Shahzad Raza –
Oman Under-19 team reached the semifinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Asia Division two after coming out victorious from its sternest test in the tournament and beating Saudi Arabia by 4 wickets in a crucial Group A clash in Bangkok on Wednesday.
Unbeaten Oman has now strengthened its position at the top of team standings with 6 points from three games, followed by Saudi Arabia with 4 points from three outings.
Oman bowlers were outstanding again, dismissing Saudis for 104 in the 42nd over. Kevin Stagy Kattokaran and Sanjay Ravindran ran through another opposition batting line-up, picking up three wickets each.
Struggling at 40 for 5, Oman showed great character in fighting back, Neev Poojari playing the leading role in putting the run chase back on track with two vital partnerships. He was first involved in a 39-run 6th wicket partnership with captain Prathamesh Kumble (11 off 59) and then an unbroken 26-run partnership with Yash Mehta who remained not out on 11 off 29. Neev’s 42 not out off 107 balls, including 3 boundaries, ultimately steered Oman to a fighting victory. Opener Adeel Abbas had earlier scored 15 off 38. Saud claimed three wickets for Saudis.
In the other low-scoring Group A game yesterday, Thailand beat Bhutan by 20 runs even after scoring only 60. In the Group B results, Hong Kong thrashed Bahrain by 96 runs while Maldives match against China was abandoned due to rain.
Oman will now take on hosts Thailand on Friday before playing the semifinals on Sunday. The final is scheduled for Monday.
Saudi Arabia Under-19
Abdullah Riaz c P Kumble b Y Mehta 20
M. Taha c KS Kattokaran b SR Ravindra 23
Osama Ahmed c AS Sirah b KS Kattokaran 6
Nawazish Jezuli (cpt & wk) b AS Sirah 9
Saud run out (NJ Poojari) 5
Rayyan Azhar b SR Ravindra 1
Abdullah Wasi c Azam Ali b P Kumble 10
Ahmed Baladraf c JY Tanna b SR Ravindra 0
Zohaib Asim not out 0
Mohamed Naeem st J Biju b KS Kattokaran 0
Mohd. Yaseenuddin lbw KS Kattokaran 0
Extras: (nb 1, w 25, b 1, lb 3) 30 Total: (all out, 41.3 overs) 104
Fall of wickets: 31-1, 45-2, 65-3, 88-4, 91-5, 93-6, 93-7, 104-8, 104-9
Bowling: Y Mehta 6-1-20-1, JY Tanna 2-0-11-0,
KS Kattokaran 9.3-5-8-3, Adeel Abbas 2-0-8-0, SR Ravindra 10-4-16-3, AS Sirah 8-0-26-1,
Prathamesh Kumble 4-1-11-1
Adeel Abbas lbw Osama Ahmed 15
Azam Ali run out (Saud) 1
SR Ravindra c Nawazish Jezuli b Saud 6
Mohd. Sameer c Ahmed Baladraf b Saud 3
NJ Poojari not out 42
AS Sirah c Ahmed Baladraf b Saud 0
P Kumble (cpt) c Zohaib Asim b A. Baladraf 11
Y Mehta not out 11
Extras: (nb 1, w 12, b 2, lb 1) 16
Total: (6 wickets, 47.4 overs) 105
Fall of wickets: 4-1, 28-2, 28-3, 40-4, 40-5, 79-6
Bowling: Mohamed Naeem 8-0-19-0, Zohaib Asim 5-0-13-0, Ahmed Baladraf 10-3-15-1, Osama Ahmed 10-4-21-1, Saud 10-5-12-3, Muhammad Taha 2.4-0-13-0, Mohammed