Oman Cricket: Oman emerge champions in ICC Men’s T20 Asia Qualifier Final

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Photo Credit: Oman Cricket

Oman emerged champions of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier Final after a nail-biting win over hosts Nepal in the summit clash at the TU ground in Kirtipur, Nepal, on Sunday.

In a match that was decided through a one-over eliminator (Super Over), Oman outplayed Nepal by 11 runs. Naseem Khushi blasted 19 runs for Oman to score 21 in the over and then Bilal Khan conceded just ten runs and took a wicket to silence the 35,000 fans who packed the ground.

Earlier, Oman, chasing 185 to win, were restricted to 184/9 with seasoned Mohammed Nadeem playing a crucial knock of 24 in nine balls to tie the match. Needing eight to win in the final over, Oman lost two wickets off successive balls from Sandeep Lamichhane but Nadeem hit a four off the penultimate ball to set up a GrandStand finish.

Needing two to win off the final delivery of the match, Nadeem played a sweep and ran the first run but while going for the winning run, Fayyaz Butt fell short to send the match to super over.

Oman’s chase was kept on track with opener Kashyap Prajapati playing a stellar innings of 63 off 52 balls that included four maximums and three boundaries. Aqib Ilyas (33) and skipper Zeeshan Maqsood (26) played crucial knocks to take the game deep into the final overs. Maqsood also became the top scorer for Oman in T20Is with 1,100 runs following his knock, getting past Jatinder Singh’s 1,078 runs.

Hosts Nepal elected to bat first and put up a solid total of 184, courtesy an unbeaten 52 from skipper Rohit Paudel and Gulshan Jha’s hurricane 54 off 25 balls. Opener Kushal Bhurtel’s 31 at the top helped the team put on 47 in the powerplay. A late cameo of 20 off just six balls from Karan KC put Nepal in a good position to defend.

Oman’s Fayyaz Butt went for runs aplenty as he conceded 63 runs in his four-over spell while Bilal Khan was the most successful with 3/26. Ilyas picked 2/22 and Maqsood had one for 27. Butt’s 63 runs in four overs was the most given by an Oman bowler in T20Is.

Prajapati was named the player of the match.

Both Oman and Nepal booked their spots in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 after winning their respective semi-final matches against Bahrain and the UAE respectively on Friday.

Brief scores: Nepal 184/6 (Kushal Bhurtel 31, Rohit Paudel 52*, Gulshan Jha 54; Bilal Khan 3/26, Aqib Ilyas 2/22) tied with Oman 184/9 (Kashyap Prajapati 63, Aqib ILyas 33, Zeeshan Maqsood 26, Mohammed Nadeem 24*; Sandeep Lamichhane 2/31, Karan KC 2/30). Super over: Oman 21/0 (Naseem Khushi 19) beat Nepal 10/1).

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