Bulawayo, June 21 () Aqib Ilyas, Shoaib Khan and Mohammad Nadeem struck half-centuries each as Oman coasted to a comfortable five-wicket victory over UAE in their Men’s ODI World Cup Qualifier Group B match at Bulawayo Athletic Club, here on Wednesday.
Electing to bowl first, Jay Odedra (3/31), Bilal Khan (2/46) and Fayyaz Butt (2/49) took seven wickets between themselves to restrict UAE to 227/8 in 50 overs. With the bat, Ilyas (53), Shoaib (52 not out) and Nadeem (50 not out) along with a quick 41 from Ayaan Khan took Oman home with five wickets in hand and four overs to spare.
Oman didn’t have a rosy start to their chase as Junaid Siddique took out openers Kashyap Prajapati and Jatinder Singh in quick succession. Ilyas and Shoaib joined forces to get Oman back in the chase.
The duo batted carefully over the next 10 overs, getting Oman to 42/2 in the first 15 before going for their shots. They went about six an over between overs 16-25 and got Oman to 101, as the duo added 100 runs for the third wicket.
But Oman fell in trouble when Aqib (53) was bowled by Rohan Mustafa in the 27th over, and Shoaib retired hurt at the end of that very over due to cramps, followed by the off-spinner coming back to take out captain Zeeshan Maqsood in the 30th over.
But Nadeem and Ayaan took the attacking route against UAE’s bowlers to bring up their fifty-run stand off 47 balls. Though UAE got a breakthrough in the 43rd over when Aayan dismissed Ayaan for 41, Shoaib came back to take Oman over the line with Nadeem’s help, while also getting to his half-century.
Earlier, an 87-run stand for the third wicket between Vriitya Aravind and Rameez Shahzad, followed by an aggressive fifty by teenager Aayan were the standout efforts from UAE’s batting innings.
Bilal Khan drew first blood for Oman when he got the UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem lbw for 8 in the third over of the morning. The very next over, Fayyaz Butt had Mustafa caught behind for the same score as UAE were kept to 36/2 at the 10-over mark.
Aravind and Rameez brought order after chaos to bring calmness to UAE’s innings. But Rameez falling to Odedra’s off-spin in the 25th over gave Oman a crucial breakthrough at the right time.
From there, Oman clawed back by picking three wickets between overs 26-35 besides stifling the scoring rate. Aravind and Ali Naseer were cleaned up by Odedra’s brilliant off-spin, while Basil Hameed fell to Ayaan’s left-arm spin. When Fayyaz returned to account for Asif Khan in the 40th over, UAE were 154/7 and that’s when Aayan stepped in to hit 10 fours in his aggressive 58 not out to take the total over 200.
Brief Scores: Oman 228/5 in 46 overs (Aqib Ilyas 53, Shoaib Khan 52 not out; Junaid Siddique 2/31, Rohan Mustafa 2/31) beat UAE 227/8 in 50 overs (Aayan Afzal Khan 58 not out, Vriitya Aravind 49; Jay Odedra 3/31, Bilal Khan 2/46) by five wickets.