By KEREM HASAN
New captain Gina Mapp said it was a day of extremes, with the team arriving at the Lakatamia ground in South Nicosia to find the pitch knee-high in weeds with swarms of bees enjoying the wild flowers and vicious, spikey seeds that stuck into the ball, making it totally unplayable.
A rapid transfer was then made to a nearby astro pitch.
The first of two games saw the TRNC win the toss to put their South Cyprus opponents in to bat.
With each wicket being scored as -5 runs. the South Cyprus first pair finished on 6. A runout in the next over followed by a maiden from Lindsey Brown and a catch by Steph Routledge off Gina Mapp’s first ball left Masooma and Madina in deep trouble with a team score reduced to naught.
The final pair of Kirstin and Maria tried hard but another catch by Routledge, this time off Maskell, and a repeat of the first wicket with Maria edging to Holman off Routledge, gave a final team total of only 4 runs. The North’s travelling fans were heard to comment that it was ironic that the tightest bowler, Lindsey Brown, who only had one scoring shot off her overs, did not get a wicket.
Mapp was determined that the TRNC’s domination in the field was carried through to victory. She instructed her team to defend, knowing the only way they would lose was if they “threw away” their wickets. The opening pair of Lynn Holman and Linda Hurley carefully put on 25, which allowed Routledge 20, Maskell 6, Brown 30 and Mapp 10 to cut loose, giving a total of 91 and a huge win.
The TRNC’s next opposition was the talented Sri Lankans, a team they had always struggled to beat. The sub-continent side chose to bat and again Routlege first oversaw 2 wickets in successive balls. This game proved much tougher than the first, with some hard- hitting, but wickets from Holman, Brown and another one for Routledge kept the North in the hunt, chasing a total of 44. Holman 4 and an outstanding 20 from Norwegian debutant Rannweig, followed by Routledge 26, Maskell 5 - who saw little of the bowling - Mapp 4 and Brown 13 gave the North a 28-run victory.
Coach Nigel Holman said everyone had been amazed with the results of all the hard training, which had paid real dividends, particularly accurate bowling and sharp catching which took pressure off the batting.
The celebrations of the TRNC’s first festival clean sweep started a George’s Café immediately upon returning to Girne.
The next coaching session is on Saturday May 6 at 11am and players new to the game are very welcome. For more information call: 0533 8332069.
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