Oman book spot at T20 Cricket World Cup 2020 in Australia
Oman achieved their target in the last chance when they beat Hong Kong by 12 runs in a crucial World Cup T20 Qualifier play-off in Dubai late on Wednesday to book their spot in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup in Australia.
Ireland, PNG, Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland are the other teams that made it to Australia 2020 World Cup.
The six teams will compete in the first round in October 2020.
Three of that sextet will join Sri Lanka in Group A of the first round, with the four teams embarking on a round-robin competition in Geelong from October 18-22.
The remaining three will join Bangladesh in Group B, with their matches taking place from October 19-23 in Hobart.
In Dubai, Oman booked their second World T20 appearance after a brilliant fightback.
A fighting 67 not out by opener Jatinder Singh and a nine-ball 26 from Muhammad Naseem guided Oman to a respectable 134 for 7 wickets in 20 overs. Jatinder’s crucial innings fetched him the man of the match award.
“It is an amazing feeling. All our hardwork has paid off. We were brilliant today,” the right-handed opener, who had many ‘switch hits’ in the match that fetched him several boundaries, said.
“I like to dig in to the last, so I knew that if I stayed there, we were going to get 130 plus easily and I knew we were capable of defending it.”
Pace bowler Bilal Khan wrecked Hong Kong top-order and returned with four wickets for 23 runs. Fayaz Butt and Khawar Ali took two wickets each for Oman.
Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood said it was a tremendous effort by the players.
“We showed great fight back after losing six wickets. Jatinder played a fighting innings. It was a great victory.”
Zeeshan said Sultanate’s frontline bowler Bilal Khan was a real asset for the team, saying he was “unplayable today.”
Scott McKechnie was the batting mainstay for Hong Kong with 44 from 46 balls as they ended at 112 for nine in 20 overs.
Hong Kong captain Aizaz Khan was disappointed with the defeat.
“We could not capitalise on power-play overs. We lost too many wickets in the middle and missed out on the chase.
At one stage, Oman were six wickets down for 42 runs in 9 overs. Then Jatinder, who is now the highest scorer in the tournament with 287 runs, built a partnership with Aamir Kaleem. Kaleem scored 17 from 30 balls.
Then came Naseem who hit two big sixes and two fours and raised the Oman run-rate along with a set batsman Jatinder.
Singh hit seven to the fence and one over the fence in his well-made 67 from 50 balls.
Naseem and Jatinder made some lusty blows in the final overs as Oman belted 50 runs from the last three overs.
Six of Oman’s batsmen were out for single digits.
The play-off was the last chance for Oman and Hong Kong to make it to the World Cup in Australia.
On Tuesday, Namibia beat Oman by 54 runs to qualify for the World Cup. But win against Hong Kong made them the sixth and final team to qualify for the T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.
Scotland finish fifth
Scotland claimed the fifth spot in the Qualifier after they beat Oman by five wickets in the play-off on Thursday.
Oman won the toss and opted to bat first. A quickfire 43 (29 balls) by Khawar Ali gave Oman a good start and posted 167-7. Oman belted 63 runs off the last six overs.
However, a brilliant 45-ball 61 by Matthew Cross propelled Scots to overhaul the target with one over to spare. Bilal Khan took two wickets for Oman.
Scotland had thrashed hosts UAE by 90 runs on Wednesday to seal their qualification spot.
Brief scores: Oman 134-7 in 20 overs (Jatinder Singh 67 not out, Muhammad Naseem 26 not out, Aamir Kaleem 17; Nasrulla Rana 2-26, Ehsan Khan 1-15, Mohammad Ghazanfar 1-15) beat Hong Kong 122-9 in 20 overs (Scott McKechnie 44, Haroon Arshad 20; Bilal Khan 4-23, Fayaz Butt 2-17, Khawar Ali 2-23).