Day 2: OMAN DESTROY BRUNEI FOR SECOND WIN

Oman won their second game in the tournament against Brunei today by a mammoth 473 runs to top the group here at the Prem Tinsulanonda ground in Chiang Mai.

Captain Luvieen Alva celebrates his 150

Oman were put in to bat by Brunei and were quick of the start hitting a minimum of two boundaries in the early overs. Over-pitched deliveries, extras, as well as the lack of pace in the 'pace-men' – all contributing to the high run-rate.

Brunei were handed a golden opportunity to dismiss Suneet Fernandes (192) in the seventh over when he was on 33 but the chance went begging when he was dropped. Fernandes grabbed the lifeline to smash a total of 39 boundaries, 36 fours and 3 sixes, during the course of his innings.

Fernandes: Another brilliant performance

Brunei's day went from bad to worse as the innings progressed. Fernandes and Luvieen Alva (150) put on a 312 first-wicket partnership and seemed relentless as fielders were sent too often over the ropes to retrieve the ball. Alva raced to 150 off 73 balls before a silly call led to his run out to end a dazzling innings.

Fernandes though never took his foot of the accelerator and Gaurav Honnavar (61) helped him with a 147-run partnership. Fernandes was looking unstoppable at 192 when confusion on the call yet again led to his wicket. The Omani batsmen were now naturally under the impression that anything they hit would be runs, although Honnavar and Akhilesh Iyer (2) were rudely awoken from this notion when their stumps were knocked over by Harry Pygos (1-102) and John Kottayil (1-69) respectively. Still, at 480-4, Oman knew they weren't in any form of trouble as Abu Hassan (54*) and Taha Shah (13*) finished off an astonishing innings at 542-4 in 40 overs.

An already impossible task was made all the more harder for Brunei when they were penalised six overs for not completing their bowling overs in time. And to make it worse, their first wicket fell on the very first delivery. It soon became clear that Brunei's aim was to stay and play as many overs as they could when almost all deliveries were strongly defended. But their defence only held till the eight over when Rahat Mahbub (0) was plumb LBW. Muhamed Shahfez (22) instilled some amount of spark into the batting when he hit three masterful boundaries. Both he and Captain Rajeev Jayakumar (1) fell an over apart leaving Brunei at 50-4.

With the spinners now on, the fielders were closed in tightly on the batsman and the placements paid off when Akhilesh Iyer took a stunning reflex catch in the slips to dismiss Abhishek Gurung (1).

Both Abu Haroon (3-8) and Karan Pandya (4-23) caused the batsmen trouble as soon as they came on to bowl and the wickets soon fell quickly. Pandya took three wickets in his final over as Brunei were all out for 69 after 31 overs to help Oman gain a victory by 473 runs.

Man of the Match: Oman's Suneet Fernandes

Suneet Fernandes was unsurprisingly adjudged the Man of the Match for an extraordinary innings of 192. This was his second Man of the Match award as he collected his first yesterday in the match against Bhutan.

Filed December 17 2006