Oman 131 for no loss (Ilyas 50*, Jatinder 73*) beat PNG 129 for 9 (Vala 56, Amini 37, Bilal 2/16, Kaleemullah 2/19, Maqsood 4/20) by 10 wickets
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 starts just two days after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) clinched their fourth IPL title. The first game of the first round under Group B of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 was played between co-hosts Oman and debutant Papua New Guinea (PNG) at Al Amerat in Muscat on Sunday. On a good batting surface, Oman's captain Zeeshan Maqsood chose to field and asked PNG to bat.
Oman bowlers tighten the leash on PNG’s batters
Bilal Khan who had been the most successful powerplay bowler with 8 wickets at an economy rate (ER) of 5.98 in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers, proved to be true to his record as he cleaned up Tony Ura on the fifth ball of the game. PNG were yet to be able to put some runs on board when Kaleemullah struck in the very next over sending Lega Siaka back to the dressing room for a duck.
Skipper Assad Vala and Charles Mini revive PNG's batting
PNG were struggling at 1/2 after first two overs of powerplay. Charles Amini led PNG's revival along with skipper Assad Wala. They took on the deadly duo of Bilal Khan and Kaleemullah from the third over and scored 18 runs off the two. They ended powerplay on 40/2 despite two early blows. Charles Mini hails from a cricketing family. His grandfather and father captained PNG and his mother captained the women's national team. He showed great temperament and along with his captain, played some glorious shots and added 37 runs off 26 balls before he got out. Vala and Mini stitched an important 81-run partnership for the third wicket for PNG which proved to be crucial later.
Zeeshan Maqsood, man with a golden arm
Soon after captain Assad Vala's departure who made a fantastic fifty (56) for PNG, the very next over was a complete disaster from PNG's point of view. Oman skipper Zeeshan Maqsood whose first over went for 11 runs put a halt on PNG's innings with three strikes in his second over. He used the pitch very well which was gripping and turning a bit and put PNG on the backfoot. Norman Vanua (1) got out to a nice loopy and turning delivery by the Oman skipper. Sese Bau (13) tried a reverse swat and holed out to Jatinder Singh and Kipling Doriga (0) edged and got caught by Sandeep Goud. Oman did well in the death overs and PNG could only score 129/9 from 20 overs. At one stage they were looking to get 150-160 but quick wickets in the middle derailed them. Zeeshan Maqsood (4/20) and Bilal Khan (2/20) were the pick of the bowlers for Oman.
Opening Pair of Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh see Oman through
Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh, who know the Al Amerat Cricket Ground more than any opening pair in the tournament, put on a show exactly the way it was expected of them. However, they had never batted together as an opening pair earlier.
Playing controlled cricket from the first ball and giving nothing to the opposition, Jatinder Singh played some exquisite shots on his way to an unbeaten 73 runs at a strike rate of 173. On the other end, Aqib (50*) supported him very well and kept getting crucial runs as and when their team needed them. Jatinder Singh got a life off Assad Vala's bowling while trying to hit it over cow corner in the ninth over. However, it was a tough chance for the fielder on the boundary line. It was always going over the boundary. Aqib too got a life in 12th over off Ravu as he bowled a full toss and got caught at fine leg but it was later declared a no-ball and off the free hit, Jatinder Singh hit a six. Oman scored 17 runs off the over. Jatinder Singh hit a superb six to Amini over deep mid-wicket in the 14th over and led Oman to their first victory of the tournament. Unbeaten fifties from Jatinder Singh (73*) and Aqib Ilyas (50) helped Oman defeat PNG by 10 wickets in the opening game of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021. Oman goes to the top of the points table with this win in Group B.
Bangladesh take on Scotland in the second game of the tournament in Group B at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.
In the second game of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021/22, Bangladesh would be locking horns with Scotland at AI Amerat at 07:30 PM IST.