Oman extended its unbeaten streak to three on Tuesday when they defeated Hong Kong by seven wickets with 27 balls remaining. Skipper Zeeshan Maqsood won the toss and chose to bowl first, and after bowling their opponents out for 176 this proved to be the right decision.
Interspersed between some good running between the wickets was a number of well-struck boundaries by both – especially in front of the wicket on the leg side – the innings appeared to be getting back on track as the partnership ticked over the half-century mark. The resurgence ended swiftly though when Tanwir edged a ball from the returning Bilal Khan and was smartly taken by the Omani skipper at slip.
Oman opening bowler Bilal Khan – player of the match for his figures of 4/30 – caught the edge of Anshuman Rath’s bat early on, and from then on it was slow going as Jamie Atkinson toughed it out from the other end. Atkinson was dismissed in the 9th over with 47 on the board bringing Tanwir Afzal to the crease to join Babar Hayat.
Not long after passing 50, Hayat tried to hit the leg spinner Ali back over his head for a maximum, but the ball took the inside half of the bat and he was caught by long on. Scott McKechnie crafted a clever innings of 26 but he was run out in a horrible mix up when Ehsan Khan struck a ball to cover and called a single. Khan and McKechnie ended up at the same end, and McKechnie was determined to be the man run out. The final two more wickets fell that over without troubling the scorers.
Oman were in control of the chase from the outset as Jatinder Singh and Khawar Ali began steadily. Hong Kong’s Ehsan Nawaz effected a direct hit run out from mid wicket catching Ali short at the non-striker’s end when the score was on 79. Singh was then joined by Aqib Ilyas and the two fell one short of a half century partnership when Ilyus play a lofted drive straight down long off’s throat from the leg spin of Subramanyan.
Singh was eventually dismissed for 65 when he hit a long hop from Kinchit Shah to Afzal at cover who took a neat catch low to his right. Zeeshan Maqsood strode to the crease at 134 and alongside all-rounder Mohammed Nadeem they saw Oman home in the 46th over.
USA and Namibia
were the other victors on Tuesday leaving the table looking like this after
three of five round matches.
United Cricket Ground will host Hong Kong’s match tomorrow against the USA, whose Ali Khan is leading the wickets tally with 12 wickets at 9.5 apiece.
Oman will take on the hosts at Windhoek Affies Park.