Muscat: Oman survived yet another middle order collapse to overcome a fighting Mumbai by 3 wickets in the third and final T20 match, winning the series 2-1 at Oman Cricket Academy Ground One in Al Amerat on Friday.
Chasing 136 to win, Oman once again made what looked like a modest target a mountain to climb before sealing the win in the final over. Stand in captain Aqib Ilyas received the winner’s trophy from Munu Mahawar, Ambassador of India to Oman in the presence of top Oman Cricket officials.
Mumbai struggled again against a potent Oman attack which restricted the tourists to 135 for 7 in 20 overs. Aakarshit Gomel and Sujit Naik were the only notable scorers with 34 and 25 respectively.
Aqib was the pick of Oman bowlers, taking 3 for 22 in an impressive 4-over spell.
Openers Jatinder Singh and Aqib helped Oman to a flying start once again with a flurry of shots as the hosts reached 50 without loss in the sixth over before both fell in quick succession.
Mumbai spinners saw the opportunity and fought hard, reducing Oman to 112 for 7 in 17.2 overs. However a 24-run partnership between Sandeep Goud and Kaleemullah saw Oman hope on the penultimate ball. Requiring 11 to win in the last over, Sandeep lofted Aakash Parakar over extra cover for a superb six on the first ball to make it easy for Oman.
“We are really happy that we have won the series as we had worked hard for this. Jatinder is in great form and played really well today. Mumbai is a very good side. They kept fighting back throughout the series and put us in a tight spot every time we thought we’ll win easily,” said Oman captain Aqib.
Mumbai captain Shams Mulani rued the fact that his bowlers did not have enough runs on the board to win the game.
“It was a great learning series for us, a really good experience playing against a top international side. Oman knew the conditions well and used that knowledge to their advantage. Batting was a bit of concern for us and if we had a few more runs on the board it could have been really interesting. However, ours is a young side and will carry a lot of positives from the series,” added Mulani.
The keenly contested high pressure games provided Oman the much needed practice before the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup in October. The two teams will now lock horns in a four-match 50-over series starting on Sunday which will help Oman prepare for the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) 2 tournament games in September.
Brief scores: Mumbai 135 for 7 in 20 overs (Aakarshit Gomel 34 – 4x4, 1x6, Sujit Naik 25 – 2x4, 1x6, Chimany Suter 19 – 2x4. Aqib Ilyas 3-22) lost to Oman 136 for 7 in 19.5 overs (Jatinder Singh 46 – 3x4, 5x6, Sandeep Goud 20 not out – 1x4, 1x6, Aqib Ilyas 17 – 2x4, 1x6. Sujit Naik 2-20, Mohit Avasthi 2-24) by 3 wickets.