Hosts Oman made a huge statement of intent in their opening match of T20 World Cup 2021 against newcomers Papua New Guinea on Sunday. Oman, who are featuring in their 2nd World Cup campaign, defeated PNG by 10 wickets to go to the top spot of Group B in Round 1 of the competition at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground.
It was a dominant performance as Oman rode on opener Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas' fifties to chase down a target of 130 without losing a wicket and with 6.2 overs to spare. While Jatinder showcased his class, hitting 4 sixes and 7 boundaries for a 42-ball 73 not, Ilyas provided the perfect support to his partner, scoring 50 from 43 balls.
Both Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas started on a cautious note, knowing there was no scoreboard pressure after Oman had restricted PNG to 129/9 in 20 overs.
Captain Maqsood shines with the ball
The star of the show with the ball for Oman was captain Zeeshan Maqsood, who triggered a PNG collapse with a superb spell of left-arm spin bowling. Maqsood became only the 2nd captain after Daniel Vettori of New Zealand to pick up a 4-wicket haul in the T20 World Cup.— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) October 17, 2021
Maqsood broke the back of PNG's middle-order by picking up 3 wickets in the 16th over wherein the T20 World Cup debutants went from 112/4 to 113/7. Maqsood picked up Damien Ravu in his penultimate over and gave away just 5 runs in the final over of the PNG innings to finish with figures of 4/20.
PNG who were asked to bat by Oman on Sunday got off to a horror start as they lost openers Tony Ura and Lega Siaka for zeros inside the first two overs. Left-arm pacer Bilal Khan jolted PNG early with his ability to swing the ball into the right-hander with the new-ball.
His new-ball partner Kaleemullah also picked up 2 wickets as PNG struggled for momentum despite a solid 81-run stand between their captain Asad vala and Charles Amini.
Valla hit a 43-ball 56 and Amini hit 26-ball 37 before Kaleemullah broke the crucial stand by getting the big wicket of the PNG captain.
Oman's 10-wicket win has come as a huge boost to their Net Run Rate. The hosts will next face Bangladesh on October 19 before playing Scotland in their final Round 1 match.
The top two teams from each group of Round 1 will progress to the Super 12 stages of the T20 World Cup.
T20 World Cup, Oman vs PNG Brief Scores: Oman (131/0 in 13.4 overs) beat PNG (129/9) by 10 wickets. Jatinder Singh (73*), Aqib Ilyas (50*).