Creditwest ALL CYPRUS
Cricket Festival a Great
The final’s decided on the last ball, after 90 cricketers from across Cyprus made last Sunday’s cricket extravaganza at Pia Bella Stadium one of North Cyprus’s most exciting day’s sport ever.
The record number of spectators who packed the specially provided covered seating, inspiring images of an English village club, were treated to a highly competitive battle between the Island’s best teams. As TRNC Cricket Secretary Tom Shirley said, the question was always, could the North’s dominant side Gentlemen of Girne overcome the South’s experienced champions Fellows C.C. full of international players?
The 9 teams were divided into 3 pool groups for their 5 over/innings games, producing semi-finalists: Taşkınköy (Lefkoşa) vs Cyprus All Stars (Karaoğlanoğlu) and Gentlemen of Girne vs EMU Warriors (Famagusta). The big surprise being there were no Southern teams in the semi-finals.
The first semi was close between the 2 sides tipped by Association Chairman Nigel Holman to lift the trophy, The All Stars batting first, hit a below par 42 with captain Aun top scoring on 10. Taşkınköy’s reply never got going despite openers Iqbal and Nisar smashing 3 huge sixes and ended on 35.
Next was EMU who had qualified as the best runner-up against most people’s favourites Girne. The university side suffered with their opponents’ accurate bowling, being dismissed for 20. A total the reigning champions took only 11 balls to pass.
Credit to the Festival’s organisers, the final started exactly on time at 6.35pm and a battle royal began between finalist Gentlemen of Girne and local rivals Cyprus All Stars. Losing the toss, the Stars’ were sent into face Girne’s bowler’s controlled aggression which only Faiz 11 managed to resist with his team finishing on a disappointing 46. The large crowd were supporting Girne and most only imagined celebrating victory. Even after 2 early wickets, with Shazzaad, nicknamed ‘master blaster’ coming to the crease and smashing 4,2,6,4,6 everything was under control. He went and then another wicket and after 11 hours of pulsating cricket, one run was needed and the top side in All Cyprus was to be decided on the last ball. Reliable Rehmat facing, rather than pushing for one he went for glory and lost his middle stump.
The crowd were stunned and the Cyrus All Stars danced for joy. As Communications Officer Ian Fell said, it had been a brilliant day’s cricket and it’s great we have a new name on the Creditwest trophy.
Cricket returns to the TRNC in September, the fixtures will be announced in August.