Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Oman march on as PNG to slump to 14th consecutive defeat. Oman consolidated their position at the top of the CWC League 2 table with a comprehensive victory over Papua New Guinea
Oman consolidated their position at the top of the CWC League 2 table with a comprehensive victory over Papua New Guinea
Oman consolidated their position at the top of the CWC League 2 table with a comprehensive victory over Papua New Guinea at Muscat in the second ODI of the seventh League 2 tri-series. PNG slumping to their 14th consecutive defeat in the format.
PNG at times looked in the ascendancy during a sea-saw first innings after inviting their hosts to bat, taking regular wickets to reduce Oman to 140/5. But Suraj Kumar marshalled the tail to counter attack at the death and lift the hosts to 250/7 by the close. The total proved well beyond the Barramundis, with Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood profiting from some reckless shot selection to record figures of 4-28 from his ten to wreck the top-order. Jason Kila's rearguard 36 was the only substantial resistance as PNG eventually limped to 140 all out.
Things had begun promisingly enough for PNG when Norman Vanua picked up the huge wicket of Jatinder Singh with just his second ball, on a length and tailing into Singh, who missed a leg flick and was pinned in front for just one. New opener Prajapati pressed on with the returning Aqib Ilyas, but like his three predecessors in the role he failed to make it out of the twenties, as left armer Kabua Morea removed him for 22 in the 9th over with a fuller ball angled across but swinging back toward off stump, and inside edged onto leg. Chad Soper should have have his first wicket in the tenth, surprising Ilyas with a back of a length ball that climbed on him, only to see it spilled in the deep. Soper got his man in the 13th, however, with Ilyas edging to backward point on the cut.
Maqsood and Ayaan Khan added a patient 45 run stand for the 4th wicket, but the consistently threatening off-spin of Asad Vala finally found a well-earned wicket as he had his opposite number pinned lbw for 34. Khan had played circumspect role in the partnership but his patience finally broke on the third ball of the 31st, looking to put Charles Amini into the stands at cow corner but failing to clear Kila tracking round from long on.
At 140/5 in the 33rd the visitors needed only get through the lower order to hold their hosts under 200, and Sandeep Goud was fortunate to survive an appeal for LBW when Amini looked to have him dead to rights early. Goud hung in there however, surviving an equally good shout from Morea in the following over, and together with Suraj Kumar he took Oman to 165 without further loss by the 40th over, when Kumar signalled the counter-attack at the other end with a lofted drive for six off Morea. Goud fell looking to join the fun, fooled by a slower ball from Nosaina Pokana, but Naseem Kushi injected some late impetus, driving Vanua through cover for four, then ramping him over fine leg for four more – 18 runs coming off the 46th over – as Oman looked to accelerate into the final stretch. Kushi holed out off Morea in the 48th for a 20-ball 27 but Kumar completed his half century and in company with Kaleemullah lifted the hosts to a total of 250/6.
Though not hugely over par on a wicket playing true enough, PNG have not successfully overhauled a 250+ score since their second ever ODI when they chased 266 against Hong Kong back in 2014, and the top order set about demonstrating why.
Certainly Oman did not make it easy for them – Bilal Khan finding prodigious swing with the new ball and proving too much for young Gaudi Toka. A back-of-a-length away swinger took the outside edge through to Kushi as Toka sought to fend. If Toka was the victim of an excellent ball, his senior opening partner Lega Siaka was undone by his own exuberance, unable to rein in his aggressive instincts and aiming a wild swipe across the line against Maqsood in his first over, missing entirely and losing his off stump. Amini too fell to Maqsood, caught down the leg side by Kushi off a ball that ought to have gone for four, and Tony Ura showed no interest in playing the situation either, caught at spill top edging an ill-judged reverse sweep to gift Aqib Ilyas his first wicket, and leave his captain at the crease with his side on 55/4 in the 14th over.
Kiplin Doriga didn't keep his skipper company long either, holing out off Maqsood for a seven ball duck, and though Vala took PNG to 74/5 by the 20-over mark, he was pinned LBW in the next over to a ball from Maqsood that pitched on middle, gripped and straightened into the pad dead in front. Jason Kila initially looked to hit Maqsood out of the attack as the field came in for the kill, heaving the Oman skipper back over his head for six in the 25th, but the hosts had enough runs on the board that a few boundaries were unlikely to ruffle them.
Kila compiled a 43-run stand for the 7th wicket with an unusually cautious Norman Vanua, but the pair were unable to prevent the asking rate from climbing steadily. With nearly 9 an over needed Kila eventually had to hit out, but couldn't get the distance on it as he lifted Ayaan Khan into the hands of Maqsood on the rope at long on, getting out for a 50-ball 36 – the best score any PNG batter would manage. Vanua's 44 ball vigil came to an end three balls later, his dismissal almost a carbon copy of Siaka's 28 overs earlier, and at 118/8 with just 15 overs and 2 wickets remaining Morea and Soper could do little but delay the inevitable.
They did not delay it for long as Soper clean bowled by Ilyas on the sweep on the second ball of the 40th over, before Ayaan Khan picked up his third when number 11 Pokana gamely tried to drive him back over his head for six on the first ball of the 43rd, only to skew a simple catch up for Maqsood at deep midwicket.
The defeat is PNG's 10th from their nine League 2 fixtures thus far, and their situation is rapidly becoming irreparable. Conversely, the 110-run margin of victory will serve to bolster Oman's net run rate considerably, while the additional two points keep them well clear of the chasing pack despite Scotland also recording a win in their series opener against the Barramundis yesterday. PNG will have two days to regroup before meeting the Scots again on Wednesday, while Oman will take on Scotland on Tuesday.