Muscat: Counting on the value of building partnerships in a one-day game, Mumbai rode on the resilience of its batters to beat a fighting Oman by 4 wickets, winning the series 3-1 here in the fourth and final game at Oman Cricket Academy Ground One in Al Amerat on Friday.
Oman had won the 3-match T20 series 2-1.
Boasting strong bowling attacks, the two sides kept putting each other under immense pressure in two weeks of intense cricket.
Chasing Oman’s 247 for 8, Mumbai had to do something better than Oman opener Kashyap Prajapati’s monumental 146 off 138, which it did in parts, riding on three brilliant half centuries to secure the game in the 47th over, scoring 251 for 6.
Aakarshit Gomel, Hardik Tamore and Sairaj Patil rose to the occasion with superb fifties after Oman had reduced their side to 2 for 18 in the first seven overs. Oman fought back again reducing Mumbai to 150 for 5 in 30 overs from a strong 126 for 2 in 25.
However, a 92-run partnership between Sairaj (52 not out) and captain Shams Mulani (41) brought the tourists to the brink of victory which was formally claimed with more than three overs to spare. Oman pacer Bilal Shah was quite impressive with the new ball, taking 3 for 40.
Kashyap’s special knock was an epitome of application and aggression as he paced his innings to perfection, shifting gears as the situation demanded.
He relied on his rock solid defence when Oman was reduced to 55 for 4 and then 106 for 6 in 28 overs, building a 122-run seventh wicket partnership with Nester Dhamba (32 off 62) to overcome the crisis. Requiring acceleration in the end, hehit sixes at will as Oman needed acceleration to put a fighting total on the board.
His stay on the crease included 9 sixes and 5 fours. The total was given a massive boost by Rafiullah’s stunning onslaught as he clobbered 3 sixes in his four-ball 19 not out to take Oman to a respectable 248 for 8 in 50 overs. Shashank Attarde was the pick of Mumbai bowlers, taking 3 for 43 whereas Deepak Shetty claimed 2 for 48.
Speaking after the game, Kashyap said, “I came out to bat with a plan to play 50 overs. I am happy that I was able to build partnerships and contribute to our team’s total. I was confident that we will be able to accelerate in the end which we did to post a decent total on the board.”
Mumbai captain Shams Mulani was delighted with the series result in his team’s favour.
“Thanks to Oman Cricket for inviting us and giving us the chance to play such a good Oman side. The entire tour was wonderful and we enjoyed using the indoor practice facilities too. I must acknowledge that Oman is set to go a long way,” he added.
Oman captain Khawar Ali said the series provide his team valuable match practice that it so badly required.
“We could have bowled and fielded better but all credit to the Mumbai team for playing such wonderful cricket. The biggest positive from today’s game was to see Kashyap play so well. I am sure we will see a lot of runs from him in the future,” commented the premier all-rounder.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Madhu Jesrani, Secretary Oman Cricket, said, “ It wasn’t easy to bring Mumbai here for the series but thanks to the government of Oman we were able to do this. We are grateful to the Mumbai team for coming over and playing such wonderful cricket. Oman Cricket is very happy to see them here and they provided us great opportunity to prepare for the bigger games. We missed our regular captain Zeeshan Maqsood who wasn’t fit for the one-day series. Hopefully he will be fit soon for the WCL 2 matches.”
Commenting on the occasion, Alkesh Joshi, Oman Cricket Board Director, said, “Oman sun is going to shine very brightly on world cricket. We are looking forward to raising our profile as a dependable host of cricket events. Apart from the upcoming WCL 2 and ICC T20 Cricket World Cup, we have also bid to host other tournaments and I am sure this wonderful cricket infrastructure that we have built over the years will continue to serve the international community and the game of cricket.”
Brief scores: Oman 248 for 8 in 50 overs (Kashyap Prajapati 146 – 5x4, 9x6, Nester Dhamba 32 – 1x6, Rafiullah 19 not out – 3x6. Shashank Attarde 3-43, Deepak Shetty 2-48) lost to Mumbai 251 for 6 in 46.5 overs (Aakarshit Gomel 60 – 1x4, 2x6, Hardik Tamore 58 – 6x4, 2x6, Sairaj Patil 52 not out – 5x4, Shams Mulani 41 – 1x4, 2x6. Bilal Shah 3-40) by 4 wickets.