Assarain clinch Premier Division crown

MUSCAT: Assarain and Muscat CT, who won their last league games, emerged as the champion and the runner-up of the Muscat Pharmacy-sponsored Premier Division, bringing an end to a championship that offered loads of excitement and drama to a growing band of cricket followers across the country.
While Assarain had ended their league campaign on 36 points by winning the last game against Al Turki, Enhance, second with 31 points, lost their final game against Al Turki closely by two wickets as well as the chance to become the Premier Division winner for the first time. Muscat, 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 (6 for 49) to ease past Passage to India at Ministry of Sports grassy ground 1 in Al Amerat. Ayaan Khan (43 off 35) and Sandeep Goud (27 not out off 23) were the other notable scorers in its total of 255 for 7 in 50 overs. All-rounders Mohammed Zahir Siddiqui and Syed Amir Kaleem claimed two wickets each.
Looking for an upset win, PTI could have succeeding 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 6 wickets in his spell of 10 overs as PTI was dismissed for 211 in 45 overs. Zahir top-scored 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 leading scorers.
Brief scores: Muscat CT 255 for 7 in 50 overs (Shoaib Khan 124 – 14×4, 1×6, Ayaan Khan 43 – 1×4, 4×6, Sandeep Goud 27 not out – 1×4, 1×6. Muhammed Zahir Siddiqui 2-43, Syed Amir Kaleem 2-55) beat PTI 211 all out in 45 overs (Mohammed Zahir Siddiqui 77 not out – 7×4, 3×6, Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui 38 – 4×4, 1×6, Muhammed Sajjad Ali 31 – 3×4, 1×6, Prithvi Kumar 30 – 3×4. Munis Ansari 6-49) by 44 runs.
Jay, Twinkle power
Al Turki
Jay Odedara’s 4 for 31 flattened Enhance in its most crucial game of the season as Al Turki NMC won the game by 2 wickets on Friday.
Asked to bat first, Enhanced was seriously tested by some tight Al Turki bowling as none of its 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 was 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 2 for 32 in 10 overs, 3 of which were maiden.
Desperate for a win, Enhance made Al Turki sweat in its chase of a modest total but the latter survived to snatch victory, scoring 155 in 38 overs with just two wickets in hand.
While opener Twinkle Bhandari top-scored with a solid 54 off 70 balls, it was Jigneshbhai Patel who sealed to win with a six, 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 – 10×4, Ahmed Fayyaz Butt 25 – 2×4, 1×6, Sufyan Mahmood 20 – 3×4. Jay Odedara 4-31, Adnan Ul Haq 2-32) lost to Al Turki NMC 155 for 8 in 38 overs (Twinkle Bhandari 54 – 5×4, 3×6, Jigneshbhai Patel 41 not out – 6×4, 2×6. Nester Dhamba 3-24, Mazhar Alam 2-19, Sanuth Ebrahim 2-23) by 2 wickets.