Oman avenged its 13 runs defeat in the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 final against the United States of America (USA) in Los Angeles last year when it won the crucial opening fixture in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 by four wickets at the Entebbe Cricket Club, Kampala on Tuesday, May 23.
Khawar Ali took three for 27 to restrict the USA to 180 for seven in 43 overs, and then Aqib Ilyas hit a quick-fire 55 off 36 balls with eight fours and two sixes as Oman recovered twice to achieve victory with four wickets and 20 balls to spare.
Elsewhere, Navin Param produced an outstanding all-round performance to help Singapore defeat Malaysia by seven wickets. Param took four for 10 with his off-spinners to bowl Malaysia out for 121 in 35.3 overs, and then returned unbeaten on 49 as his side romped to a seven-wicket victory in 31 overs.
In the final match of the day, Canada made short work of host Uganda by 66 runs. Rizwan Cheema scored 91 and Nitish Kumar contributed 43 as Canada accumulated 234 for eight in 42 overs. In reply, Uganda was bowled out for 168 in 38.2 overs with Canada’s Cecil Pervez finishing as the pick of the bowlers with four for 44.
In the feature match of the day, the USA, put in to bat, was helped by two useful partnerships. For the second wicket, Ibrahim Khaleel (48) and Sagar Patel (36) put on 54 runs, while for the third wicket, Khaleel and Alex Amsterdam (25) added 52 runs.
Oman’s bowlers maintained a tight line and length, and made run-scoring difficult for the USA batsmen. The agile and alert fielding also backed the bowlers, which resulted in Ali finishing with three for 27 and Mohammad Nadeem, Ajay Lalcheta, Bilal Khan and Munis Ansari claiming one wicket apiece.
In its target chase, Oman was in some bother when it slipped from 41 for one to 87 for four, but Nadeem batted himself in, before becoming the sixth batsman to be dismissed at a team score of 160 after scoring 30 useful runs.
Oman also had three partnerships of note – 43 for the third wicket between Ilyas and Zeeshan Maqsood (46), 54 for the fifth wicket between Maqsood and Nadeem, and finally 24 runs for the unfinished seventh wicket between Amir Ali (16 not out) and Naseem Khushi (15 not out).
Three matches will be played on Wednesday, day two of the tournament.
The top two sides from this competition will be promoted to ICC World Cricket League Division 2. From Division 2, the top two sides will join four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the bottom four ranked sides from the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018. The top two sides from the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier will progress to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, to be staged in the United Kingdom from 30 May to 15 July.
Scores in brief:
Singapore beat Malaysia by seven wickets at Kyambogo Cricket Club, Kampala
Malaysia 121 all out, 35.3 overs (Khizar Hayat 31, Aminuddin Ramly 22, Anwar Arudin 21; Navin Param 4-10, Amjad Mahboob 2-16)
Singapore 122-3, 31 overs (Navin Param 49 not out, Chaminda Ruwan 26, Arjun Mutreja 20; Neville Liyanage 2-25)
Oman beat the USA by four wickets (DLS method) at Entebbe Cricket Club, Kampala
USA 180-7, 43 overs (Ibrahim Khaleel 48, Sagar Patel 36, Alex Amsterdam 25; Khawar Ali 3-27)
Oman 184-6, 39.4 overs (Aqib Ilyas 55, Zeeshan Maqsood 46, Mohammad Nadeem 30; Steven Taylor 2-26))
Canada beat Uganda by 66 runs at Lugogo Cricket Oval, Kampala
Canada 234-8, 42 overs (Rizwan Cheema 91, Nitish Kumar 43, Dhanuka Pathirana 35; Charles Waiswa 2-42)
Uganda 168 all out, 38.2 overs (Mohammad Irfan 31, Deusdedit Muhumuza 30, Shahzad Ukani 29, Roger Mukasa 21, Cecil Pervez 4-44, Satsimranjit Dhindsa 2-14, Nikhil Dutta 2-14)
Fixtures for Wednesday:
Canada v Oman (Lugogo)
Malaysia v USA (Kyambogo)
Uganda v Singapore (Entebbe)