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Oman stunned Netherlands

Group B outsider Oman
announced to the Associate cricket world that it is a serious contender for
qualification to major ICC tournaments with an impressive and decisive win over
the experienced Netherlands in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

 

Dedicating the victory
to team-mate Khawar Ali, who was forced to return home just hours before the
match due to the tragic death of his father, the Oman team put in a complete
performance that was set up by the fast bowling of Munis Ansari and finished off
by the quality batting of Jatinder Singh.

 

Munis took a remarkable
4-16 off four overs, ripping through the Dutch late-middle order and ensuring
they crumbled from 117-4 after 16.1 overs to 135 all out before the 20th over
could be completed.

 

But after losing Zeeshan
Ahmed early, Oman needed a steadying influence to get the job done. Enter
Jatinder, who came in and batted with great assurance and maturity to see his
side home by six wickets. It is a famous win for Oman and one that will be
celebrated joyfully all the way from Salalah up to the Musandam peninsula.

 

“It is a great victory
and it means a huge amount for us,” said man of the match Jatinder. “The ball
was coming nicely on to the bat and everything worked out well for us. The
favour was on our side. When I was batting I was just thinking I need to stay
at the wicket and score singles and doubles so that later at the death overs I
can be more brutal.

 

“We are now very
confident going into our game against Afghanistan. This win gives us huge confidence
and the boys are all in high spirits. We are third place in the standings now
so we fancy our chances for the rest of the tournament.”

 

Coach Duleep Mendis
said: “We dedicate this victory to the memory of the father of one of our best
players (Khawar Ali) who unfortunately had to go home to be with his family.
With all that, the boys came here and put up a good show today in his
dedication. We were so keen to do well today and I think all in all it was a
good performance.”

 

Former England all-rounder
Derek Pringle, who is now technical adviser to the Oman team, said: “We are
getting better and better, game by game, and I think we thoroughly deserved
that. That was our third game. In the first game we put together a good bowling
performance but our batting fell away and we lost.

 

“In the second game, our
bowlers weren’t so good and our batsmen game to the fore. And today, in this
game, it was more balanced – it was a decent bowling performance, particularly
by Munis, and then with the batting, Jatinder Singh played brilliantly.”

 

Looking ahead, the
Omanis say they are not finished yet and have set their sights on qualification
for the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India.

 

Pringle added: “We are
confident. They played Afghanistan before and did pretty well. They had them in
a bit of trouble. You know, T20 is one of those formats where you can’t take
anything for granted. So yes, it good to have confidence. Yes, we are playing
better than we were at the start of the tournament but we take nothing for granted
and we need to string together a good bowling and batting performance to have
any chance of beating Afghanistan because they are a strong side.”

 

Elsewhere, a
half-century from Mohammad Shahzad ensured it was a doubly good day for teams
from the Arabian Peninsula as UAE beat Canada by five wickets at Stirling.
Chasing just 133 for victory thanks to a solid all-round performance by UAE’s
bowlers, Shahzad hit two fours and three sixes on his way to 56, setting up a
relatively straightforward win.

 

And after the
disappointment of losing to Afghanistan and Netherlands, Scotland returned to
winning ways defeating Kenya by seven wickets at the Grange. An unbroken
partnership of 51 in just over five overs from the impressive Matthew Cross (45
not out) and Richie Berrington (34 not out) was enough to ease the Scots past
Kenya’s total of 141-5 with no fewer than 31 balls to spare.

 

This sequence of results
makes for interesting reading on the Group B league standings. Unbeaten
Afghanistan lead the way with seven points but it is very congested below that
with Kenya clinging on to second place with five points and then three sides,
Scotland, Oman and Netherlands level on four, only narrowly separated by net
run-rate. Crucially, Oman has played three matches compared to four for its
main rivals. The next few days will be fascinating as Group B goes down to the
wire.

 

Today’s scores:

At Myreside: Netherlands
135 all out, 19.4 overs (Stephan Mybergh 41, Max O’Dowd 32; Munis Ansari 4-15,
Rajeshkumar Ranpura 3-30, Amir Ali 2-26)

Oman
138-4, 19 overs (Jatinder Singh 65 not out, Zeeshan Maqsood 29)

Oman
won by six wickets

 

At Stirling: Canada
132-9, 20 overs (Hiral Patel 45, Navneet Dhaliwal 39; Rohan Mustafa 2-15,
Mohammad Tauqir 2-22, Nasir Aziz 2-29)

UAE
136-5, 19.1 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 56, Swapnil Patil 27; Cecil Pervez 2-32)

UAE
won by five wickets

 

At The Grange: Kenya 141-5, 20 overs (Irfan Karim 46, Morris Ouma 36 not
out; Michael Leask 2-12)

Scotland
142-3, 14.5 overs (Matthew Cross 45 not out, George Munsey 35, Richie
Berrington 34 not out)

Scotland
won by seven wickets

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