Anish Param and James Murthi race to 225

A strong all-round performance by Singapore took them to  55-run victory over Oman on Day 2 of the ACC U-19 Elite Cup at the Kinrara Oval.

Singapore were indebted to their captain Anish Param's 88 for their total of 225; he shared in a 99-run partnership off 137 deliveries with his cousin James Murthi at the heart of the Singapore innings as Oman's fielders wilted under the pressure of the batsmen's tip-and-run scoring and strident strokeplay.

Oman's performance in the field was a rag-bag mixture throughout the day. Their captain Mohammad Yousuf, on winning the toss and taking the new ball himself being far below his normal self. His three overs with the new ball included seven wides and went for 30 runs. At the other end however, Javed Cheema reeled off seven excellent overs, bowling (bar one beamer and an intermittent leg-side delivery an excellent off-stump line). Outswing there was for him too and his duel with little Adhir Menon of Singapore was excellent cricket. Cheema finally claimed his man in the 11th over with the score on 49, Menon falling, after a couple of rasping square cuts, for 13.

For the next hour and a half nothing went right for Oman as Param and Murthi, with power and grace, kept the scoreboard moving at a fair clip. None of the bowlers could assert themselves and only after Murthi holed out to Tahar Shah running in from long-on for 36 off 62 balls, did Oman get back into the game.

James Murthi cuts hard off Vivek Venkataram

With Singapore looking to accelerate and get to 250, Oman's spinners Saud Haroon and Vivek Venkataram bowled intelligently. With the outfielders set-back on the boundary in the crucial catching positions, none of the remaining batsmen could truly break free. Anish Param fell, stumped for 88 off 124 deliveries, a smart piece of work by Jatinder Singh off Saud Haroon. A late flurry from Tan Wee Keng took Singapore to 225.

Oman bat deep and they bat hard, and they would have fancied chasing down Singapore's total. Simgapore's tall paceman Jayanth Ganapathy had other ideas. Ganapathy's second delivery inflicted Suneet Fernandes's second duck in two days and in his next over, had little Shrey Wilson caught behind for 1. Oman were 4 for 2 and never recovered.

Venkataram played shots all round the wicket till he fell for 37. Sixth out Haroon's dismissal, with the score on 128 in the 29th over, left Oman's remaining batsmen with too much to do and with Anish Param juggling his bowlers intelligently, Singapore were able to strangle the life out of Oman. Nauveed Salim had five victims behind the stumps.

Singapore and Oman now have one win each in the tournament, both teams still eyeing a semi-final berth.

Group A
Oman v Singapore at Kinrara Oval
Oman won the toss and elected to field
Singapore: 225 for 8 (A. Param 88, J. Murthi 36; S. Haroon 3-33)
Oman: 170 off 47.5 overs (V. Venkataram 37)
Man of the Match: Anish Param (Singapore)


Filed August 21 2007