Oman beat Kenya, Singapore to register back to back wins
Oman beat Kenya and Singapore on two consecutive days in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 matches played in Amerat
Times News Service
MUSCAT: Oman registered back to back wins against Kenya and Singapore on two consecutive days defeating the former five wickets earlier and the latter by 4 wickets in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 matches played in Amerat.
In the second match played against Singapore on Saturday, hosts Oman won the toss and put the opposition in to bat. Fayaz Butt struck with the first ball of the 11th over when he had A. Mutreja caught behind by wicketkeeper Suraj Kumar for 8, then Zeeshan Maqsood opening batsman A. Dutta and R. Rohan in quick succession. Bilal Khan who was the star of Oman’s bowling in the opening match claimed 3 for 31 from his 8 overs.
The only noteworthy partnership of the Singapore batting was between Manpreet Singh and C R Suryawanshi who score 19 and 37 runs respectively. Then Janak Prakash who put up a fight, fell to Bilal Khan caught by Aqib Ilyas for 17. Bilal then got rid of A. Krishna caught behind for 6. Singapore thus ended their innings with the scorecard reading 185 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs.
Needing 186 to win Oman lost Aqib Ilyas early caught by Murteja off J. Prakash for 11 with the total on 25. Suraj Kumar and Mohammed Nadeem then fell in quick succession with Jatinder Singh playing a steady knock before he was out to Manpreet Singh of the bowling of A. Krishna for 41 leaving Oman reeling at 5 for 93, left the door open for skipper Zeeshan Maqsood to come in and take over the proceedings, Zeeshan who remained on 43 not out was declared the man of the match, Fayaz Butt who gave him good support scored a valuable 26 to see the side home in 37.4 overs.
Speaking after the match coach Duleep Mendis sounded a bit concerned at the ways victories were achieved. “I would have expected them to finish the games in a better way. We lost too many wickets on a good track. I believe we should have chased this target down a bit more comfortably. However, each win is adding to the team’s confidence and we are looking forward to the next games,” said the Oman coach.
“The boys are keeping me on the toes but I don’t mind the nerves if we are ending up on the winning side. I am sure we are going to be a better side as the tournament progresses,” he added.
Captain Zeeshan Maqsood, who was adjudged man of the match, said he was playing as per the team’s plan which put more responsibility on senior guys in the side.
“With wickets falling around me I knew I had to stay out in the middle and play the role my coach has assigned me. He wants me to bat in the middle order and anchor the innings through to the very end and I am glad I was able to do this today,” explained Maqsood.
Commenting on his team’s two victories, he said the boys were looking forward to the tougher games ahead. “We have won two out of two but we know we have tougher games ahead and we must perform better to strengthen our chances of winning this tournament,” he added.
Oman captain said his team had suffered due to poor net run rate in previous assignments and he was mindful of the fact.
“We want to win all our games but we must also keep an eye on the net run rate which may prove crucial in the end. A lot of focus is going to be placed on this in our next games in the competition,” explained Maqsood.
In their opening match against Kenya on Friday, Oman continued from where they left off in Division Two in Namibia defeating the visitors by five wickets.
Oman who beat Kenya twice earlier this year were no match for the home side on this occasion either, slipping to 8 for 3 in the first Powerplay before eventually succumbing for 164 in the stipulated 50 overs.
Oman pacer Bilal Khan, who took a fiver the last time these two teams clashed, struck with the fifth ball of the match by beating Alex Obanda for pace and knocking back his stumps for a duck.
Kenya also struggled with Kaleemullah’s height and bounce as a series of maidens built pressure, resulting in another wicket for Bilal. Jatinder Singh picked up his second catch in the following over as Kaleemullah followed up Bilal’s early strikes to get Dhiren Gondaria for the first of his four wickets. Kenya then struggled throughout their innings, but fought back valiantly to last out the 50 overs.
With a target of 165 on the board Oman got off to a flying start with Aqib Ilyas, who stroked five boundaries in his 22 off 20 balls before falling LBW to Nelson Odhiambo. Jatinder Singhthen stroked a purposeful 33 off 49 balls before he fell prey to Bhudia’s spin, opening the door for skipper Zeeshan Maqsood to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Requiring 31 runs to win over the final 18 overs and with six wickets in hand, Oman adopted a cautious approach dragging the match until the 43rd over when Zeeahan Maqsood, who is known to be a big hitter of the ball finally brought up his half-century off 93 balls, ending the match with his fifth boundary.
Oman now top the table 4 points with two wins from two matches, and will clash with Denmark on Tuesday, November 13.
CAPTAIN’S KNOCK: Oman skipper Zeeshan Maqsood receiving the man of the match award from Said Anwar Oman Cricket board member.