Oman’s captain Sultan Ahmed hugs Shoaib Al Balushi
Picture by Vipin Madhavan

Oman pulled off a narrow yet convincing 11-run victory against Kuwait on the last day of the ACC Twenty20 to win not only the event but also a place in the ICC WorldTwenty20 Qualifier in June. Kuwait had been unbeaten up to that point, and with both teams finishing on an equal number of points, the tournament was decided on run-rate. In defending 149 against a strong Kuwait batting line-up Oman impressed with the execution of their bowling plans and fielded well. Kuwait looked for long stretches of the game to be shading the game. Oman kept chipping away however, and once a relatively sedate Aamir Javed was out for 25 with the score on 89 in the 13th over, the demands on the remaining batsmen on a wicket that was offering a degree of turn, proved too much.

Ajay Lacheta is caught behind as Kuwait struck early
Picture by Saleem Sanghati

Kuwait, full of flair and firepower, a side that can beat anyone on their day, were beaten by a side that simply played better than them. It may be as near Kuwait ever get to a World event given the changing global scenario for non-High Performing Associates. Oman, who have been in a World Cup Qualifier before, played with the fervour of those who want to make up for previous mistakes. Three of the current squad – captain Sultan Ahmed and all-rounders Amir Ali and Adnan Ilyas were in that squad in South Africa, and they know that second chances only come once. Oman just wanted it more today.

The moment Kuwait realised they were unlikely to do it, Hisham Mirza is toppled by Rajesh Ranpura
Picture by Saleem Sanghati

In the days’ other matches, Saudi Arabia’s captain Shoaib Ali had to dig deep against a spirited Maldives attack led by paceman Hassan Ibrahim and off-spinner Ahmed Hassan. Shoaib’s gutsy 30* after coming in at 26 for 6 got his side home. Maldives’s batting hadn’t fired this tournament but their bowlers have impressed. Malaysia’s batsmen and bowlers enjoyed some all-round superiority against Singapore in the tournament’s last match, played under floodlights. Singapore’s Kshitij Shinde has been one of the tournament’s unsung batting heroes – as well as he’s played – others have faced more deliveries and piled on more runs and that was the case again as Kshitij’s 36 off 24 was trumped by Malaysia’s Ahmed Faiz’s 56* off 32. Malaysia’s captain ended the game and the tournament with a boundary.

Shafiq Sharif shovels
Picture by Keyur Athaide

ACC Twenty20 2015, Day 5 of 5:

Maldives v Saudi Arabia at Sharjah
Saudi Arabia won the toss and elected to field
Maldives: 74 all out off 18.1 overs (A.Liaquat 3-11, N.Javed 3-18)
Saudi Arabia: 74 for 7 off 17.2 overs (S.Ali 30*; A.Hassan 4-15)
Man of the Match: Shoaib Ali (Saudi Arabia)

Kuwait v Oman at Sharjah
Oman won the toss and chose to bat
Oman: 149 for 8 off 20 overs
Kuwait: 138 for 9 off 20 overs (K.Butt 31, AMushtaq 31*; A.Kaleem 3-18)
Man of the Match: Aamir Kaleem (Oman)

Malaysia v Singapore at Sharjah
Singapore won the toss and chose to bat
Singapore: 140 all out off 19.5 overs (A.Paraam 37, C.Suryawanshi 36, K.Shinde 36; H.Ghulam 3-23)
Malaysia: 144 for 4 off 18 overs (S.Sharif 31, A.Faiz 56*; A.Mahboob 3-23)
Man of the Match: Ahmed Faiz (Malaysia)

Batsman of the Tournament: Jatinder Singh (Oman)
Bowler of the Tournament: Shoaib Ali (Saudi Arabia)
Player of the Tournament: Aamir Javed (Kuwait)

Tournament Page

Filed February 23rd, 2015