Assarain starts 117-team new cricket season with a big bang

MUSCAT: Defending Champion Assarain started the new Premier Division campaign with a powerful 131-run win over runner-up Muscat CT thanks to paceman Kaleemullah’s mesmerising spell in which he claimed six wickets at Ministry of Sports ground 1 in Al Amerat on Friday. The 2018-19 cricket season sees a whopping 117 teams participating in various competitions organised by Oman Cricket (OC). Premier Division title will be contested by the usual five teams while 50-over A Division will see 9 teams in action, including one all-Omani team. The nine divisions from B to I will have a total of 62 team in the fray while Junior League will see as many as 35 sides competing for different categories of competition. A total of six sides will be vying for honours in the Women’s League this season.
Opting to field first after winning the toss, Muscat CT bowled well to restrict Assarain to a modest 199 for 9 in 50 overs due largely to Baadal Sing’s superb 5 for 38. He got good support from Sandeep Goud who took two wickets for 9 runs. Skipper Zeeshan Maqsood (37 off 48) and Rajkumar Pandarathil (37 off 39) were the main scorers for Assarain. Muscat CT’s run chase ran into Assarain’s speedsters as Kaleem and Muhammed Nadeem reduced them to 18 for 4 in the seventh over.
The struggle continued on a difficult wicket to bat on before Muscat folded up for a paltry 68 in 21.2 overs. Baadal’s fighting 21 was the only notable score for Muscat. Apart from Kaleem’s six-wicket haul, Nadeem bagged 2 wickets for 23.
Brief scores: Assarain 199 for 9 in 50 overs (Zeeshan Maqsood 37 – 5×4, 1×6, Rajkumar Pandarathil 37 – 2×4, 2×6. Baadal Singh 5-38. Sandeep Goud 2-09) beat Muscat CT 68 all out in 21.2 overs (Baadal Singh 21 – 2×4. Kaleemullah 6-21, Muhammed Nadeem 2-23) by 131 runs.
Lakmal bowls PSD to
exciting win
Chadith Lakmal and Tauseef Ahmed powered Platinum Services Diamond (PSD) to a thrilling 25-run victory against Ooredoo in an A Division league opening game at Ministry of Sports ground 2.
Invited to bat first, PSD was dismissed for a disappointing 140 in the 39th over. Imran Rijvi (24 off 30) and Muhammed Mazhar (24 off 50) were the only notable scorers. Sanjaya Raj bowled exceptionally well to claim 4 wickets for 35 runs while Aaqib Javed and Muhammed Waqas bagged two wickets each.
Ooredoo could never recover from early blows after being reduced to 18 for 3 and was bundled out for 115 in the 40th over. Muhammed Waqas scored 23 off 44. While Tauseef (3 for 19) and Imran Rijvi (2 for 23) caused the early damage, Lakmal cleaned up the tail, taking 5 wickets for 23.
Brief scores: Platinum Services Diamond 140 all out in 38.2 overs (Imran Rijvi 24 – 3×4, Muhammed Mazhar 24 – 2×4. Sanjaya Raj 4-35, Aaqib Javed 2-19, Muhammed Waqas 2-35) defeated Ooredoo 115 all out in 39.5 overs (Muhammed Waqas 23 – 3×4. Chadith Lakmal 5-23, Tauseef Ahmed 3-19, Imran Rijvi 2-23) by 25 runs.