Cricket fraternity celebrates as Oman secure spot in the T20 World Cup 2024

Sports Saturday 04/November/2023 19:12 PM
By: Times News Service
Cricket fraternity celebrates as Oman secure spot in the T20 World Cup 2024

Muscat: Cricket enthusiasts in Oman were filled with joy and pride as the Men in Red earned their spot in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 with a dominating ten-wicket victory over Bahrain in the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s T20 Asia Qualifier Final 2023 in Kirtipur, Nepal, on Friday.

Nepal also secured their place in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 by defeating the UAE in the other semi-final.

Duleep Mendis, Oman's coach, commended his team's outstanding performance, saying, "This is a significant achievement and the result of meticulous planning. The five-match T20 series against Afghanistan A ahead of the Nepal tour in Muscat played a crucial role. We are the only GCC nation to qualify for the T20 World Cup three times."

S Shankar, a devoted Oman Cricket fan, expressed his joy, and said, "This is an incredible achievement by our team, especially considering that the players are not even full-time professionals. The strong support from Oman Cricket has allowed the game and the team to leave a significant mark at the continental level. I am eagerly anticipating Oman's participation in the T20 World Cup, where they will compete with some of the top cricketing nations, including India and Pakistan."

For the first time, the 2024 T20 World Cup will feature 20 teams, divided into four groups of five, and will be co-hosted by the USA and the West Indies. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super Eight phase, where the remaining teams will be split into two groups of four. The top two from each group will advance to the semi-finals.

Oman's qualification for the T20 World Cup marks their third appearance in the tournament, having previously qualified in India in 2016 and in 2021, when Oman co-hosted the event with the UAE.

On Friday at the TU ground, Bahrain won the toss and chose to bat first, but Oman's incisive bowling left them struggling at 77/8 by the 16th over. A late surge led by Ahmed Bin Nisar (26*) helped Bahrain reach a total of 106/9 in their 20 overs. Aqib Ilyas was the standout bowler with a career-best 4/10 in four overs, while Shakeel Ahmed contributed with 2/24.

Openers Kashyap Prajapati (57 off 44) and Pratik Athavale (50 off 42) comfortably chased down the target by the 15th over. Prajapati struck six fours and two sixes, and Athavale had six fours to his name. Aqib Ilyas was named the Player of the Match for his outstanding bowling performance.

In the other semi-final, Nepal played in front of a jam-packed crowd at the Mulpani Cricket Ground and defeated the United Arab Emirates by eight wickets to secure their place in the T20 World Cup, marking their second appearance at the global event.

Both Oman and Nepal will now compete in a showpiece final at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Sunday.