"Oman's win didn't take us by surprise": Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie

Sports Tuesday 20/June/2023 07:26 AM
"Oman's win didn't take us by surprise": Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie

Bulawayo : After suffering a shocking defeat against Oman in the World Cup Qualifier, Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie said that it didn't take his team by "surprise".

Even though Ireland managed to post a competitive total of 281/7, they still fell behind in the second innings and faced an early upset in the tournament. Balbirnie reflected back on the game and revealed what went wrong for his team and what they need to do next as the tournament proceeds further.

"Very disappointing... we felt like we had a pretty good score. Like I said, 280 in a one-day game is pretty good. They were hard to bowl to at times. We felt right in the game. Oman's win didn't 't take us by surprise... it's a long tournament. We need to get back into it pretty quickly," Balbirnie said after the match.

During the match, Oman chased their target down in style, with half-centuries from Kashyap Prajapati, Aqib Ilyas and Zeeshan Maqsood breaking Ireland's hope of clinching victory.

They managed to chase down the target with 11 balls to spare as Mohammad Nadeem (46*), Ayaan Khan (21) and Shoaib Khan (19*) finished off comfortably.

After enjoying a flurry of lower-order runs, Ireland kept the momentum which they gained in the final overs going as Mark Adair sent opener Jatinder Singh back to the pavilion for one run.

But a partnership of 94 between Ilyas and Prajapati laid the foundation of success for Oman.

In their search for victory, they suffered another blow as Ilyas departed for a 49-ball 52 to Dockrell.

Prajapati and Oman skipper Maqsood kept the flow of runs intact. They added 62 runs for the third wicket before the opener finally lost his wicket to Josh Little for a score of 72.

Little struck again to remove Maqsood for 59, but it was too late to turn things around. Ayaan Khan's 21 was ended by Adair's caught and bowled, but Mohammad Nadeem's 46* took Oman closer to victory.

The winning runs came at the start of the second last over, to mark Oman's victory by 5 wickets.