Unbeaten Oman shoot to top spot with victory over Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: Oman shot to the top of the six-nation Asia Cup Qualifiers table with a powerful 8-wicket win over Singapore thanks to a scintillating century by dashing opener Aqib Ilyas and a 4-wicket haul by left-arm speedster Bilal Khan here on Saturday. With a total of 6 points from 3 games it has played so far, Oman remain the only unbeaten side in the tournament with two more matches to go against Hong Kong and the UAE on Sunday and Tuesday respectively. The top two teams will then clash in the final on Thursday, September 6 to decide the winner who will qualify to play in the Asia Cup, starting on September 15 in the UAE.
Chasing a target of 216 to win, set by Singapore after it elected to bat first, Oman raced to the target in just 26.4 overs, riding on a 151-run opening stand between Aqib and Jatinder Singh who contributed an entertaining 53 off 46. Aqib’s swashbuckling 108 came off 71 balls including 12 fours and 6 sixes. Veterans Khawar Ali (36 off 31) and Vaibhav Wategaonkar (12 off 13) then guided Oman to victory without further loss.
Earlier, Oman seamers bowled brilliantly again taking 7 of the 8 Singapore wickets to fall as it limped to 215 for 8 in 50 overs. Anish Param (77 off 93) and Rohan Rangarajan (68 off 92) were the only notable scorers. Bilal led the bowling honours for Oman, taking 4 for 40 while Muhammed Nadeem bagged 2 for 21.
Brief scores: Singapore 215 for 8 in 50 overs (Anish Param 77 – 5×4, 3×6, Rohan Rangarajan 68 – 6×4, 2×6. Bilal Khan 4-40, Muhammed Nadeem 2-21, Kaleemullah 1-29) lost to Oman 216 for 2 in 26.4 overs (Aqib Ilyas 108 – 12×4, 6×6. Jatinder Singh 53 – 6×4, 2×6, Khawar Ali 36 – 6×4) by 8 wickets.