Romania, on Thursday, thrashed Turkey by 173 runs in the Romania Cup to register the second biggest win in terms of runs in T20Is. Czech Republic hold this record for their massive 257-run win over Turkey. Romania’s win, nonetheless, had an Indian connection. One of the biggest architects of Romania was Indian-origin batsman Sivakumar Periyalwar, who scored the first-ever century for Romania in T20I cricket.
Sivakumar, who is a software engineer, scored an unbeaten 105 off just 40 deliveries to help his team score a massive 226 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs. In reply, Turkey never looked in contention to even get close to the total let alone chasing it down. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were all out for just 53 runs in 13 overs. Romanian bowler Cosmin Zavoiu took three wickets for just four runs in a single over.
Romania have won two matches in the tournament so far. They beat Austria in the first league match before getting the better of Turkey. They are currently at the top of the points table with two wins. Romania will face Luxemburg in their next match on Friday.
Talking about Sivakumar, he was born in the town of Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu. Just like most of his cricket-obsessed countrymen, he too wanted to become a cricketer. In fact, he did play in age-group cricket but could not make it big in India. However, he realised his dream of playing at a bigger platform in Romania.
“I can’t explain because I am an engineer working at a software company here. I used to play on weekends for Cluj Cricket Club. Last two years we were the champions of the national T20 tournament. Based on my performance I got selected in the national team,” he told Indian Express.
Old links with cricket
Sivakumar Periyalwar recalled his early days when he used to play age-group cricket in India. He moved to Romania after completing his graduation but continued playing cricket in the European country.
“Actually, when I was a child I participated in Under-15, Under-22 and Under-25 tournaments back home. After completion of my graduation I shifted to Romania in 2015. But I still had passion for cricket and wanted to play the game again. I got to know about the cricket matches in Romania and joined the Cluj Cricket Club,” he said.
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