MUSCAT: The Indian Embassy in the Sultanate of Oman has come up with a unique cricket tournament to commemorate 75 years of Indian Independence celebration termed as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
The two-day Friendship Cup 2022 tournament saw the teams from the embassies of India, the United Kingdom and the United States of America along with a Chairman’s XI side from the Oman Cricket compete for honours.
The tournament was opened by the Indian Ambassador Amit Narang along with UK Ambassador Bill Murray, US Ambassador Leslie M Tsou and Oman Cricket Vice-Chairman Paul Robert Scheridan at the Oman Cricket Academy grounds in Al Amerat on Friday evening.
Also present was Oman national team coach Duleep Mendis who is also the Chief Development Officer at Oman Cricket.
“We decided to organise such a tournament after good support from the other embassies and Oman Cricket,” Amit Narang told Oman Observer.
“At first we were a little hesitant as it needs good effort and support for such a tournament. But the feedback from other embassy staff was encouraging and Oman Cricket offered to shape our teams for the tournament. So the event became a reality and it was a great occasion as we are involved in the celebrations for the Indian Independence reaching 75 years,” the Indian ambassador said.
On day one of the tournament, Indian Embassy started with a six-wicket win against US Embassy in the opening match at OC Turf 1.
Chasing 98-6 set by the US in 12 overs, India reached the target in 8.4 overs with the loss of four wickets. Ayyoob hit 43 and Sameer scored 36 for India. Afzal and Sameer took two wickets each for India.
At OC Turf 2, OC Chairman’s XI beat UK Embassy by 63 runs.
Batting first, OC belted 120 for 4 in 12 overs. Hemal Mehta top-scored for Chairman’s XI with 33 runs. Mark Stephenson got two wickets for the UK Embassy.
In reply, the UK team could only manage 57-6 in 12 overs. Ajith D'Costa took two wickets for OC.
In the late matches, OC Chairman’s XI beat Indian Embassy by 7 wickets and USA beat UK by 26 runs.
At OC Turf 1, Indian Embassy posted a total of 64-8 in 12 overs.
In reply, Chairman’s XI reached 65-3 in 9.3 overs. Damodar Katti top-scored with 37 runs. Abhilash took two wickets for India.
At OC Turf 2, US Embassy posted 87-8 in 12 overs. Raja Zulqarnain Mubarik top-scored with 22 runs and took one wicket for the US.
Chasing the total, UK fell short by 26 runs at 61-7 in 12 overs.