Muscat – Ruwi Rangers clinched the first title of the 2023-24 Oman domestic season in style as they cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Bousher Busters in the Oman D20 final at the Oman Cricket Academy ground in Al Amerat on Tuesday.
The T20 tournament pitted the eight top-flight teams vying for the coveted crown over 14 days with a total of 32 matches being played.
It was the second time in the three-year D20 tournament history that Ruwi Rangers emerged as champions, having won the inaugural title in 2021. Defending champions Darsait Titans bowed out in the Eliminator.
The final was expected to be a thriller with both the teams reaching the summit clash with the maximum number of wins in the group stage. Ruwi Rangers won six of their seven games while Bousher Busters claimed five victories from seven.
Ruwi Rangers had an upper hand going into the final as they had defeated Bousher Busters in Qualifier 1. Bousher Busters then booked a place in the final after defeating Amerat Royals in Qualifier 2. Amerat Royals had won the Eliminator against Darsait Titans.
Put in to bat, Bousher Busters had a decent start as Mohammed Adeeb Usmani played a sedate innings of 69 off 61 balls. They were restricted to a paltry 133, with Rangers’ pace duo of Bilal Khan and Kaleemulaah picking two wickets each and Sanju Sajeev claiming a three-wicket haul.
Chasing a modest target, Hannan Rizwan’s 60 off 57 and a fiery knock by Khalid Kail, who smashed 35 off 20, steered Rangers to victory. Wasim Ali, Aqib Ilyas and Sufyan Mahmood picked a wicket each.
Rizwan was adjudged the player of the match.
Aqib Ilyas of Bousher Busters was adjudged the player of the Tournament for his all-round performance that saw him gather 405 runs at a strike rate of 162 and claiming nine wickets in nine matches of the tournament.
Paul Sheridan, Oman Cricket (OC) vice-chairman, handed the champions trophy to Rangers’ skipper Mohammed Nadeem.
Speaking after the title win, Nadeem said, “It was absolutely a great tournament for us. We displayed collective team effort in all departments. We have a good bunch of experience in Mohammed Naseem, Bilal Khan, Kaleemullah, Karan Sonavale and myself and some young talent like Adeeb Usmani and Khalid Kail. I thank our team management, co-owner Chaitanya Khimji, team manager Vinu Mathew and our coach Prashant Chandran. We also thank Oman Cricket and the ground team staff for providing us excellent facilities.”
Duleep Mendis, OC Chief Development Officer handed the runners-up trophy to Bousher Busters skipper Sufyan Mahmood while Ashley Fernandes, ITW, presented the Player of the Final trophy to Hannan Rizwan.