s hands firmly back on the Creditwest North Cyprus League trophy.
Following the disappointment of the previous match, team manager Nigel Holman had individually emailed each team member with a photograph of the impressive Creditwest league winners and player’s trophies, saying Sunday’s match was a must win game and if they wanted their first ever piece of silverware they would need to put in the performance of their lives. After the game, a smiling and very relieved Holman said every player had been amazing and done exactly that.
The TRNC faced a huge task, if defeated, Nicosia C.C. claimed the title. Even if the home side won, they had to prevent the visitors from getting the moderate 7 batting/bowling points they needed to put the league beyond the North’s grasp and leave Limassols Moufflons and themselves battling it out for top place.
Following a delayed start due to an overrunning football match, the cricket was reduced to 18 over/side and finally got under way at 1.30pm. TRNC again won the toss and put Nicosia into bat. The North’s outstanding opening bowlers Jan Wali Khan and Sajjad Kamal soon reduced them to 33 for 4. However, like the previous week, the visitor’s middle order of Bob Randall 25 and Dan Brown 37 swung the match away from the TRNC bringing their total to 104 for 4 with 6 overs remaining. Scorer Ian Fell said he thought a formidable total of around 165 was on the cards. Then the turnaround began, the big safe hands of Sajjad Kamal catching off Rehmat and another skied catch by Arabshah this time with Sajjad’s bowling, saw both batsmen return to the pavilion. The game’s fortunes quickly swung again with wickets quickly falling and only one further batsman managing to trouble the scorers. With one ball of the innings remaining, Jawad did the basics right, bowling straight and full taking the last wicket for a very gettable total of 109 and importantly only earning the visitors 3 batting league bonus points. The inning’s highlights being Janwali Khan taking out the top order with 4 for 19 and Tad Haigh’s acrobatics behind the stumps on a particularly difficult wicket to keep on.
Captain Danish Afridi’s midweek training was paying off with much improved bowling accuracy, but he still worried if the work done on taking quick singles had sunk in, he knew it could be the difference between winning and losing.
The usual TRNC pair of classic styled Tad Haigh 10 and explosive Rehmat Khattak 32 did their job as openers. Followed by Bilal Muhamad’s 32 not out, including a match changing over of 19 with 2 sixes and a four took the game away from the visitors. From then on the game looked beyond Nicosia, so the focus changed to league bowling points. The maths were simple, the North had to get the remaining 16 runs in 5 overs without losing a further 5 wickets. To give them 30 points, knock their visitors off the top of the league and put the destiny of the trophy firmly in back in their hands. A win in next Sunday’s match against Moufflons, will end their campaign with a unassailable lead of 97 points, the Creditwest Cup would be theirs and they would be holding it up high.
Afterwards a relieved Afridi said the guys had been magnificent, they had concentrated so very hard, right down to the last ball, making sure they polished off the final runs in 4 overs without further loss.
The TRNC Club is hoping for lots of support at 11am Pia Bella Stadium for their decisive 30 over/side game this Sunday 14th Dec.
Mark Polglase b.Janwali Khan 4
Andy Cole b.Janwali Khan 1
Salaka Lokumarge b. Sajjad Kamal 1
Ywal Williams c.Tad Haigh b. Janwali Khan 11
Seb Pollington c. Shazzad b. Janwali Khan 0
Bob Randall c.Sajjad Kamal b. Rehmat Khattak 25
Dan Brown c. Arabshah b. Sajjad Kamal 37
Jimmy Corthill Not Out 1
Lawrence Fitzpatrick b. Rehmat Khattak 0
Arun Ravat b. Jawad Ahmad 0
David Fahrenholz b. Jawad Ahmad 0
TOTAL 109 all out
Tad Haigh c. Andy Cole b.Lokumarge 10
Rehmat Khattak LBW b. Randall 32
Bilal Muhamad NOT OUT 32
Jawad Ahmad b. Randall 4
Shakir Khan NOT OUT 10
TOTAL 110 for 3