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2021 T20 WC: Co-hosts Oman thrash PNG by 10 wickets in opener

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Al Amerat, Oct 17 (IANS) Co-host Oman produced a clinical performance with both bat and ball to register a comprehensive 10-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in the opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at Al Amerat Cricket Ground, here on Sunday.

Captain Zeeshan Maqsood’s (4/20) sensational bowling performance helped Oman restrict Papua New Guinea to 129-9 in the 20 overs. Assad Vala (56 off 43) and Charles Amini (37 off 26) were the top scorers for PNG.

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In reply, Oman overhauled the target in the 14th over of the innings with ten wickets in hand.

Chasing a paltry target for victory, Oman openers Jatinder Singh (73 off 42) and Aaqib Ilyas (50 off 43) barely looked under pressure. They were solid rather than flashy during the powerplay and took Oman to 46 runs after the powerplay.

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Jatinder, who was strong with the reverse sweep all day, was the first to bring up his fifty, off 33 balls. Getting to face a free hit, he got to the landmark with a six over long-on. Ilyas, who had been caught off a no-ball, got to his half-century in 43 balls, before Jatinder sealed the game with a final six.

Earlier, batting first, Papua New Guinea were off to a terrible start as they lost wickets of openers Tony Ura and Lega Siaka on duck. Bilal took the first wicket of the tournament when he got the ball to shape into Tony, who edged onto his stumps. The next over, Kaleemullah foxed Lega Siaka with his outswing, before a straighter one was chopped onto the stumps.

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After losing two wickets in quick succession, Assad Vala and Charles Amini batted sensibly and guided PNG to 70 at the halfway mark. They extended it to 81 when Amini, who had set off for a single from the non-striker’s end, couldn’t make it back in time as Mohammad Nadeem did a smart bit of work off his own bowling.

Assad (56 off 43), who looked in fine touch, smashed a six off Zeeshan Maqsood to bring his fifty in the last ball of the 13th over. But, he couldn’t carry his innings any longer and was dismissed by Kaleemullah in the 15th over.

The loss of Vala in the 15th over with the team score at 102 triggered a collapse. The middle and lower order could only add 27 more, even as the Oman bowlers were aided by excellent fielding.

Maqsood spun the’momentum his team’s way, by sending back Norman Vanua, Sese Bau, and Kiplin Doriga in the same over. Excellent work by Nadeem, who held his balance in the deep to take a high catch of Damien Ravu, gave the skipper his fourth wicket.

Brief scores:

Papua New Guinea 129-9 in 20 Overs (Assad Vala 56 off 43, Charles Amini 37 off 26; Zeeshan Maqsood 4/20 lost to Oman 131/0 in 13.4 overs (Jatinder Singh 73 off 42, Aqib Ilyas 50 off 43)

–IANS

avn/bsk

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