Romania and Turkey are decent football powers in Europe. Do you also know that these two also play cricket? The chances are that many would not know. However, these kind of matches produce some freakish results. On Thursday, a new world record was created in the ongoing Romania Cup series at the Moara Vlasiei Cricket Ground at Ilfov County in Bucharest. Romania blasted 226/6 and in response, bowled Turkey out for 53 to win by 173 runs. The victory margin of 173 runs is the largest in the history of Twenty20 Internationals, breaking the previous record of 172 which was achieved by Sri Lanka against Kenya in the 2007 World T20 clash in Johannesburg.
The Romania Cup involves four other teams in Austria, Turkey, Czech Republic and Luxembourg. However, the match between Romania and Turkey witnessed something special.
Turkey chose to field but they were immediately on the backfoot when Sivakumar Periyalwar blasted 105 off 40 balls. The knock included 12 fours and six sixes and he was given good support by Rajesh Kumar who hammered 32 while Cosmin Zaviou hit 27. In response, Turkey started off in disastrous fashion with just two batsmen managing double digits.
Mehmat Sert top scored with 16 and Ali Kose hit 15 as Turkey were bowled out for 53. Rajendra Pisal took 3/4 in three overs while Cosmin Zaviou took 3/4. This was Romania's second win in the tournament after beating Austria by 31 runs in the opening game. Turkey had already gained notoriety in the first game when they were bowled out for a woeful 28 against Luxembourg with Ankush Nanda taking 5/6.
Earlier, Romanian cricket was a subject of ridicule when a video emerged during the European Cricket League. Pavel Florin' action video went viral and he was a subject of ridicule in many media stories, most notably from the sub-continent. Many media headlines stated that his action will leave everyone in splits and it invited plenty of scorn. However, Florin, in a mature response, made the cricketing world stand up and applaud his love for the game. "Someone said that my bowling is not beautiful. Or Not effective. I don't care. I love cricket. When I bowl like this, I saw that it is going to take a wicket. It is not beautiful. Everyone is saying. However, I am a slow bowler," Florin said.