Cyprus 2008

SARACENS CC V AMDOCS

The first touring side of the autumn were Saracens CC from the Enfield area of London, visiting Cyprus to take in the sun and the cricket.

Despite the same name the cricket club does not have any connection with the Sarcens rugby club. They were formed in 1929 and are basically a Sunday team who play friendly matches. They have previously visited Spain and Malta.

Though the forcast was for rain it was a bright and beautiful day at Happy Valley when they met an Amdocs side lacking several of their usual team but nevertheless a strong side. After winning the toss Saracens asked Amdocs to bat. A bright opening saw Amdocs reach 34 before losing their first wicket. The innings progressed steadily but became bogged down in the middle when tight spin bowling replaced the seam attack. At the halfway stage Amdocs had reached 66 for 5. Further tight bowling after the drinks break by 15 year old Richard 'Tricky' Young (25-2) , Robert 'Woody' Morgan (11-2) and captain Jason 'Cheese Manson restricted Amdocs to an all out total of 134.

In reply Saracens steadily made inroads into the required run rate but at the halfway stage had only reached 51 but for the loss of only one wicket. Jason Manson  (48no) then joined opener Greg Munday (42) and pushed Saracens to the brink but Amdocs fought back gamely and it wasnpt until the first ball of the last over that Saracens scored the winning run to come out victors by 6 wickets.

CYPRUS v SARACENS

In the first of three games against touring sides this October Cyprus took on a side of experience and youth from North London. Usually the UK touring sides bring a side of one or two stars supported by a solid caste. The Saracens fell into the mould with a  very effective opening bowling pair swinging the ball away. Anil and Bhatti opened for Cyprus but fell to the curse of Cyprus openers,both out with only ten runs between them. Sawar was now batting with Kashif, until Kashif saw his wickets sprayed by J Manson for 10. Some stability was needed and fortunately for Cyprus Sawar and Niroshan managed to reconstruct the innings with a partnership worth over 50 runs.

Both built steadilly without any grand gestures. Saracens replaced their medium pace with spin which contained the batting to 3 an over. Niroshan (19) was eventually stumped off spinner Young but not before the pair had built a platform from which the middle order might launch an attack in the last ten overs. Sawar started to open up supported by Mike K at the other end, but an injury forced him to retire, top scoring with 76.

Joined by Gill, Mike went after the bowling only to lop a catch to covers. Gill scored a quick 17 but despite best intentions no one managed to get on top of the Saracens bowling. The innings finished on 158-6. It had been a tough ride and Cyprus had worked hard for a defendable score.

Saracens openers Ayre and Archer started brightly only for Archer (6) to be caught by Kashif in a sharp slip catch off Mike Ks bowling. No 3 Manson J went for 4 caught behind off Niroshan. Although his partners had not contributed many runs, both partnerships had been worth 30 runs, with Ayre (43) doing most of the scoring.

When he was bowled by Kashif , it looked like the back of the Saracens batting was broken. Munday G batted nobly with the middle and lower order but noone was able to break out of the net that the Cyprus bowlers were pulling tight.

A late flourish from M.Bigby, scoring the only six of the Saracens innings , left his team on 123 -8 after 40 overs..

Cyprus batting

Anil 6, Bhatti 3, Sawar 76 (retired), Kashif 10, Niroshan 19, Mike K 6, Gill 17, Dilshan 4 no, Nalaga 1no, Vishnu and George P dnb.

Saracens bowling

Morgan R 8-22-1, Morgan J 8-35-2, Manson C 8-33-0, Bigby M 8-19-2, Young A 8-43-1.

Saracens batting

Ayre  43, Archer 6, J Manson 4, G.Munday 16, Dunn J 4, A Bigby  2, Barlow 11, Morgan 9, Manson C 5, A Young 2no, M Bigby 7 no.

Cyprus bowling

Mike K 8-15-1, George P 5-21-2, Niroshan 8-23-1, Kashif 6-18-3, Vishnu 5-8-0, Gill 4-7-0, Dilshan 1-5-0, Bhatti 3-14-2.

SARACENS V WSBA

Saracens played their last match of their tour against a WSBA side at Happy Valley. The 20 over match was played in a fine spirit. WSBA batted first and recorded a score of 104, everyone contributing to the score.

Weakened by the early return of their New Zealand players, Saracens lost wickets at too regular intervals finding themselves 76 all out off 18 overs. Nevertheless Saracens seemed happy with their tour and go home a llittle sunnier than when they arrived.