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Bahrain beat Oman in Desert Cup thriller

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MUSCAT: Bahrain shocked hosts Oman by six wickets in a thriller to bounce back from their opening match loss to Canada in the Desert Cup T20I Series at the Oman Cricket Academy ground in Al Amerat on Tuesday night.


Sohail Ahmed’s unbeaten half-century and Imran Khan’s four-for steered Bahrain to victory with just three balls to spare as they chased the target of 134.


After restricting the hosts to 134/8, Sohail Ahmed’s 39-ball 55 and Haider Butt’s run-a-ball 28 ensured the team to win in the last over.


David Mathias 16-ball 19 was the other notable contributor as Bahrain overcame the early hiccups to pocket two points from the win.


Bahrain lost openers, Ahmed Bin Nisar and skipper Sarfaraz Ali in seven overs but the team had put on 43 runs by then.


Mathias’ wicket seven runs later gave a glimmer of hope for the hosts to fight back but Ahmed and Butt shared a 75-run fourth-wicket partnership to deny the hosts.


Oman’s lanky Rafiullah was the only successful bowler with figures of 4/25 as skipper Zeeshan Maqsood tried as many as seven bowlers to break the stand between Ahmed and Butt.


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Earlier, put to bat first, Oman suffered setbacks in powerplay as Jatinder Singh, who had scored a half-century in the team’s opening match win against Saudi Arabia, was dismissed by Imran Khan for 11.


Shoaib Khan was the second of the four victims of Imran Khan for a duck. Kashyap Prajapati (19) and Maqsood (5) were back in the hut in a space of three balls. Ayaan Khan and Mohammad Nadeem tried to resurrect the innings with a 23-run stand in four overs.


Following Ayaan’s exit, Rafiullah (27) and Nadeem (24) built another partnership of 38 runs before the duo’s dismissal in two successive overs stalled the run scoring.


Samay Shrivastava’s 11-ball quickfire 22 that included two fours and a six helped Oman reach 134.


Besides Imran’s four-for, Mathias bagged two wickets.


In the other match on Tuesday night, Canada trounced Saudi Arabia by 66 runs for their second successive win and lead the standings in the four-nation T20I series with four points.


Oman and Bahrain have two points each with the hosts ahead on better net run-rate.


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