Ayaan Khan receiving man of the match prize from Oman Cricket Chairman Pankaj Khimji
MUSCAT: Ayaan Khan’s superb all-round performance powered Oman to a thumping 72-run victory against USA in a Cricket World Cup League 2 game at Oman Cricket Academy Ground One in Al Amerat on Monday.
Ayaan struck a patient 41 to help Oman to 274 for 7 and then ran through USA with a sterling 4 for 36 spell that showcased his bowling prowess as well.
This was Oman’s third win in four games as the hosts ended another the Tri-series on top, stretching their lead to 22 points from 14 matches. USA are a distant second with 14 points from 16 games followed by Scotland at 9 from 8.
Oman will next host Scotland and PNG in the next Tri-series of the competition, starting on September 25. Oman’s first game will be against PNG the next day.
USA needed a solid start to chase the total down on a wicket that appeared to support spin but found itself on the back foot as it was reduced to 97 for 4. Ayaan started the slide as he removed Monank Patel for a well-made 56.
Khawar Ali teamed up with Ayaan to hasten the tourists’ fall as it folded up for 202 in the 40th over. Khawar picked up 3 for 49.
Oman coach DuleepMendis was delighted with how the success in the tri-series as it was achieved without some of its main players.
“This is a wonderful achievement by the players who were brilliant for much of the series. Ayaan had a fantastic game today and contributed to the team’s win. Of course, we missed our two main players Aqib Ilyas and Khawar who were not fit. I wasn’t happy to see Khawar low down the order but we needed his bowling today and he did not disappoint us,” he said.
“We want our players to be in the peak form before the World Cup starts and today’s game was a good example of that. It is a great morale booster to win three games out of four. We will be going into the next tri-series with much more confidence,” he added.
Oman’s secret to a competitive total lay in partnerships as most of the batters spent some good time in the middle, backing each other up to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The 58-run opening stand between the prolific Jatinder Singh and debutant Pruthvi Kumar Machhi laid the foundation for what tuned out to be a good total to defend.
Captain Zeeshan Maqsood dealt in sixes during a crucial 69-run fourth wicket partnership with the promising Ayaan, hitting half a dozen over the ropes with consummate easy. Curbing his natural instincts to attack, Ayaan was the perfect foil to Zeeshan’s flamboyance as Oman continued to march ahead.
Naseem Khush ended the innings with yet another assault, striking a quickfire 35 not out, whacking 3 sixes and 2 fours whereas Sandeep Goud contributed a fluent 25 including 2 big sixes. Nosthush Kenjige was the most successful US bowler, taking 3 for 49.
Brief scores: Oman 274 for 7 in 50 overs (Zeeshan Maqsood 53 – 6x6, Jatinder Singh 42 – 6x4, Ayaan Khan 41 – 2x4, 1x6, Naseem Khushi 35 not out – 2x4, 3x6, PruthvikumarMachhi 25 – 2x4, Sandeep Goud 25 – 1x4, 2x6. NosthushKenjige 3-49) beat USA 202 all out in (Monank Patel 56 – 2x4, 2x6, Gajanand Singh 48 – 3x4, 1x6. Ayaan Khan 4-36, Khawar Ali 3-49) by 72 runs.