Muscat CT crowned Premier Division champions

Sports Wednesday 22/March/2023 12:24 PM
By: Times News Service
Muscat CT crowned Premier Division champions

Muscat CT defeated Oman Stallions by three wickets in a thrilling final of the 2022-23 Oman Cricket Premier Division Super League, powered by Muscat Pharmacy, at the Oman Cricket Academy Grounds in Al Amerat recently.

It was a befitting finale to the top-flight league of the domestic cricket as the champions were decided after an engrossing battle on the field. The victory completed a grand double for Muscat CT, who had earlier claimed the Oman D10 crown.

Chasing a target of 202 for win, Muscat CT got off to a disastrous start as they lost three top-order batters in the first three overs as Oman Stallions’ pace duo of Hemal Tandel and Bilal Khan struck.

It was left to Hashir Dafedar to shepherd the chase and the batter displayed great composure to slam an unbeaten 64 off 104 balls, which included five boundaries, to lead the team to a memorable victory. Crucial knocks from Ayaan Khan (35, 32b, 4x4, 1x6), Siddharth Prasad (28, 38b, 5x4) and Sandeep Goud (28, 60b, 3x4) provided the necessary support to Dafedar in their title triumph as they reached the target in 45.2 overs for the loss of seven wickets.

Earlier, put to bat first, Oman Stallions struggled to get off a decent start as pacer Munis Ansari and Sandeep Goud claimed three wickets in the powerplay for 33 runs.

Stallions fought back to post a total of 201/9, courtesy responsible knocks from Rafiullah (40, 69b, 1x4, 2x6), Sankata Prasad (32, 73b, 3x4) and Jay Odedra (36, 60b, 2x4). A quickfire innings of 27 off 31 balls that included two fours and two maximums saw the team cross the 200-mark. Experienced Ansari bagged 3/63 while Shoaib Khan picked 2/33 for Muscat CT.

Speaking after the title triumph, Muscat CT’s coach, Hemal Mehta said: “We had an outstanding year claiming Premier Division and Oman D10 titles while finishing runners-up in Oman D20. All the hard work that the boys put in and the way they handled the match situations turned out to be the key to our success.

“Kashyap Prajapati’s consistency with the bat and good support to him by Jatinder Singh and Shoaib Khan at the top was a big plus point. Experienced Munis Ansari led the fast-bowling attack with efficiency while spinner Samay Shrivastav, as usual, spun magic with his arm. Having said that, it is a team game and everyone had a role in our championship victory, including the support staff”

Mehta added: “The strong backing of team owners, Khimji Ramdas family, was another big reason for winning the championship. We hope to keep working hard with improve as a side in the future.”

Muscat CT’s manager Madhu Jesrani, said: “I am extremely delighted with the boys’ performances. They have borne fruit to the hard yards they put through the season. The season was exemplary for us as we won a total of 11 out of 13 games on way to our Super League crown.

“The highlight of our season was Kashyap Prajapati’s sparkling double hundred against a strong Oman Stallions side. It was one of the most remarkable individual achievements in the Premier Division in recent years.”

Jesrani added: “With two titles and a second-place finish, this has been a successful season. I thank the players, coaching staff and Khimji Ramdas management for playing their roles to their best and we hope to grow stronger and stronger in the coming tournaments.”