Ahli Bank defeated National Bank of Oman (NBO) in a closely-contested final to win their maiden title at the Inter-bank Cricket Tournament organised at Al Amerat grounds last Saturday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, NBO made a flying start scoring 89 runs in first 11 overs thanks to fine knocks from Imran Kasmani (24 runs from 19 balls) and skipper Partha Swain (49 runs in 30 balls).
Once the duo departed, NBO found the runs hard to come by but still managed to post a fighting score of 156 runs in 20 overs. Saket chipped in with 26 runs.
For Ahli Bank, Manoj Anchan bowled well to take two wickets for 23 runs and Maaz Siddiqui bagged two for 26 runs).
In reply, Ahli Bank were given a good start openers Imran and Manoj. Although Imran faltered early, Manoj (38 runs) and inform batsman Harris Alam continued the assault. Manoj had to retire hurt and it was left to Harris to finish the game for his team.
Despite a late wobble with two wickets falling in the 17th over, he did not disappoint as he played a remarkable inning to take the game away from NBO and led his team home.
Ahli Bank raced to victory with almost two overs to spare. For NBO, the successful bowlers were Partha Swain (one for 22) and Saket (one for 28).
Harris Alam, who hit 69 runs from 45 balls for his effort, was deservingly declared the man of the match and the series.
Brief scores: NBO 156 for 7 in 20 overs (Partha Swain 49, Saket 26, Imran 24; Manoj Anchan 2/23, Maaz S 2/26) lost to Ahli Bank 157 for 4 in 18.1 overs (Harris Alam 69 n.o., Manoj 38, Imran 18; Partha 1/22, Saket 1/28).
Bank Sohar win
Meanwhile, Bank Sohar defeated Bank Dhofar by 19 runs to avoid the wooden spoon, thanks to a fine all-round performance from Arun Sasikumar.
Bank Sohar, electing to bat first, put up a fighting score of 164 runs in 20 overs. Nadeem Iqbal (33 runs from 28 balls) and Arun (26 runs from 19 balls) batted well, and the score was swelled by late hitting from Akshay Kumar (29 runs from 19 balls) and Surendran (16 runs from 12 balls).
For Bank Dhofar, Satish Nivrutti (three for 29) and Rajesh K. (two for 22) were the successful bowlers.
In reply, Bank Dhofar's opening batsmen, Krishna Kumar and Raghav got their team out of the blocks in a hurried pace. On their dismissal, Ranganathan (35 runs from 30 balls) continued the chase and victory looked within sight.
Once the top order were dismissed, Bank Dhofar found runs hard to come by due to tight bowling and fielding by their counterparts, and their innings folded up at 145 in 20 overs.
For Bank Sohar, the successful bowlers were Arun Sasikumar (three for 35) and Yatheen (two for 28). Arun Sasikumar was declared the man of the match.
Brief scores: Bank Sohar 164 for 8 in 20 overs (Nadeem 33, Akshay 29, Arun 26; Satish 3/29, Rajesh 2/22) bt Bank Dhofar 145 for 7 in 20 overs (Ranganathan 35, Satish 24; Arun 3/35, Yatheen 2/28).
Chief guest Lloyd Maddock, CEO of Ahli Bank, distributed the prizes in the presence of Nasser Al Mawaly, DGM – Audit, Bank Sohar, Khamis Al Rahbi, AGM Branches, Bank Sohar, Nanda Kumar, Sr. AGM – Product Development, Bank Sohar and Shan Sultan, Head – Corporate Banking, NBO.
Final standings: 1. Ahli Bank; 2. National Bank of Oman; 3. Bank Muscat; 4. Bank Sohar; 5. Bank Dhofar.
Individual honours: Man of the series: Harris Alam (Ahli Bank); Best batsman: Partha Swain (NBO); Best bowler: Satish Nivrutti (Bank Dhofar); Best wicketkeeper: Saud Khan (Ahli Bank); Best all-rounder: Abbas Al Balushi (Bank Muscat); Impact players: Harris Alam (Ahli Bank), Saket (NBO), Abbas Albalushi (Bank Muscat), Kather Meeran (Bank Dhofar) and Praveen Kumar (Bank Sohar).