Diplomats XI, primarily represented by the High Commission of India, wrenched back the 'NZ Parliamentarians v Diplomats' cricket shield after a gruelling match on a beautiful sunny day at Wainuiomata Cricket Club.
After Diplomats XI captain Paramjeet Singh won the toss and elected to field, the NZ Parliamentarians, led by MP Chris Bishop, set them a formidable target of 184 in 25 overs.
Diplomats were off to a slow but steady start thanks to the 68 run opening stand between Vignesh Narayanan and O'Neil Pandit.
After a close fight and several nail-biting moments with the match swinging back and forth, Diplomats held their nerve and romped home with five wickets and ten balls to spare, wrenching back the trophy from Parliamentarians after a gap of four years.
Vignesh starred with the bat hitting a solid century, while O' Neil Pandit and Amit Kumar made valuable all-around contributions.
"It feels proud to have regained the trophy after an intense battle on a beautiful sunny day.
"The match was played in a competitive and yet friendly atmosphere. I thank Hon'ble Chris Bishop MP for taking care of the logistic arrangements and leading such a sporting side.
"Proud of my team, particularly Vignesh Narayanan for hitting a cool and composed century and anchoring the batting and O' Neil Pandit and Amit Sharma for pitching in with good all-round performances," Paramjeet Singh, captain of the winning team Diplomats XI and Second Secretary at the High Commission of India said.
The annual cricketing rivalry between NZ Parliamentarians and Diplomats XI started in 1974, with parliamentarians having won 22 times, and Diplomats 18, and four ended in a tie.
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