The sound of leather on willow returned to North Cyprus last Sunday the 6th March, heralding in the Summer and the return of the Creditwest Cricket League.

Cricket’s Alsancak home saw two closely fought matches, which Scorer Susan Turner described as the perfect exciting start to the new season

Association Chairman Nigel Holman explained to us, North Cyprus now has 7 strong teams competing, with 4 teams from Lefkoşa and one apiece from Famagusta, Karaoğlanoğlu and Girne. In previous seasons, the 3 clubs sides have dominated the University teams, but the first round games proved the gap had hugely narrowed. His prediction before the first match had been either Gentlemen of Girne, the Cyprus Stars or the Lefkoşa Legends would be crowned Champions at the end of May, but he admitted he may now need to eat his words.

NEU’s Khan being bowled by Lefkoşa Legend’s Saad
NEU’s Khan being bowled by Lefkoşa Legend’s Saad

In the morning, Lefkoşa’s Middle East Technical University managed a below average score of 91, with only Mohsin being noticeable hitting 3 fours and a six in his 21. However, to everyone’s surprise, including the Association’s photographer Mike Turner who remarked the Cyprus Stars would stroll it, the METU students weren’t about to give up. Tight bowling quickly got its reward, reducing the much fancied Stars to 56 for 8, but then the classy Zafar 18 and hard hitting Arsgad 20 came to the crease and the students’ grip on the match slipped away. The Cyprus Stars finally reached the total without further loss and with 8 balls remaining, giving them 30 Creditwest League points to METU’s 6.

The afternoon saw an even closer battle. The Near East University won the toss and chose to bat, achieving an impressive 152 for only 3, with Sohail Zakaria top scoring on 81. A shock result looked likely in what became a tense struggle between 2 very good sides. The experience of the Lefkoşa Legends began to show, as they always kept well ahead of the run rate, the only question being would they be bowled out by the penetrative NEU attack. Finally, with only 2 wickets remaining they crossed the winning line to claim 30 Creditwest points to NEU’s 8.

This Sunday (13th March) Creditwest Cricket League matches continue at the Alsancak Stadium:

10.00              Middle East Technical Uni vs        Eastern Med Uni

13:30              Near East Uni                                   vs        Cyprus International Uni

For the latest information, please visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Cricket Club Facebook page click here or by telephone:  0533 8248999 and email: nigel@nigelholman.com

Desperate drive by METU’s Nabeel fails to save him