Another first for the TRNC Cricket Association when last bank holiday their LADIES cricket team played !!!
Following an invitation from the South’s Cyprus Cricket Association a Ladies team was organised to play in a ladies 6-a-side tennis ball tournament at the Cyprus University in South Nicosia.
Until the evening before, when the team, put together by manager Lynn Holman first met, none of the ladies had ever played cricket and half were Turkish Cypriot and hadn’t even seen a game. An intense hour of bowling coaching with Mike Roberts and batting by Nigel Holman and the team began to see what they had let themselves in for.
The Girls’ big day arrived sooner than the North’s players wanted, with all of them regretting having agreed to give it a go and several admitting to feeling sick with worry. Another hour’s coaching in a car park on the Greek side and the ladies were as ready for action as they ever were going to be, having had almost no time to practice.
In the South, ladies cricket is very popular amongst the Indian Sub-Continent students and workers, with regular competitions. All the neutrals at the packed ground shouted for the North’s team, but their players and supporters knew it would be extremely tough.
Hale Silifkeli was appointed Captain and set about organising the bowling and batting orders by asking the nervous players who was brave enough to give it a try.
The TRNC side were first drawn to play a very fit students team Super Six. Winning the toss Hale asked them to bat and they reached 32 runs in their 5 overs. Val Maskell’s accuracy resulted in the only bowling success and she went wild when she took the North’s first ladies’ wicket in history. In reply, with little understanding of running between the wickets and against all the odds they hit 22 without loss, Cecily Waddington scoring 6 and Damla Akmandor a brilliant 12. Lynn Holman was thrilled, admitting she had imagined them being skittled for under 10.
The second match in the team’s cricketing career saw them pitched against a slightly older but much stronger side called Super Hit. Again the South batted first, this time rattling up an impressive 52 runs. Coach Holman said thanks to Mike Robert’s previous evening’s work with the ladies, their bowling was infinitely straighter than he expected. This time it was Amy Hearn who hit the stumps for the only wicket of the innings. The target was daunting and with the inning being only 5 overs, attack from the first ball was the instruction. Hale Silifkeli rapidly got 3, then aggressive hitting from Amy Hearne 14 and Nurdan Atamtürk 6, set up an unlikely last over with 16 needed and Cecily Waddington and Val Maskell at the crease. The Super Hit’s best bowler pinned them down, they tried everything, but only 2 each was scored and on the last ball Damla Akmando came in and dramatically hit her own wicket leaving the North 11 runs short.
With smiles from everyone and endless requests for photographs from the South’s student players, the team headed back North, very happy and promising to have another game soon.
TRNC Ladies cricket team.