Oman booked the final spot in the T20 World Cup in Australia by beating Hong Kong comfortably by 12 runs in the fourth and final Play-off of the ICC T20 World Cup qualifier at Dubai.
Oman managed 134/7 in the first innings, a remarkable effort considering the position they found themselves in at the end of the powerplay. Jatinder Singh was the hero with the bat, scoring an unbeaten half-century.
Pacer Bilal Khan starred with the ball in the second innings, bowling an incisive spell with the new ball and setting up the victory.
With this win, Oman become the sixth team from this tournament to clinch a spot in the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia, alongside Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia and Scotland.
Oman’s lone warrior – Jatinder Singh
Electing to bat first, Oman had a horrific start to the match. With the exception of Jatinder Singh, the rest of the top seven contributed a grand total of 15 runs. Oman were tottering at 42 for six before their innings was resuscitated by two vital partnerships, both led by Jatinder Singh.
The opener who watched a procession of batsmen going back and forth from the pavillion forged a 42-run alliance with Aamir Kaleem for the sixth wicket and then a smashing 50-run partnership off just three overs with Naseem Khushi. The 30-year-old paced his innings beautifully, rotating the strike in the company of Kaleem to arrest the bleeding before complementing Khushi’s entertaining nine-ball cameo with a few big hits of his own.
Oman pacers’ opening burst
Just as he did in the game on Tuesday against Namibia, left-arm pacer Bilal Khan struck in the opening over of the innings, castling Nizakat Khan. The 30-year-old pacer found prodigious swing under the lights and struck twice in his second over, bowling Aizaz Khan with an inswinger and trapping Waqas Barkat LBW off the very next delivery.
At the other end, Khan’s new ball partner Fayyaz Butt was also among the wickets as he dismissed Kinchit Shah, Hong Kong’s most consistent batsman of the tournament, in the second over of the chase and later in the power play bounced out Simandeep Singh.
Hong Kong could never quite recover after slipping to 18 for five and wicket-keeper batsman Scott McKechnie’s knock of 44 from 46 deliveries merely delayed the inevitable loss. Hong Kong lacked power hitters in the lower order to provide the impetus required to meet the climbing required rate and that meant there was no way back for them in the game.
Oman will play Scotland in a match to decide the fifth place in the tournament while it is the end of the road for Hong Kong. The two semi-finals, one between Ireland and Netherlands and the other between Papua New Guinea and Namibia will be held on Friday and the final will be played on Sunday.
Oman: 134/7 (Jatinder Singh 67*, Naseem Khushi 26* (9))
Hong Kong: 122/9 (SS McKechnie 44, Bilal Khan 4-23 , Fayyaz Butt 2-18)
Know more about Sport360 Application