Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Ali and Ilyas combine as Oman extend PNG's losing streak. Once again PNG captain Asad Valla had been left to pick up the pieces after the top-order failed.
Once again PNG captain Asad Valla had been left to pick up the pieces after the top-order failed.
Khawar Ali starred with the ball and Aqib Ilyas with the bat as hosts Oman closed out a three-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in the fifth match of the seventh CWC League 2 tri-series. Ali took 5-15 as PNG were bowled out for just 150, and Ilyas guided the hosts to the cusp of victory. Kabua Morea produced a late scare with a flurry of wickets with Oman in sight of the finish line, but Ali joined skipper Zeeshan Maqsood to see his side home.
Once again PNG captain Asad Valla had been left to pick up the pieces after the top-order failed. His 63 provided the bulk of the runs after the visitors won the toss and elected to bat, but the lower order could not get the Barramundis to a defendable total this time. And although Oman lost three wickets in the PowerPlay stuttering to 47 for 3 in reply, Ilyas effectively batted PNG out of the game, making 56 off 77 before falling with Oman just ten runs short – too late for Morea's maiden ODI five-wicket haul to make a difference.
The struggling Papuan top-order again wavered between attack and defense, and it took only four dot balls this time to prompt Doriga to try to run out his partner. Though some overexcited fielding from Oman saw the stranded Siaka reprieved at the other end as two successive throws missed the stumps. Frustration got the better of Doriga two overs later, charging down the track at Kaleemullah and swinging down the wrong line with the umpire agreeing that he got a feather edge on it through to the gloves. Vala and Siaka took PNG to 30 for 1 by the end of the PowerPlay, but Maqsood brought himself on to replace Khan and quickly found the breakthrough, pushing Siaka back in the crease with a quicker delivery that went on with the arm and into the pad in front of leg. Sese Bau survived just one delivery before offering a low return catch that Maqsood gratefully accepted.
Hiri Hiri kept Vala company for four overs but managed only five runs before edging Aqib Ilyas's second delivery to slip in the 18th over to bring the dangerous but horribly out-of-form Tony Ura to the crease. He initially looked to have rediscovered his touch, until the introduction of Khawar Ali in the 26th over. Ura popped a leading edge up for Sandeep Goud to claim at cover to depart for 17 before Norman Vanua nicked through to the keeper two balls later.
Jason Kila's first action on arrival in the middle was to almost run out his captain but would manage to see off 49 deliveries as he looked to rebuild with his captain. Vala brought up his half-century just before the second drinks break with a scrambled single after digging out a Bilal Khan yorker. PNG recovered to 113 for 6 after 36 overs. Together with Kila he would construct PNG's best partnership of the day, adding 45 for the seventh wicket before becoming Ali's third victim, miscuing a drive as the PNG skipper fell for 62. Kila swiftly followed his skipper to the pavilion, on the sweep to Ali. Damien Ravu fell for a first-ball duck next ball done through the gate as Ali completed his five-wicket haul.
Cah Soper was again left with just one partner remaining, and looked to take on Maqsood in the next over, slog-sweeping high over midwicket for six, but content to block out Ali at the other end, a swift single saw him retain the strike and brought up the 150 for the Barramundis, but that was as far as they'd get. Bilal Khan returned for the 44th and Soper's attempted ramp first ball didn't have the distance to clear the rope, falling to another fine tumbling catch in the deep courtesy Jatinder Singh.
Jatinder and Kashjap Prajpati set off in pursuit of the total at a brisk pace, but Morea struck twice in the fifth over to remove both openers. Aaqib Ilyas and Ayaan Khan pressed on undeterred, but Chad Soper's introduction saw Ayaan Khan lift a shorter wide ball into the offside and down the throat of Vanua at deep cover.
At 47 for 3 after ten Oman looked vulnerable, but Ilyas would knuckle down in the company of Mohammad Nadeem, first consolidating and then accelerating. Ilyas hooked a bouncer from Ravu away for four to bring up the half-century partnership in the 20th over, before working Vala away through midwicket in the next to take Oman to 100 for 3. Ilyas took a blow on the head from a well-directed Ravu bouncer in the 23rd, but shook it off to dispatch the next ball for six. Halfway through their allotted overs, Oman had reduced the deficit to just 45 runs.
Sese Bau separated the pair two overs later, sneaking one under the bat and into the front pad as Nadeem looked to sweep, but the 73-run partnership had put the game beyond reach. Morea's late fightback would nonetheless have done a job on the home crowd's nerves as Sandeep Goud took an inswinging yorker on the toe and was sent on his way in the next over. And Ilyas's concentration faltered soon after as he miscued a rather lazy-looking drive to mid-on off Morea with Oman still ten short. Naseem Kushi became Morea's fifth and final victim as Soper held an excellent tumbling catch at midwicket off a leading-edge, but it would prove too little, too late.
The win keeps Oman safely clear of Scotland at the top of the League 2 table ahead of the final game of the series, when they take on their nearest rivals tomorrow. Papua New Guinea meanwhile are left to reflect on a third winless series in the competition, their losing streak in ODIs now standing at 16 consecutive matches.