Last Sunday 29th April at the Ozanköy Stadium, the twin roars of Zeus, the Greek God of Thunder competed with those of North Cyprus Lions. The prize being the Creditwest All Cyprus Cricket Trophy.

For the third year in succession, the champions of South Cyprus have taken on those of the North. The question was could the TRNC side, The Cyprus Lions make it a hat-trick of wins by beating Nicosia Thunder?

The Lions were asked to bat first in the 30 over/innings match and faced a wild start. Within 2 overs they were on 34, with 24 extras being given away. By the 3rd over they had reached 43 without loss from more helpful bowling. As the English fans were heard to predict, a score of between 230 and 260 looked likely.

Then Nicosia changed their attack to the controlled medium paced pairing of Ali 31 for 5 and Mangla 45 for 4 changing the game, the North’s side were quickly reduced to 93 for 9 with only Imran Bajwa 16 having offered any resistance. Number 11 batsman Shahzad strode in to join Israr Butt at the crease, with a score of three figures looking beyond the team. However, this Lion wasn’t about to die, its tail swung aggressively from side to side as 37 were smashed in 4 overs to bring the final total to 130 and everyone could sense the game was alive again.

Nicosia Thunder approached their innings in a much calmer fashion, knowing they had plenty of overs to chase the low score. The classy Sandy 13, the hard hitting Shabbi 23, along with Manan 15 held the innings together as the North’s Usman 19 for 3 and Israr Butt 36 for 2 worked hard to take the wickets needed for victory. Half way through the visitor’s innings they succeeded in creating a mini collapse and the home sides supporters sensed a chance, but the target was always too low and the Greek side took the trophy home with 3 wickets in hand and 8 overs to spare. Afterwards, umpires George Ward and Richard Boxall felt the outstanding fielding of the well drilled Nicosia Thunder had been the difference.

Left to right – Umpire Richard Boxall – Cyprus Lions – Nicosia Thunder – Umpire George Ward

Nigel Holman, Chairman of the TRNC Cricket Association, told us, the Greek side deserved their first Creditwest All Cyprus Trophy win. Adding, despite having not encountered conditions like playing on a football pitch with a plastic wicket before, they adapted extremely well.

 

Match roundup

Cyprus Lions Cricket Club

Ghaffar                      c. Manan       b. Ali                           7

Imran Bajwa              c. Shabbi       b. Ali                           16

Irfan                                              b. Ali                           1

Usman                       LBW              b. Mangla                    5

Bilal                           c. Behzad      b. Ali                           0

Nasir                                              b. Mangla                    1

Anwar                       LBW               b. Mangla                    0

Farhan                      c. Siffat          b. Ali                           5

Imran                       LBW               b. Mangla                    8

Israr Butt                  LBW               b. Mangla                    29

Shahzad                    Not Out                                            12

Extras                                                                              46

……………………………………………………………TOTAL                        130

 

Nicosia Thunder

Sandy                         c. Shahzad     b. Usman                   13

Umair                         c. Bilah          b. Anwar                    0

Mangla                                            b. Usman                   0

Shabbi                       LBW               b. Usman                   23

Ali                                                  b. Israr Butt               0

Shoaib                       c. Nasir          b. Israr Butt               7

Manen                       LBW               b. Shahzad               15

Tayyab                      Not Out                                         14

Behzad                      Not Out                                         0

Extras                                                                            62

………………………………………………………..TOTAL                        134

 

Nicosia Thunder won by 3 wickets