UNITED States, Oman, The Creation-Story By The Extraction ODI Status > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - USA, Oman create history by gaining ODI status
Oman and United States became the first two sides to claim ODI status at World Cricket League Division 2 in Windhoek on Wednesday (April 24), wins over Hong Kong and Namibia respectively enough to guarantee a top four finish at the six team tournament. The two sides will enjoy full ODI status for the coming World Cup Qualifying cycle, and take their place in CWC League 2 alongside Scotland, the UAE and Nepal, with 36 ODI fixtures to look forward to over the next 3 years in the new Associate 50-over structure.
Two more slots in the premier Associate 50-over league, with accompanying ODI status, remain up for grabs in Windhoek with one more round in the decisive group stage to play on Friday. Hosts Namibia remain in poll position to claim one of them with a 2 point lead and a hefty net run rate advantage over the other three contenders - Hong Kong, Canada and Papua New Guinea, all tied at the bottom of the table on a single win apiece.
Hong Kong remain best placed of the three, retaining a marginal net run rate advantage over Canada and a significant one over PNG despite sinking to an 84-run defeat to the USA in their match at United. The Americans put up an imposing 280 inspired by Xavier Marshall's maiden century for his adopted country.
Put in to bat by young Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath, the Americans suffered an early blow as Kinchit Shah held on to a return catch to remove Monank Patel in the second over, but it would be another 38 before the next wicket fell, Xavier Marshall and Steven Taylor putting together an 184-run partnership to take them to 195-1 - a record for the USA for any wicket. Marshall would ride his luck early, dropped twice off Ehsan Khan early as Taylor making the early running on his way to a 95-ball 88, eventually holing out off Ahsan Abassi, Tanveer Afzal clinging on at long on at the second attempt.
The wicket prompted something of a fightback, a string of American batsmen perished looking to up the scoring rate, Shah returning to bag 3 more scalps toward the death. Marshall himself was clean bowled by Tanveer Ahmed, falling prey to a slower yorker that he swung all around, the ball after bringing up his ton. Timil Patel survived a convincing run out appeal and made most of his luck, a 12 ball cameo yielding 34 runs at the death as the USA finished on 280-8.
The game was effectively settled by the 6th over of the Hong Kong reply. Jamie Atkinson's was the first wicket to fall, caught off Taylor in the 5th, but it was Ali Khan who produced a nigh-unplayable, picture-perfect inswinging yorker to trap tournament lead scorer Rath dead in front. With Rath back in the shed the 280 target went from challenging to nigh-impossible, as the American slow bowlers put on the squeeze. Karima Gore bagged 2 of the 4 wickets as the middle order collapsed around Kinchit Shah, who would be top scorer with 45 from 98 balls. Aizaz and Ehsan Khan finally halted the slide, adding 66 runs for the 8th wicket as they batted out the overs. Their efforts kept Hong Kong ahead of their rivals on net run rate, but the USA had the game and ODI status well in hand.
Canada meanwhile kept their hopes alive with what was in the end a convincing win over the hapless Papua New Guinea - at least as far as net run rate is concerned. The Canadian rather stumbled out of the gate as they lost five early wickets chasing a most 155-run target at Wanderers, and several more as the staggered over the line. The Papuans had elected to bat first but instantly regretted it when form batsman Tony Ura was trapped dead in front by Romesh Ergana on the first ball of the innings. Charles Amini's promotion to number 3 proved a fruitless gambit as he chopped Dilon Heyliger to Kumar at second slip, and Chad Soper followed soon after, Heyliger's shorted ball inducing a top edge that came down for Gunasekera at gully. Lega Siaka attempted to inspire a counter-attack, pulling Heylinger over square for six and four, but Nikil Dutta's introduction reignited the collapse, a double-wicket maiden doing for Siaka and Sese Bau, leaving Assad Vala to press on with the lower order.
His last recognised partner, Kiplin Doriga, became the third of Heyliger's four victims when he edged behind for 3, leaving Vala only the tail for company as he sought to salvage the innings from 42-6. Norman Vanua and Jason Kila offered some support, Kila keeping his skipper company for almost 13 overs, but would eventually nick off to Gunasekera and thereafter the sudden appearance of a swarm of African bees sending players to the deck was the only interruption to the procession of wickets, Vala himself last to fall trying to hit Heylinger straight and into the wind, caught for 82.
Rodrigo Thomas and Navneet Dhaliwal got Canada's chase off the a brisk start, Dhaliwal opening his account with back to back fours off Damien Ravu's first over, and at 27 without loss after 13 balls it seemed as though Canada might romp home as their southern neighbours did against the same opposition the day before. But it took just one wicket to instil panic in the top order, Dhaliwal was caught behind off Pokana in the third over and 12 overs later Canada found themselves 77-5, skipper Davy Jacobs at the crease having dropped down to six and probably hoping not to have to bat. But Jacobs did the job when called upon, building a 48-run partnership with Bavinud Adhihetty and keeping his head even as the wickets began to fall again with the end in sight, his unbeaten 52 guiding his side home with 15.4 overs to spare.
Canada's win meant Oman were assured of a top four finish and a League 2 spot regardless of the outcome of their match against Namibia, but it seems the Omanis themselves were unaware of this until after the game, judging by the wild celebrations when Sandeep Goud slammed a low full toss from Christi Viljoen out of the park on the first ball of the final over to close out a narrow win over their hosts.
Oman had their home side under pressure early, JP Kotze's miserable run in the tournament continued as he contrived to pop up a looping catch for keeper Suraj Kumar attempting to work the ball to leg, and skipper Zeeshan Maqsood struck twice to remove the in form Baard and Number 3 Bredenkamp. Opposite number Gerhard Erasmus compiled a dogged 30 under pressure, but wickets continued to fall at the other end, and he himself would chop Fayyaz Butt's first ball onto his stumps in the 32nd over with his side still 2 short of triple figures. It took a magnificent counter-attacking century partnership for the 8th wicket between JJ Smit and Zane Green salvage things for the hosts. The first ten overs after Erasmus' departure yielded just 22 runs but the pair accelerated rapidly toward the death, taking the hosts past 200 before falling to Butt in consecutive deliveries, Smit finishing with a run-a-ball 60 and Green 4 short of a half century.
With 213 on the board the hosts had given themselves a fighting chance, and the advantage swung this way and that as Oman lost regular wickets in a nervy chase. Jan Frylinck was especially effective through the middle overs, and had figures of 3-19 in 9 by the end of the 44th over, with Oman at 160-6 still needing 54 runs from the remaining 36 balls. Frylinck's final over signalled the final reversal however, Goud hitting him for four and six off the first two balls in an over that would go for 15 runs and bring Oman right back into contention, needing just 24 off the last three overs. It would take them just 13 balls to get there in the end, as Erasmus persisted with pace at the death. Christi Viljoen was looking to hit the yorker length but Goud and Fayyaz Butt, managed to at least squeeze out singles when he hit his length and the rope when he didn't. Butt managed to find the boundary in Smit's last over with a well-executed paddle-sweep, leaving Viljoen just 6 to defend off the last. A low full toss first ball was dispatched over the rope at backward square and with it went Namibia's chance to claim ODI status on the day.
They remain well placed to do so on Friday, however, when they take on Hong Kong in their final group match. A win or a tie will see the hosts home, and indeed with a net run rate advantage of almost 1.5 over their opponents, and a still greater lead over Canada and Papua New Guinea, anything but a catastrophic loss will be enough for Erasmus' side. Hong Kong would need to win by a margin of more than 130 runs or chase inside of about 18 overs to overtake the Namibians on NRR, the Canadians and Papuans would need still greater margins in their matches against the USA and Oman respectively.
For the three teams still on 2 points, Hong Kong, Canada and PNG, the best hope of a top four finish is to win their respective games and hope the other sides lose. For PNG, given their abysmal NRR, that is effectively their only hope. Should Canada and Hong Kong finish equal on points, however, the margins of their victories or defeats could very well come into play. With just two ODI spots left and one of those, barring a disastrous day for the hosts, likely to go to Namibia, the final spot comes down to a three way scramble between Hong Kong, PNG and Canada as we head toward the final meaningful day of the final World Cricket League tournament.
Remaining Group Games:
Friday, 26 April - Canada v USA, Wanderers; Namibia v Hong Kong, WAP; PNG v Oman, Trustco UNITED
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