Muscat – Oman beat the United Arab Emirates by seven wickets in the penultimate game of the Quadrangular T20 series at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground on Monday.
Oman won a much overdue toss, but after putting the UAE to bat first, were met with a Muhammad Waseem in destructive form. He made his intentions clear in the second over with a delightful six off Kaleemullah and never looked back after that, racing to a 25 ball 50.
On the other end, Rohan Mustafa made strike rotation the sole purpose of his innings after witnessing the kind of touch Waseem was in and the UAE found themselves at 114/1 at the end of 13 overs, poised to erect an enormous target.
A spectacular collapse ensued, thanks to some stellar bowling by Aamir Kaleem. He dismissed Waseem and Mustafa in back-to-back deliveries before going on to complete his fiver with the scalps of Muhammad Usman, Kashif Daud and Ahmed Raza.
Some power hitting at the death ensured that the UAE still posted a challenging total of 164. But with 7 wickets in the last 7 overs, Oman certainly managed to wrestle back some control over a game that was threatening to turn them from participants to spectators.
With momentum on their side, Oman made a mature start to the run-chase. Jatinder Singh and Kashyap Prajapati dealt with the new ball brilliantly, cautiously rotating strike in between sending bad balls to the fence.
Jatinder was dismissed in the final ball of the powerplay, but Kashyap played on until the very end of the innings, anchoring Oman’s pursuit of a much-needed victory. Shoaib Khan, Ayaan Khan and Sandeep Goud all played around him, and the opener fittingly finished the job in the final over.
The UAE’s sloppy efforts in the field certainly aided Oman’s cause, but the batsmen stepped up collectively to put the visitors under constant pressure. All of them made double figure contributions, with mindful shot selection a hallmark of their efforts.
Ultimately, Oman’s previous two showings meant that they finished the tournament in third place. But the hosts will certainly take a lot of confidence from their display on Monday, into the World T20 qualifiers this weekend.
Later in the day, Ireland beat Nepal by 16 runs in a low-scoring series finale. Batting first after losing the toss, the Irish innings never really got going. They lost wickets at regular intervals, with none of the top 6 scoring more than 20 runs.
A late rescue act from Andy Mcbrine and spinner George Dockrell ensured that the total reached triple figures but going into the break the star performer had undoubtedly been Nepal’s Dipendra Singh Airee, who picked up 4 wickets, took two catches and inflicted one run-out.
In response, after a solid opening partnership, Nepal buckled. All the batsmen bar Dipendra looked woefully out of touch – unable to rotate the strike effectively or send the ball to the fence which allowed the asking rate to steadily climb up.
This induced false shots that Ireland capitalised on to pick wickets at crucial moments and deny Nepal any sort of foothold in the run chase. Finally, lone ranger Dipendra was dismissed in the 17th over, and Nepal folded for 111 at the end of 20.
UAE 164/8 in 20 overs (Muhammad Waseem 84(44) 3 x 4, 8 x 6; Aamir Kaleem 29/5) lost to Oman 165/3 in 19.3 overs (Kashyap Prajapati 69(53) 8 x 4; Kashif Daud 13/1) by 7 wickets Ireland 127/10 in 20 overs (George Dockrell 28(22) 2 x 4, 1 x 6; Dipendra Singh Airee 21/4) beat Nepal 111/9 in 20 overs (Dipendra Singh Airee 28(30) 1 x 4, 1 x 6; Andy Mcbrine 13/2) by 16 runs