Creditwest Cricket League Final
Umpire George Ward excitedly described, last Sunday’s Creditwest T20 Cricket final, as one of the best finals he had ever witnessed, nothing short of a classic.
Two outstanding teams, both resplendent in their new kits, Gentlemen of Girne took on the Lefkoşa Fighters at the Alsancak Stadium. Before the match, scorer Ian Fell explained, the winner would need in excess of 140 as the bounce was very even and the pitch was playing particularly well.
Girne were soon amongst the Capital’s boys, with outstanding paceman Khattak dismissing the first 3 batsmen for 5 runs. Naqi 17 and Bilal 14 fought back, before spinner Shahzad removed both of them with the score on a modest 64. Osman 11 and Farman 9 resisted for a while, before the latter was bowled by Shahzad for his 4th wicket, and the innings petered out at 82.
By the interval, there seemed little doubt the man of the match would go to Khattak, with a spell of genuine class bowling and figures of 14-4.
Sitting in the warm sunshine, the spectators sat back to enjoy the local side’s expected cruise to victory, becoming the Creditwest League Champions and having the honour of representing North Cyprus against the Champions of South Cyprus in the All Cyprus Final on 13th December.
Openers Captain Danish Afridi and Rehmat Khattack looked comfortable reaching 16 without any difficulty. Then the heavens fell in on Girne, a mere 4 overs later, the slow clever bowling of Imram Ali had ripped them apart. With 8 wickets falling for a remarkable 14 runs leaving the total on only 28. Shahzad 21 and tail enders Jan Wali 10 and Sajjad Kamel 12 weren’t about to surrender. Abandoning the gun-ho ill-discipline of the higher order they set about a comeback. With no pressure to score quickly, a dour determination to first survive was adopted, then to gradually pick off the runs. After 8 overs of intense concentration the 3 nearly heroes had got to within 6 runs of Lefkoşa, when Naqi hit number 11 batsman Shjjadpads, his anguish could be felt throughout the Stadium, as Umpire Kevin Horsford raised his finger and Girne’s dreams were over.
Imran Ali won the man of the match, Aun from the Cyprus All Stars the bowler of the tournament trophy and Doğanköy’s Sikander the batsman of the tournament.
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