Muscat: Muscat Cricket Team recorded a two-wicket win against Al Turki NMC in a low-scoring match, clinching the Muscat Pharmacy & Stores LLC-sponsored, 50 overs a side, 'A' Division title in a match played on Friday at the Main Ministry Turf Ground
at Al Amerat.
Muscat CT, which lost three of the six matches it played on Astro-turf wickets at the beginning of the season, came back well to exhibit its superiority as turf-wicket specialists, winning all six matches played on turf strips.
In a tournament that has attracted a record seven teams and played a double league, Muscat CT recorded 9 wins out of the 12 matches.
It was a historic season for the Muscat team in ensuring its victory of the inaugural turf-wicket tournament. Electing to bat after winning the toss, Al Turki NMC was precariously placed, with a score of 38 for the loss of 4 wickets off 11 overs, but it recovered to reach 152 off 47.4 overs, thanks to a 5th wicket partnership of 49 runs between No.3 batsman Twinkle Bhandari, 44 (78b, 4x4), and Jayesh Solanki, batting at No.6 and chipping in with 23 (45b, 2x4). Brijesh Patel, batting at No.9, scored a valuable 29 (39b, 3x4). Skipper Vaibhav Wategaonkar was the pick of the bowlers, ending with figures of 3 for 8 off 2.4 overs, whilst Hemal Mehta, 2 for 12; Rajesh Ranpura, 2 for 26; and Ganesh Narsumaiyya, 2 for 34, lent valuable support.
Muscat CT, in response, found runs hard to come by and was reeling at 89 for the loss of 6 wickets off 28 overs, but it survived to reach 154 for the loss of 8 wickets off 47.2 overs. Opening batsman Vamshi Ram achieved 25 (39b, 3x4), and Vaibhav Wategaonkar came in at the fall of the first wicket to make 22 (39b, 1x6, and 2x4). Ganesh Narsumaiyya, batting at No.8, was unbeaten at 33 (53b, 3x4) and ensured that he remained on the pitch until victory was achieved.
Skipper Ajay Lalcheta picked up 2 wickets, conceding 33 runs off 9 overs.
Brief scores: Al Turki NMC – 152 All Out off 47.4 overs (Twinkle Bhandari 44, Brijesh Patel 29, and Jayesh Solanki 23; Vaibhav Wategaonkar 3/8, Hemal Mehta 2/12, Rajesh Ranpura 2/26, and Ganesh Narsumaiyya 2/34) lost to Muscat CT – 154 for the loss of 8 wickets off 47.2 overs (Ganesh Narsumaiyya 33 N.O., Vamshi Ram 25, and Vaibhav Wategaonkar 22; Ajay Lalcheta 2/33).
Points: Muscat CT – 4 points (12 games – 40 points) and Al Turki NMC – Nil points (11 games – 22 points).