Times of Oman
Jun 27, 2017 Last Updated at 16:46 AST
Cricket: Sensational Oman return to ICC WCL Division 2
May 29, 2017 | 7:03 PM
by Sports Reporter
The members of Oman team and their travelling fans pose for a group photo after their win over Malaysia. Photo - Supplied
 
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Muscat: Oman came up with a sensational performance to humble Malaysia by 131 runs in a crucial match of the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 competition in Uganda on Monday.

After being asked to bat first, Oman piled up 293 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 50 overs before bundling out the Malaysians for 162 in 33.1 overs.

The victory ensured Duleep Mendis-coached team topped the six-team league with eight points and booked a place in Tuesday’s final against Canada, who lost their final game of the league stage to Singapore by just two runs.

The sensational victory also ensured Oman’s return to the ICC WCL Division 2 after over a decade. As finalists Canada too are promoted to Division 2 competition that is scheduled to take place in 2018.

It was way back in 2007 that Oman had played in WCL Division 2. In fact, the Sultanate squad finished second in that competition and booked their place in the ICC World Cup Qualifier.

However, a disappointing performance in the Qualifier, where they finished a lowly 11th, pushed them down to Division 3 in 2011.

The slide continued from Division 3, where they finished fifth, in 2013 to Division 4, after another fifth place finish, in 2014 before they were dropped to Division 5.

But thanks to improved performances in 2016, the team were back on the path of success, starting with a title-winning show in Division 5 in Jersey and promotion-clinching second place in Division 4 in the U.S.

Now that they are back in Division 2, and the way they are clicking as a team, Oman can now dream of not just doing well in that competition but also compete, again, in the 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier.

In Uganda, Duleep’s boys have so far played as a unit, outplaying one opponent after the other with excellent performances in all three departments -- batting, bowling and fielding.

And that all-round ability and team work, and the growing confidence, were evident against the Malaysians on Monday.

As in the previous matches, they never lost their focus -- even after being asked to bat first and losing swashbuckling opening batsman Khawar Ali, trapped lbw by Neville Liyanage, off the very first ball of the innings.

Experienced Jatinder Singh and young Aaqib Ilyas went on to study the ship and were involved in a 97-run partnership before the former departed in the 18th over after scoring 44 runs with six boundaries.

Aaqib, who scored 61 with eight fours and a six, captain Sultan Ahmed, with 51 runs, provided further momentum to Oman innings.

However, it was Naseem Khushi who ensured Oman has formidable total to defend with some lusty blows. His 30-ball 77, which included eight huge sixes and four fours, dented the Malaysian morale before they could start their chase of 293 target.




Their confidence was further shattered, at the very beginning of their innings, by deadly strikes from Munis Ansari, who went on to reduce Malaysia to two for 14, dismissing Syed Aziz (1) and Ahmed Faiz (4).

Fellow pacer Bilal Khan then accounted for Virandeep Singh before Munis removed the dangerous opening batsman Anwar Arudin, who smashed six fours and four sixes in his 34-ball 57, and Aminuddin Ramly in quick succession.

Then the leg break bowler Khawar Ali claimed first of his five scalps sending back Shafiq Sharif (33) and Khizar Hayat (28) before polishing off the tail as the Malaysians folded up for 162 in 33.1 overs.

Khawar Ali was deservedly declared the man of the match.

In another match played on Monday, the U.S. team defeated hosts Uganda by 13 runs.

Tuesday’s final between Oman and Canada is scheduled to start at 11.00 a.m. Oman time while the U.S. and Singapore will clash in the third-place play-off at the same time.

SCOREBOARD

OMAN

Khawar Ali lbw Liyanage 0

Jatinder Singh run out 44

Aaqib Ilyas b Khizar Hayat 61

Zeeshan Maqsood lbw Khizar Hayat 8

Ajay Lalcheta st Shafiq Sharif b Mohd Shukri 24

Sultan Ahmed c Ahmed Faiz b Liyanage 51

Mohammae Nadeem c Virandeep Singh b Mohd Wafiq 14

Naseem Khushi (not out) 77

Nestor Dhamba (not out) 0

Extras (b-5, lb-1, w-5, nb-3) 14

Total (7 wkts; 50 overs) 293

Did not bat: Munis Ansari, Bilal Khan

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-98, 3-113, 4-124, 5-161, 6-199, 7-269.

Bowling: N. Liyanage 6-0-57-2 (w-1); Mohd Wafiq 9-0-75-1 (nb-2, w-1); Khizar Hayat 10-0-23-2; Pavandeep Singh 7-0-55-0; Mohammed Shukri 10-1-40-1; Virandeep Singh 8-0-37-0 (w-3).

MALAYSIA

Anwar Arudin c Sultan Ahmed b Munis Ansari 57

Syed Aziz c Aqib Ilyas b Munis Ansari 1

Ahmed Faiz c Naseem Khushi b Munis Ansari 4

Virandeep Singh c Munis Ansari b Bilal Khan 20

Shafiq Sharif c Mohd Nadeem b Khawar Ali 33

Aminuddin Ramly b Munis Ansari 1

Khizar Hayat st Sultan Ahmed b Khawar Ali 28

N. Liyanage c Ajay Lalcheta b Khawar Ali 10

Mohammed Shukri c Aaqib Ilyas b Khawar Ali 0

Pavandeep Singh (not out) 0

Mohammed Wafiq c Nestor Dhamba b Khawar Ali 0

Extras (lb-4, w-3, nb-1) 8

Total (all out; 33.1 overs) 162

Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-14, 3-63, 4-94, 5-99, 6-130, 7-151, 8-153, 9-162.

Bowling: Bilal Khan 5-1-28-1 (w-1); Munis Ansari 8-1-46-4 (nb-1, w-1); Aaqib Ilyas 2-0-25-0; Mohammed Nadeem 4-0-15-0 (w-1); Khawar Ali 8.1-1-23-5; Ajay Lalcheta 1-0-7-0; Zeeshan Maqsood 5-1-14-0.


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