Namibia clinch victory in low-scoring thriller against Oman

Sports Monday 01/April/2024 20:12 PM
By: Times News Service
Namibia clinch victory in low-scoring thriller against Oman

MUSCAT: Namibia emerged victorious in a gripping low-scoring encounter against Oman in the opening match of the five-match T20I series at the Oman Cricket Academy ground in Al Amerat.

Opting to field first, Namibia's decision bore fruit as they restricted Oman to a modest total of 109/9, showcasing a disciplined bowling performance. Chasing a below-par target, the visitors overcame a few hiccups to reach 114/6 with eight balls remaining.

Oman’s pacer Fayyaz Butt splendid spell of 3/21, with a wicket each in his three overs, raised hopes of defending the low target with Namibia stuttering at 36/4 at one stage.

Namibia, too, faced early setbacks as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Despite the loss of wickets, opener JP Kotze contributed 16 runs to provide a steady start.

Zane Green played a crucial innings, scoring 26 runs to stabilise Namibia's innings. The middle order, led by David Wiese's aggressive unbeaten knock of 23 runs off just 16 balls, guided Namibia towards the target.

Dylan Leicher's composed unbeaten 12 runs ensured Namibia reached the target with eight balls to spare. Wiese brought up the win with a four and a six off two successive balls off Bilal Khan in the 19th over.

For Oman, Mehran Khan picked two for 19 while Aqib Ilyas claimed one wicket.

Earlier, batting first, Oman's innings got off to a promising start with openers Pratik Athavale and Kashyap Prajapati forming a steady partnership.

They added 41 runs before Athavale departed, scoring 15 runs. However, the departure of Athavale triggered a collapse as Oman struggled to maintain momentum.

Kashyap Prajapati fought hard and top-scored with 33 runs, but lacked support from the middle order.

Despite a brief partnership between Prajapati and Aqib Ilyas, Oman's innings faltered as wickets fell at regular intervals.

Ilyas contributed 19 runs before becoming one of Tangeni Lungameni's victims. The middle and lower order failed to capitalise on starts, with none of the batsmen managing to reach double digits as six batters were dismissed for a total of 35 runs.

Oman's innings concluded at 109/9 in their allotted 20 overs as they rapidly slid from 74/4 in 10.5 overs.

Tangeni Lungameni led the bowling attack with a commendable spell of 3/13, well supported by Ruben Trumpelmann who secured 2/28. The Namibian bowlers, including David Wiese, Bernard Scholtz, and skipper Gerhard Erasmus, chipped in with crucial breakthroughs, ensuring Oman's batsmen struggled to build substantial partnerships.

The overall total of 223 was the lowest match aggregate involving both the teams in T20Is.

The low-scoring affair showcased the resilience of both teams, hinting at an enthralling series ahead. With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 looming, the competitive spirit was palpable as Oman and Namibia, both slated to participate in the tournament, showcased their prowess. As the series progresses, anticipation builds for more captivating contests between these teams.

The stage is set for the next showdown between Oman and Namibia, scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30pm, promising another gripping encounter in the series.

Both Oman and Namibia are placed in the same group at the World Cup, which also comprises Scotland, England and Australia.

Brief scores: Oman 109/9 (Kashyap Prajapati 33, Pratik Athavale 15, Aqib Ilyas 19; Tangeni Lungameni 3/13, Ruben Trumpelmann 2/28) lost to Namibia 114/6 in 18.4 overs (JP Kotze 16, Zane Green 26, David Wiese 23*; Fayyaz Butt 3/21, Mehran Khan 2/19).