Ilyas, Maqsood star in Oman’s 92-run win over USAOman complete ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 Nepal tour without a defeat.
Oman’s Aqib Ilyas picked up three crucial wickets after featuring in yet another record partnership with his captain, Zeeshan Maqsood, as their team thumped the United States of America by 92 runs at the Tribhuvan University cricket ground on Tuesday in Kirtipur, Kathmandu.
Both the allrounders scored individuals centuries and were among the wickets as Oman scored their fourth consecutive victory in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 series.
Oman put up their highest score in the one-day internationals, scoring 276 runs after being put to bat. It was also the highest ODI score on Nepali soil. The USA had a disastrous start to their chase and found themselves struggling at 79-5 in 19.3 overs. However, Nisrag Patel, who had missed the previous matches in the series, ignited some hope as he scored America's fastest half-century. Patel added 70 runs in a sixth-wicket stand with Aaron Jones, but was caught by Badal Singh off Ilyas in the 31st over. His innings of 52 runs from 36 deliveries included four fours and four sixes.
Jones, the last man standing three runs shy of a half-century, did not find any support at the non-striker’s end as the USA lost their last four wickets adding only 39 runs, their innings wrapped up at 184 in 39.1 overs.
Ilyas and Bilal Khan were the pick of the Oman bowlers with three wickets each, while Maqsood bagged two and Mohammad Nadeem, one.
Earlier, Oman did not have an ideal start to their innings as they were reduced to 31-2 within 11 overs. Ilyas, fresh after a maiden one-day international century (109*), which came against Nepal on Sunday, started off from where he had left and produced yet another brilliant partnership with skipper Maqsood. The pair bettered the highest partnership for any wicket of 167 for their country. They were involved in a 216-run partnership before Maqsood was caught by Steven Taylor off the bowling of USA captain, Saurabh Netravalkar in the 47th over.
Before departing the crease, Maqsood scored a-run-a-ball 109, his innings including four massive sixes and 10 fours. Oman then lost their next two wickets for 11 runs, the latter being Ilyas, who has had a brilliant series, falling to the bowling of Netravalkar, caught by Karima Gore in the 49th over. The right-handed batsman hit one six and 11 fours in his 105 from 123 deliveries.
Suraj Kumar (3) was the next Oman wicket to fall, in the 50th over. Sandeep Goud (13) and Mohammad Nadeem (2) remained unbeaten as Oman scored 276-6 in their 50 overs.
Of the seven bowlers tried by the USA, Netravalkar and Rusty Theron were the only successful bowlers, picking up three wickets each.
The USA coach, Jimmy Pamment, acknowledged the performance of Patel, but said his team needed to improve in the fielding and bowling departments. "We will have to work a bit more to get the right team for the last match against Nepal. We just have not delivered to our ability. We have had very little contribution from our batsmen."
In sharp contrast, Maqsood, the Oman captain, was elated with his team's unbeaten run in Nepal. "We never thought of completing the series in this manner. We are very happy with how things have gone for us."
"This is the best feeling a batsman can have," said Ilyas. "Two back to back centuries and be adjudged the man of the match is a dream for any batsman."
The win puts Oman on the top of the League 2 standings with 16 points from 10 matches, while the United States are placed second with 12 points. The USA would next play hosts Nepal in the last match of the triangular series at the Tribhuvan University grounds on Wednesday.