Dedicating the victory to team-mate Khawar Ali, who was forced to return home just hours before the match due to the tragic death of his father, the Oman team put in a complete performance that was set up by the fast bowling of Munis Ansari and finished off by the quality batting of Jatinder Singh.
But after losing Zeeshan Ahmed early, Oman needed a steadying influence to get the job done. Enter Jatinder, who came in and batted with great assurance and maturity to see his side home by six wickets. It is a famous win for Oman and one that will be celebrated joyfully all the way from Salalah up to the Musandam peninsula.
“It is a great victory and it means a huge amount for us,” said man of the match Jatinder. “The ball was coming nicely on to the bat and everything worked out well for us. The favour was on our side. When I was batting I was just thinking I need to stay at the wicket and score singles and doubles so that later at the death overs I can be more brutal.
“We are now very confident going into our game against Afghanistan. This win gives us huge confidence and the boys are all in high spirits. We are third place in the standings now so we fancy our chances for the rest of the tournament.”
Coach Duleep Mendis said: “We dedicate this victory to the memory of the father of one of our best players (Khawar Ali) who unfortunately had to go home to be with his family. With all that, the boys came here and put up a good show today in his dedication. We were so keen to do well today and I think all in all it was a good performance.”
Former England all-rounder Derek Pringle, who is now technical advisor to the Oman team, said: “We are getting better and better, game by game, and I think we thoroughly deserved that. That was our third game. In the first game we put together a good bowling performance but our batting fell away and we lost.
“In the second game, our bowlers weren’t so good and our batsmen game to the fore. And today, in this game, it was more balanced – it was a decent bowling performance, particularly by Munis, and then with the batting, Jatinder Singh played brilliantly.”
Looking ahead, the Omanis say they are not finished yet and have set their sights on qualification for the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India.
Pringle added: “We are confident. They played Afghanistan before and did pretty well. They had them in a bit of trouble. You know, T20 is one of those formats where you can’t take anything for granted. So yes, it good to have confidence. Yes, we are playing better than we were at the start of the tournament but we take nothing for granted and we need to string together a good bowling and batting performance to have any chance of beating Afghanistan because they are a strong side.”
Elsewhere, a half-century from Mohammad Shahzad ensured it was a doubly good day for teams from the Arabian Peninsula as UAE beat Canada by five wickets at Stirling. Chasing just 133 for victory thanks to a solid all-round performance by UAE’s bowlers, Shahzad hit two fours and three sixes on his way to 56, setting up a relatively straightforward win.
And after the disappointment of losing to Afghanistan and Netherlands, Scotland returned to winning ways defeating Kenya by seven wickets at the Grange. An unbroken partnership of 51 in just over five overs from the impressive Matthew Cross (45 not out) and Richie Berrington (34 not out) was enough to ease the Scots past Kenya’s total of 141-5 with no fewer than 31 balls to spare.
This sequence of results makes for interesting reading on the Group B league standings. Unbeaten Afghanistan lead the way with seven points but it is very congested below that with Kenya clinging on to second place with five points and then three sides, Scotland, Oman and Netherlands level on four, only narrowly separated by net run-rate. Crucially, Oman has played three matches compared to four for its main rivals. The next few days will be fascinating as Group B goes down to the wire.
At Myreside: Netherlands 135 all out, 19.4 overs (Stephan Mybergh 41, Max O’Dowd 32; Munis Ansari 4-15, Rajeshkumar Ranpura 3-30, Amir Ali 2-26)
Oman 138-4, 19 overs (Jatinder Singh 65 not out, Zeeshan Maqsood 29)
Oman won by six wickets
At Stirling: Canada 132-9, 20 overs (Hiral Patel 45, Navneet Dhaliwal 39; Rohan Mustafa 2-15, Mohammad Tauqir 2-22, Nasir Aziz 2-29)
UAE 136-5, 19.1 overs (Mohammad Shahzad 56, Swapnil Patil 27; Cecil Pervez 2-32)
UAE won by five wickets
At The Grange: Kenya 141-5, 20 overs (Irfan Karim 46, Morris Ouma 36 not out; Michael Leask 2-12)
Scotland 142-3, 14.5 overs (Matthew Cross 45 not out, George Munsey 35, Richie Berrington 34 not out)
Scotland won by seven wickets