Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Oman and UAE share honours in dramatic tie to conclude series. [File picture] Emiratis could only equal their hosts Oman's total of 214 in a dramatic day's play at Muscat.
[File picture] Emiratis could only equal their hosts Oman's total of 214 in a dramatic day's play at Muscat.
A dramatic rearguard half-century from Kashif Daud was not quite enough to seal a 3-0 series sweep for the UAE in their final League 2 ODI against Oman today, as the Emiratis could only equal their hosts' total of 214 in a dramatic day's play at Muscat. Kashif's run-a-ball 52 had dragged the UAE back into contention after Nestor Dhemba's spell of 3-20 had seen them reduced to 151-7 chasing 214 with ten overs remaining. Kashif's knock brought his side to within three runs of victory before he holed out on the penultimate ball of the innings, a misfield and a scrambled two on the final seeing the visitors tie up the scores, with each team taking just one point to add to their League 2 tallies.
Kayshap Prajapati had earlier scored for the hosts in a back-and-forth first innings after the UAE had again invited them to bat. Prajapati and Jatinder Singh racked up another half-century opening stand, Singh sweeping Rohan Mustafa behind square to bring up the 50 partnership in the 12th over, only to nick off to Zahoor Khan in the next over. Shoaib Khan, promoted to number three, struggled to find the fluency he showed two days ago, and was eventually pinned LBW aiming a slog-sweep at Mustafa in the 8th over. Prajpati and Maqsood would take Oman to triple figures however, Prajpati bringing up his maiden ODI fifty launching Ahmed Raza for a straight six first ball of the 23rd over.
When Prajpati fell for 57 in the 32nd, missing a reverse sweep and losing his off stump to Basil Hameed, it would mark the beginning of something of a fightback from the visitors. From 122-3 Oman would rather lose their way, regular wickets keeping the scoring rate well in check. Maqsood would be the first of many bats to get out trying to force the pace, top edging a sweep off Hameed and Zahoor Khan taking an excellent sliding catch coming in off the square boundary. Oman's middle order again failed to capitalise on a solid platform, only a counter-attacking 33 off 22 from Naseem Kushi lifting the total toward respectability.
Defending a sub-par 214, Bilal Khan and Kaleemullah found the requisite early wickets, Bilal bowling the dangerous Chirag Suri for 7 in the 7th over, before Kaleemullah took two in two balls in the 10th, CP Rizwan chopping on and Vriitja Aravind caught behind on the next delivery. Muhammad Waseem and Muhammad Usman got the UAE to fifty by drinks, but first ball after the break looked to take the initiative against leg-spinner Khawar Ali, only to fall victim o an excellent catch from Jatinder Singh at deep cover. Usman was joined by Basil Hameed with the score on 50-4, and the pair would set about repairing the damage.
Their half century stand brought the UAE back into the game, but the introduction of Dhemba would turn things back in the hosts' favour. Usman was reprieved on 31 as Dehmba saw a regulation caught behind put down, but Kushi would make amends behind the stumps when Hameed top edged a sweep, holding a tricky tumbling chance to his right. Dhemba would strike again in the 36th just as Rohan Mustafa and Usman looked settled, finding grip and turn to see the ball beat Usman's outside edge and take off stump, Usman falling three short of a half century to leave the UAE in trouble at 138-6 with 15 overs to go.
Mustafa and Kashif would keep the UAE in the game, but with the asking rate inching up Mustafa would also perish looking to sweep Dhemba, and Khawar Ali would induce a leading edge from Ahemd Raza which was easily taken at short extra cover to bring Zahoor to the crease to join Kashif with the score on 169-8 in the 44th.
By the start of the 48th over the asking rate had climbed to 9 an over, but after Kaleemullah opened with a good wide yorker, the discipline would slip. First serving up a full toss and then a slower ball that sat up on leg stump, Kaleemullah would be taken for back-to-back sixes by Kashif to drop the asking rate back to a run a ball. Bilal Khan proved harder to get away in the 49th, leaving the UAE needing nine to win off the final over, entrusted to Khawar Ali.
Two dot balls, a scrambled two and then a gift of a full toss slogged through midwicket for a one bounce four saw Kashif bring up a fantastic fifty, but the next ball brought a steepling top edge, held by Shoiab Khan at mid on. Zahoor found himself on strike with one ball remaining, three needed to win, two for the tie. A drive out to midwicket should have gone for just one, but Khawar could not collect the ball cleanly, allowing Zahoor and Akif Raja to scramble a second to tie the game, Zahoor eventually run out trying for a third.
Two wins and a tie from the catch-up series sees the UAE climb to fourth on the League 2 table with 12 points from 10 games, while Oman remain in pole position on 30 points from 23 matches. Oman have now played all of their home fixtures in the league, however, while the UAE have two home League 2 trilateral series to look forward to, welcoming first Oman and Namibia, then Papua New Guinea and Nepal to the Emirates next month.
Both sides will refocus on T20 in the interim however, with a warm-up quadrangular series against Ireland and Nepal kicking off on Friday, followed by the first of the two T20 WC Global Qualifier events which begins on the 18th of February.