|European Division 4: Cyprus, September 2009 2010|
Bowlers take Cyprus to the Division Four title
CYPRUS produced their best bowling performance of the week to win the European Division Four Championship on net run rate in Happy Valley.
The hosts tied with Switzerland at the top of the table, after both teams won four of their five games, and the earlier finish to the Swiss’ game against Luxembourg meant Cyprus knew exactly what they had to do to win the tournament.
If they restricted Finland to 135 or less, then their run-rate would be superior to the Swiss and they duly bowled out the Finns for 99 to win the game by 94 runs and win promotion to Division Three.
No batsman was able to dominate - Kapila Wickramathanthrigie was the game’s top scorer with 32 and that innings was spread over 32 overs as Cyprus, after winning the toss, took few chances. Syed Hussain kept his place at the top of the order and scored 24 off 21 balls as Cyprus put on 44 for the first wicket in eight overs. But the run-rate slowed down substantially on his dismissal.
Kashif Mushtaq scored 16 before he was Obaidullah Sadiqui’s first wicket in the 17th over and he added Anil Nair and Udumulle Sirthunga to his list of victims in the space of four overs to reduce Finland to 78 for four.
Dhanuka Agathocleous put some momentum into the innings with three fours and a six in his 26 off 33 balls, dominating the fifth wicket stand before Wickramathanthrigie was caught on the boundary. Dineja Agathocleous hit a run-a-ball 26 and with Sarwar Bashir hitting 30 from No 9, before he was Bilal Khan’s third victim.
The total always seemed too many for Finland and the Switzerland team, who watched much of the second innings from the boundary, were just hoping they could total 136. Two wickets for 12 runs in the first six overs was just the start Cyprus wanted but the Finns gave the Swiss hope with a second wicket stand of 41 between Zahid Kamal and Shabir Seerzad.
Palawatha Janaka ended the partnership, when he bowled Kamal and when two more wickets fell for the addition of just nine runs, Cyprus scented overall victory. Kashif Mustaq took the wicket of Sheerzad and went on to finish with four for 26 while Michael Kyriacou took three for 26, the last wicket to a brilliant catch at mid-off by Sirithunga, fittingly, winning the match and the championship.
The only personal disappointment was Wickramathanthrigie’s dismissal for 32. With another 14 runs he would be have been the highest run-scorer in the tournament and his finishing average was 99.66.