Ireland’s 133-run defeat to Sri Lanka at Queen Sports Club had ensured that both Oman and Scotland made it to the Super Six stage…reports Asian Lite News
Top-order batter Brandon McMullen’s 136 followed by 5/53 from leg-spinner Chris Greaves set up Scotland’s convincing 76-run win over Oman in their Group B match of Men’s ODI World Cup Qualifiers at the Bulawayo Athletic Club on Sunday.
Ireland’s 133-run defeat to Sri Lanka at Queen Sports Club had ensured that both Oman and Scotland made it to the Super Six stage. But Scotland will now have the added advantage of carrying two points from their win over Oman on Sunday in progressing to the next stage.
Bilal Khan gave Oman the perfect start when he trapped Christopher McBride lbw off the very third ball of the game. Scotland found the going tough against a disciplined new-ball effort from Oman, making only two runs in their first four overs. McMullen and Matthew Cross gradually settled in and added 82 runs for the second wicket partnership, with the former bringing up his half-century during the stand.
In the 19th over, Jay Odedra finally brought a breakthrough for Oman when he got Cross (27) to chop on to his stumps. Skipper Richie Berrington then joined hands with McMullen to steady the innings.
After Berrington grew comfortable at the crease, McMullen continued at a swift pace to bring up his maiden ODI century in the 32nd over. The pair shared a 138-run partnership for third wicket, with Berrington also reaching his fifty.
The Scotland captain was finally run out in the 39th over when trying to take a run off a misfield, departing for 60. A few overs later, McMullen (136) also fell to Bilal while trying to up the scoring rate.
A couple of more strikes by Bilal pegged the Scottish innings back. But crucial contributions from Tomas Mackintosh (32) and Mark Watt (25) late in the game helped the European side cross 300. Bilal was the pick of Oman bowlers, finishing with 5/55.
In reply, Oman got off to a slow start, with Kashyap Prajapati and Jatinder Singh adding just 25 runs in the first 10 overs, thanks to disciplined effort from Scotland bowlers. The pressure led to Prajapati’s fall in the 11th over when centurion McMullen cleaned him up. Soon after, Jatinder (14) also fell to Adrian Neil.
Zeeshan Maqsood and Aqib Ilyas then held the innings together with a 32-run stand, before Maqsood went for a slog sweep and was bowled by Michael Leask. One brought two as Aqib Ilyas was dismissed by Mark Watt in the very next over.
With Mohammad Nadeem’s fall in the 30th over, Oman had lost half their side and needed almost 11 runs an over to win the game. An enterprising seventh-wicket partnership of 105 between Naseem Khushi (69) and Shoaib Khan (36) tried delaying the inevitable. But by then Scotland’s grasp over the encounter was complete as Greaves picked his maiden five-for in men’s ODI during the match.
Brief Scores: Scotland 320 all out in 50 overs (Brandon McMullen 136, Richie Berrington 60; Bilal Khan 5/55, Fayyaz Butt 2/68) beat Oman 244/9 in 50 overs (Naseem Khushi 69, Shoaib Khan 36; Chris Greaves 5/53) by 76 runs