OMAN VS SRI LANKA
The five-wicket win of Sri Lanka concluded their short trip to Oman as both the teams now travel to the UAE for official T20 World Cup warm-up matches between October 11-15.
Duleep Mendis’ boys had lost the first T20 game on Thursday by 19 runs and on Saturday, again fought hard against their experienced rivals.
On Saturday, cheered by a sizeable crowd, Oman, put to bat first, scored 159 for eight,
courtesy a solid half-century (59 off 38 balls), which was studded with four sixes and three boundaries. Kashyap Prajapati and Ayaan Khan scored 22 and 22 runs respectively.
Sri Lanka came back strongly in the second half of the match as Ilyas’ exit saw a collapse and Oman slipped from 134 for four in 17th over to 159 for eight.
Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara bagged a brace each while Binura Fernando,
Maheesh Theekshana and skipper Dasun Shanaka took a wicket apiece.
The chase saw Sri Lanka’s first match hero, Avishka Fernando, once again among runs with 33 off just 18 balls that included three sixes. Opener Pathum Nissanka with 26 and then an unbroken sixth-wicket stand between Bhanuka Rajapaksa (35 n.o.) and Karunaratne (35 n.o) saw the team home in 17.3 overs.
Earlier Dinesh Chandimal made 18 off eight balls to give the visitors a quick start.
Mohammad Nadeem raised the hosts’ hopes with a double strike in his first over and team’s 11th but Rajapaksa and Karunaratne ensured there was no further damage to depart for the UAE high on confidence.
Sri Lanka play the first round T20 World Cup from October 18 and are placed in Group A along with Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia.
Oman are scheduled to play the Netherlands and Namibia during the official warm-up games in UAE in the coming days.
Earlier on Friday, Oman A side also lost a practice game to Bangladesh XI side as the past three days saw plenty of action at the venue, which is getting spruced up to host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup opener on October 17.
The three back-to-back games were also used as a dress rehearsal by the Oman Cricket (OC) officials to test their preparedness on various fronts.
While there was a nominal gate money to test the crowd control and entry and exit points, the volunteers were in full force during the matches to shoulder the respective responsibilities.
Brief scores: Oman 159-8 in 20 overs (Ilyas 59, Prajapati 22; Kumara 2-20, Karunaratne 2-39) lost to Sri Lanka 163-5 in 17.3 overs ( Nissanka 26, Fernando 33, Rajapaksa 35 n.o., Karun-aratne 35 n.o.; Nadeem 2-22)