Meanwhile, Guernsey, which defeated Vanuatu by 19 runs to finish third, has retained its place in Division 5, while Vanuatu, along with fifth-placed Tanzania and sixth-placed Nigeria, and have been relegated to respective regional-qualifying events. Vanuatu will head down to the East-Asian qualifying event, while Nigeria and Tanzania will have to fight for a spot in Division 5 via the African regional qualifying event.
According to captain Peter Gough that made victory in the final even sweeter. “It was a massive psychological battle, and the whole team came together,” he said, adding: “As we reduced the run-rate, the bowlers just came in and out to keep the batsmen on their toes. Our fielders were stopping balls that could go for twos and threes, and not giving any runs at all, and that was frustrating for the Oman batsmen.
“Oman, we know, is a good team and we like to pitch ourselves against those teams. We have come up short against them a few times now, so to come back in a determined way and beat them in the final was massive for us. We look forward to meeting them in division four”
Oman came into the tournament as top-seed, having performed beyond expectation at the ICC World twenty20 India 2016, it remained unbeaten through the Division 5 tournament, until the final when Jersey pulled off a convincing 44-run victory.
Captain Ajay Lalcheta, reflecting on the final, said: “Our batting did not come right, especially the top order. We expected them to do better especially on wickets like these where the ball was seaming the whole day. And that is the main reason we lost.
“Even our bowling, especially our spinners didn’t perform up to mark, we got the top order early in the final, but couldn’t wrap it up after.
The Oman captain said his team is not entirely disappointed, because the main objective was to gain promotion to Division four, which the team achieved. “We have a lot of positive signs to take forward with us. Our main players are getting runs and around four-five players have performed well in the tournament, and this is very important for us going into Division 4.”
Oman’s players were consistent through the tournament, and lead the run-scorer and wicket-taker list.
Zeeshan Maqsood topped batting chart with 321 runs, including the highest score of 130, while Rajeshkumar Ranpura shared top wicket-taking honours with Ben Kynman of Jersey. Both bowlers finished with 14 wickets apiece.
The WCL is also the pathway into the ICC’s four-day Intercontinental Cup competition and, thereafter, Test cricket, further widening the prospects for the Associate teams in these competitions.
This is undoubtedly a long-term goal for Guernsey as well, after it managed to retain its spot in Division 5 with a win over Vanuatu in the battle for third.
The match went right down to the wire, and Guernsey captain Jamie Nussbaumer said the team is delighted to have won, with so much at stake.“ Everyone is overjoyed, the boys have worked very hard this week, and the minimum aim was to retain our Division 5 status, which we have done.
“We won four games out of six in Division 5, which we have never done before, and everyone is really delighted, and it has been a really positive outcome for us.”
About ICC World Cricket League
The ICC World Cricket League offers teams a chance to get promoted right up to Division 2, which is the final stage in the pathway to qualification for the ICC Intercontinental Cup, ICC’s four-day first-class competition for Associate and Affiliate members, as well as the 50-over ICC World Cricket League Championship.
The winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup will play the 10th-ranked Test nation in the four-Test ICC Test Challenge in 2018. If the Intercontinental Cup winner clinches the ICC Test Challenge, then it will become the 11th Test nation until 2022. Similarly, the top sides from the ICC World Cricket League, along with the bottom four sides on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings as on 30 September 2017, will qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 with the top two sides progressing to event proper in 2019.