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 of Oman - - SPORTS -

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.

– Sup­plied Photo

CAP­TAIN’S KNOCK: Oman skip­per Zee­shan Maq­sood re­ceiv­ing the man of the match award from Said An­war Oman Cricket board mem­ber.

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