Muscat CT recorded a facile victory over Passage to India (PTI) on Saturday to settle for the second place while bringing the cutain down on the Muscat Pharmacy-sponsored Premier Division that offered loads of excitement and drama to a growing band of cricket followers across the country.
While Assarain completed a hat-trick of titles with 36 points after winning their final game of the season against Al Turki, Enhance (31 points) lost their final game against Al Turki ending their hopes of clinching the Premier Division title for the first time.
Muscat CT, third on points table before their last game, improved their net run rate and jumped to the second spot with a handsome 44-run victory against Passage to India on Saturday.
Muscat CT rode on dazzling performances by opener Shoaib Khan (124 off 144) and pacer Munis Ansari (six for 49) to ease past Passage to India at Ministry of Sports Affairs Ground I in Al Amerat.
Ayaan Khan (43 off 35) and Sandeep Goud (27 not out off 23) were the other notable scorers in their total of 255 for seven in 50 overs. All-rounders Mohammed Zahir Siddiqui and Syed Amir Kaleem claimed two wickets each.
Looking for an upset win, PTI could have succeeded in doing so had this not been Munis Ansari’s day. With his slinging action and movement at lively pace, Munis can run through batting line-ups and this is exactly what he did on Saturday, taking six wickets in his spell of 10 overs as PTI were dismissed for 211 in 45 overs.
Zahir topscored with an unbeaten 77 off 89 balls. Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui (38 off 48), Muhammed Sajjad Ali (31 off 37) and Prithvi Kumar (30 off 43) were the other main scorers.
Brief scores: Muscat CT 255 for 7 in 50 overs (Shoaib Khan 124, Ayaan Khan 43, Sandeep Goud 27 n.o,; Muhammed Zahir Siddiqui 2/43, Syed Amir Kaleem 2/55) bt PTI 211 all out in 45 overs (Mohammed Zahir Siddiqui 77 n.o., Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui 38, Muhammed Sajjad Ali 31, Prithvi Kumar 30; Munis Ansari 6/49).
Jay, Twinkal lift Al Turki
On Friday, Jay Odedara’s four for 31 flattened Enhance in their most crucial game of the season as Al Turki NMC won the game by two wickets.
Asked to bat first, Enhanced were seriously tested by some tight Al Turki bowling as none of their stalwarts could make a notable contribution to give the team a fighting total to defend. Opener Noorul Riaz topscored with 48 off 60 as Enhance were bundled out for 149 in 37.2 overs. All-rounders Ahmed Fayyaz Butt and Sufyan Mahmood contributed 25 and 20 respectively. Left-arm spinner Adnan-ul Haq impressed one and all with figures of two for 32 in 10 overs, three of which were maiden.
Desperate for a win, Enhance made Al Turki sweat in their chase of a modest total but the latter survived to snatch the victory, scoring 155 in 38 overs with just two wickets in hand. While opener Twinkal Bhandari topscored with a solid 54 off 70 balls, it was Jigneshbhai Patel who sealed the win with a six, after scoring an unbeaten 41 off 35 balls. Nester Dhamba bagged three wickets while Mazhar Alam and Sanuth Ebrahim took two wickets each.
Brief scores: Enhance 149 all out in 37.2 overs (Noorul Riaz 48, Ahmed Fayyaz Butt 25, Sufyan Mahmood 20; Jay Odedara 4/31, Adnan-ul Haq 2/32) lost to Al Turki NMC 155 for 8 in 38 overs (Twinkal Bhandari 54, Jigneshbhai Patel 41 n.o.; Nester Dhamba 3/24, Mazhar Alam 2/19, Sanuth Ebrahim 2/23).
1. Assarain 36 points (+0.587 NRR).
2. Muscat CT 31 pts (+0.384).
3. Enhance 31 pts (+0.277).
4. Passage to India 18 pts (-0.377).
5. Al Turki NMC 18 pts (-0.894).