Muscat: Making a mark in the cricket arena, Times of Oman B team beat SARCO by 8 wickets to reach the final of the F division Oman Cricket League for the
In what was a completely one-sided match, Times of Oman (TOO) players contributed with both batting and bowling to lead their side to a convincing victory.
Speaking to Times Sport after the match, the delighted TOO team manager Shahzad Raza said he was glad the team had reached the final in what is only their second season in the League.
"We are quite excited about reaching the final. We had a fantastic season, and I must thank our players for contributing well this season," he stated.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, SARCO was bowled out for 130 runs in 22 overs, thanks to an excellent bowling figure from Omani player Waqar, who took 4 wickets for 12 runs. In response, TOO reached its target, with 8 wickets in hand. Waqaz scored 62 runs from 48 balls, while Ayaz scored 30 runs, and Shahid took 27 runs to guide the team to victory in the 18th over.
"Times of Oman is a widely respected brand in Oman, and representing it at any forum is a great honour indeed. Sport is an excellent medium for channelling your energy and showcasing your talent. We thought we had both of them as far as cricket is concerned and, thus, registered our team to play in the Oman Cricket League for the 2011–2012 season," Shahzad pointed out when queried about the reason behind forming the team.
The TOO team, which started its journey in 2010, had encountered various hurdles in reaching the top. "It was a Herculean task for us to find the right players within the company because we had many aspirants but not all of them could perform at this level," Shahzad admitted. "I am glad to see that some of them have improved a lot in a couple of years," he remarked.
TOO has also requisitioned the services of Syed Ikhtiar Kazmi, who is one of the most qualified coaches in Oman. "It's heartening to note that the guys are working hard under his guidance and are responding well to his efforts in the nets," he said.
Shahzad also praised the efforts of his skipper Sachin Lal for his exceptional guidance in taking the team to the final. "Sachin has done a brilliant job for us this season. He is handling the pressures of captaincy well, despite this being his first season in the hot seat.
He has moulded the team so well," he noted.
When asked about his team's motivation behind their dream run, Shahzad had this to say: "We wanted to prove that we were better than the results suggested in our first season. We wanted to do justice to the brand we are representing. The Times of Oman is seen as a symbol of success in Oman, and we wanted to strengthen that image. We built a team that could achieve this objective, and I am glad it is doing well," he added.
Speaking about his team's achievement, a jubilant skipper Sachin thanked his teammates for contributing to the success of the team.
"Everyone was keen to excel, irrespective of the results. When we started the matches on a winning streak, our confidence gradually improved, and thankfully, we performed consistently, except for the one match where we lost to Assarain, whom we are meeting in the final," Sachin said.
In the final, which will be played on Friday, TOO will take on Assarain, who remains unbeaten in the League. However, Shahzad is confident about his side winning the title for the first time.
"We believe we can win this final, despite a stronger opponent, in terms of experience. Some of their players have been playing in Oman at a much higher level, but we too have some high-class players in our team.
"Our team lost to Assarain in the league match, but that was due to some dropped catches. We have drawn some positives from that game and look forward to working on them for this Friday's final. If our team plays to its potential, the game will be a real thriller,"