Co-hosts Oman rolled over Papua New Guinea by ten wickets in the opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup First Round at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.
Set a modest target of 130 to win, Omani openers Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh were hardly troubled, chasing the target in 13.4 overs.
With Bangladesh and Scotland also in Group B, the result could go a long in deciding each side’s fate, more so for Papua New Guinea who will need to win both their remaining matches to have any change of qualifying for the Super 12.
Who were the stand-out performers?
Ilyas and Singh made light work of the target, both scoring half-centuries at faster than a run a ball. Singh’s top score of 73 was a career-best, just eclipsing his previous highest of 68 not out, completing the chase with his fourth six. He also struck seven boundaries.
Ilyas reached his half-century in 43 balls, with five fours and a six.
That Oman had to score just 131 to win was thanks to their captain Zeeshan Masqood who took three wickets in his final over to finish with 4 for 20, winning him the man of the match award.
Papua New Guinea have only themselves to blame for their sub-optimal score, losing wickets in bunches on either side of an 81-run third-wicket partnership between Assad Vala and Charles Amini.
After losing their openers inside the first two overs with no runs on the board, the Vala-Amini partnership was nicely setting up Papua New Guinea for a score closer to 160.
After losing the two set batsmen, Papua New Guinea lost five wickets for 16 runs to end their 20 overs on 129 for 9.
Papua New Guinea 129/9 in 20 overs (Assad Vala 56, Charles Amini 37, Zeeshan Masqood 4 for 20, Bilal Khan 2 for 16, Kaleemullah 2 for 19)
Oman 131 for no loss (Jatinder Singh 73, Aqib Ilyas 50)