Muscat: The battle for Premier Division crown took another interesting turn when bottom-placed Passage to India (PTI) handed table-topper Muscat CT a humbling 84-run defeat at Ministry of Sports Affairs Ground I in Al Amerat on Saturday.
With their first victory of the season, PTI has dragged Al Turki NMC down to the fifth place, helped Assarain move to the top, blew a big hole in the Muscat CT’s aura of invincibility and, most importantly, let everyone know Passage to India are alive and kicking.
Asked to bat first, PTI surprised everyone by putting a huge total on the board with each of their top six batsmen making an impression — three of them played entertaining knocks to add flair to the proceedings. While Muhammed Sajjad Ali took the cake with his hurricane 82 off just 31 balls, stylish Zeeshan Siddiqui (66 off 51) and reliable Rana Safeer Tariq (60 off 67) played their part in lifting PTI from the depths of despair after four straight losses despite having an excellent team.
By the time Muscat bowled their quota of 50 overs, PTI had posted a fat total of 321 for four.
Ayaan Khan claimed three of those four wickets for Muscat CT.
Chasing a big total, Muscat CT struggled from the beginning. With three wickets down for 77, Muscat continued to lose track, slumping to 123 for five and then 193 for seven before being restricted to 237. Aaqib Ilyas (66 off 55) and Ayaan Khan (63 off 68) were the main contributors in their total. Jaymin Taylor bowled beautifully, bagging four wickets while Bilal Khan took two for PTI.
Brief scores: PTI 321 for 4 in 50 overs (Muhammed Sajjad Ali 82 n.o., Zeeshan Siddiqui 66, Rana Safeer Tariq 60; Ayaan Khan 3/56) bt Muscat CT 237 all out in 47.3 overs (Aaqib Ilyas 66, Ayaan Khan 63, Ashish Odedara 31).
Farhan stars for IT Works
In another upset, IT Works stunned Renaissance for a thrilling one-run victory in a 50-over A Division match, thanks to Farhan Afzal Khan’s heroics with the bat and ball.
Batting first, Renaissance bounced back from being 61 for our to reach 155 for five before slumping again to 179 for nine. Finally, it had to be content with 208 for nine with Nisal Fernando (51 off 80) and Verma (44 of 58) being the main scorers. Farhan Afzal bagged three wickets while Mehtab Hussain and Irfan Khalid took two each.
Facing a difficult chase, IT Works were struggling at 57 for three and then 136 for seven before surpassing the total in the 46th overs with just one wicket in hand. Akmal Shahzad (56 off 73), Farhan Afzal (41 off 60) and Mudassar Iqbal (30 not out off 30) played crucial knocks to lift IT Works to a sensational victory.
Brief scores: Renaissance 208 for 9 in 50 overs (Nisal Fernando 51, Verma 44; Farhan Afzal 3/37, Mehtab Hussain 2/40, Irfan Khalid 2/40) lost to IT Works 209 for 9 in 45.2 overs (Akmal Shahzad 56, Farhan Afzal 41, Mudassar Iqbal 30 n.o).
FAP UTSC defeat EY
A superb unbeaten 71 off 39 balls by Shaidh K led FAP UTSC to an exciting three-wicket win over Ernst & Young (EY) in a 30-over B Division game at Muscat Municipality Ground I in Al Amerat on Friday.
Ernst & Young scored 174 for eight in 30 overs, which FAP UTSC chased down in the 24th over, thanks to Shaidh K’s strokeful half century.
Brief scores: Ernst & Young 174 for 8 in 30 overs (Mohammed Nayaz 46, Muhammed Attique 21; Jaleel Mahamood 2/17, Shameer Kariadan 2/24, Faleel Thailakandy 2/36) lost to FAP UTSC 175 for 7 in 25.3 overs (Shaidh K 71 n.o).
PSD thrash Al Mada
In another B Division match, Platinum Services Diamond (PSD) stretched their unbeaten run to five games, defeating Al Mada Engineering by 130 runs at Muscat Municipality Ground II.
Batting first, PSD posted 233 for eight on the board, thanks to vital knocks by Muhammed Umer Zaman (61 off 53), Ahmed Mumtaz (50 off 26) and Imran Rijvi (36 off 20). Wasim Abdul Karim and Nishanth Menon grabbed four and three wickets respectively.
Al Mada failed to impress and folded up for a paltry 103 in the 15th over. Skipper Suraj Rao top-scored with 22. Aftab Ahmed claimed three wickets while Chadith Lakmal and Ahammad Karim bagged two each.
Brief scores: PSD 233 for 8 in 30 overs (Muhammed Umer Zaman 61, Ahmed Mumtaz 50, Imran Rijvi 36; Wasim Abdul Karim 4/48, Nishanth Menon 3/34) bt Al Mada Engineering 103 all out in 14.5 overs (Suraj Rao 22; Aftab Ahmed 3/19, Ahammad Karim 2/13, Chadith Lakmal 2/18).