Oman Cricket: Khushi guides Assarain tothrilling three-wkt win
Defending champion Assarain rode Naseem Khushi's spectacular knock to defeat Al Turki CT by three wickets in the Oman Cricket Premier Division opening match at the Al Amerat ground on Friday.
Khushi's 58-ball unbeaten 80, which included two boundaries and seven sixes, steered Assarain out of woods as it was tottering at 26 for four and then 60 for seven. Chasing a modest target of 159, Khushi launched a terrific counter-attack with his team staring defeat.
Khushi was involved in an unbroken 101-run eighth-wicket partnership with all-rounder Sindo Michael who provided him vital support with a 90-ball 35 as Assarain surpassed the total in 42.5 overs. Opting to bowl first after winning the toss, Assarain exploited the conditions suitable to seam bowling to reduce Al Turki to 91 for six by the halfway.
It took a few lusty blows by Yogesh Patel (28) to see Al Turki reach a total of 158 before being all out in 45.2 overs. Suraj Kumar (27) and skipper Twinkle Bhandari (24) were the other notable scorers.
Seamer Kaleemullah and spinner Shiju Shylajakumar bowled well to claim three wickets each. Muhammed Nadeem, Sindo Michael and Shahan Akram all bagged one wicket each.
Assarain found the going tough as Al Turki bowlers kept things tight from the very outset with seamer Gopendra Bohara and left-arm spinner Ajay Lalcheta reducing the defending champion to 25 for 4, taking two wickets each. .
Brief scores: Al Turki 158 all out in 45.2 overs (Patel 28, Kumar 27, Bhandari 24; Shylajakumar 3-26, Kaleemullah 3-28) lost to Assarain 161-7 in 42.5 overs (Khushi 80, Michael 35; Lalcheta 2-24, Bohara 2-34).
Other results: A Division: Glory Bower Strikers 301 all out in 48.4 overs (Shehbaz Nasar 136, Ramesh Kinarath 50; Wasim Akhtar 3-40, Amir Hussain 2-39, Hassan M 2-62, Ihtesham Muhammed 2-72) beat IT Works 155 all out in 34.5 overs (Shahid Naseem 57, Akmal Shahzad 32; Anup Rajan 3-23, Aadil Mohammed 3-26). B Division: Muscat Cricket Sports 175-9 in 30 overs (Syed Kazimi 69, Ahmed Khan 36; Aftab Ahmed 3-18, Chadith Lakmal 2-38, Karim 2-40) lost to Platinum Services Diamond 176-7 in 25.2 overs (Sajeed Ahmed 54 n.o., Ahmed Mumtaz 47; Ahmed Khan 2-27, Mohsin Nazir 2-41).