Muscat: In the first of its kind match, a Bankers team clashed with and triumphed over an all-Omani team in an exciting two-innings cricket match on the green turf grounds in Amerat on Friday.
The match started early morning on Friday ended at midday, with the Bankers emerging the winners over a young Omani side.
The all-Omani team won the toss and elected to bat first to make use of the easier early morning conditions. They got off to a bright start with Sharif Al Balushi leading from the front with a useful 43 runs in 35 balls. Although he played well, wickets continued to fall at regular intervals at the other end.
Mohammed Al Balushi and captain Yousuf Rahim Baksh made valuable contributions with 29 runs each. Essam Al Balushi played a late cameo (20 runs, 2 sixes, 1 four) to take the score to 151 for eight in 20 overs.
For the Bankers, Praveen Kumar (two for 13) and Mohammed Ramzan (one for 24) were the chief wicket-takers. The Bankers started off their innings well with openers Partha Swain and Osman Zadjali putting on 43 runs in just six overs. After their fall, Harris Alam (62 runs in 41 balls) and Kather Meeran (44 runs in 24 balls) continued the innings brilliantly to catapult the bankers to a score of 165 for seven in 20 overs.
Kather plundered four sixes and two fours. For the Omanis, it was Essam (three for 33) who bowled well and was assisted by Sharif Al Balushi (two for 11).
With the second innings reduced to 15 overs-a-side, the Omanis came out flying from the blocks with national team player Shoaib scoring a quickfire 46 runs off 31 balls.
Unfortunately the other batsmen faltered at the other end. Majid Al Balushi did provide some entertainment at the end scoring a quick fire 36 runs off just 14 balls, including two sixes and three fours, to swell the their score to 151 for six in 15 overs. Mohammed Ramzan (three for 31) and Satish Nivrutti (two for 30) were the main wicket-takers for the Bankers.
Chasing 138 to win, the Bankers started their innings aggressively and 48 for three runs in just five overs. With four wickets down at 69 runs after nine overs and needing a further 69 runs in just six overs, it was Imran and Praveen who took the game away from the Omanis The bankers won the game with four balls to spare. Essam bowled well again to take three wickets for 22 runs in a losing cause.
Oman Cricket board member Dad Al Balushi presented the trophy to the bankers. Essam Al Balushi (26 runs, 6 wickets) was declared man of the match.
Brief scores: All-Omani team 151/8 in 20 overs (Sharif 43, Yousuf 29, Mohamed 29; Praveen 2/13, Ramzan 1/24) and 151/6 in 15 overs (Shoaib 46, Majid 36; Ramzan 3/31, Satish 2/30) lost to Bankers 165/7 in 20 overs (Harris 62, Kather 44; Essam 3/33, Sharif 2/11) and Bankers 138/4 in 14.2 overs (Imran 49 n.o.; Essam 3/22).