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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman begin Desert Cup campaign in style

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MUSCAT: Hosts Oman got off to a flyer in the Desert Cup T20 Series at the Oman Cricket Academy ground in Al Amerat on Monday night as they trounced Saudi Arabia by nine wickets.


The opening match between the GCC nations turned out to be a lop-sided contest and Oman chief coach Duleep Mendis would be happy with his boys’ all-round performance, in particular, the team’s pace duo of Bilal Khan and the lanky Kaleemullah.


Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Saudi Arabia never could recover from the early blows as they were reduced to 22 for four in the sixth over. Both the Oman pacers shared five wickets between them with Bilal taking 3/20. Kaleemullah returned with figures of 2/14. Saudi Arabia batters could muster only 86/8. Haseeb Ghafoor was the top-scorer with an unbeaten 34.


In reply, Oman were off to a flying start as openers Kashyap Kumar Prajapati and Jatinder Singh shared a 73-run stand in just nine overs to almost secure the match. Prajapati was the only batter to be dismissed. He scored 32 off 28 deliveries and had four hits to the fence. Jatinder went on to hammer an unbeaten 50 off 28 balls to take Oman home in the 11th over. His knock included seven boundaries and a maximum.


Oman take on Bahrain in their next match on Tuesday night.


The four-team series involve Canada and will be played in a double round-robin format followed by a 3rd place playoff and a final.


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