Oman bounce back to level series with victory over Namibia in second T20I

Sports Tuesday 02/April/2024 19:12 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman bounce back to level series with victory over Namibia in second T20I

MUSCAT:  Oman rebounded from their defeat on Monday to seize victory in the second T20I against Namibia, levelling the five-match series 1-1 at the Oman Cricket Academy ground on Tuesday.

In a match marked again by low scores, Oman edged past Namibia by a margin of six runs.

Facing a target of 138 for victory, Namibia found themselves contained at 131/9 by the formidable bowling attack of the hosts. Led by medium-pacer Mehran Khan, who secured figures of 3/21, Oman's bowlers executed their plans effectively.

Namibia captain, Gerhard Erasmus, stood as a solitary force, crafting a sturdy half-century (58 off 56 balls, 5x4s, 1x6). However, his dismissal by Mohammad Nadeem in the 17th over tilted the scales in favour of the hosts.

Oman began their defence of 137 with gusto, as pacer Kaleemullah dismissed opener JP Kotze in the second ball of Namibia's innings. A pivotal double-wicket over from Mehran within the powerplay further dampened the visitors' spirits, as he sent back Malan Kruger and Jan Frylinck. The early wickets put Oman in command as the visitors were struggling at 18/3 by the end of powerplay.

However, Erasmus and Zane Green (12) built a 29-run stand to steady the ship before skipper Zeeshan Maqsood broke the partnership with the dismissal of Green. Erasmus then along with David Wiese (14) orchestrated a 47-run partnership for the fifth wicket, and threatened to take the game away but Mehran picked the crucial wicket of Wiese in the 16th over to shift the momentum back to Oman. Erasmus completed his half-century off 50 balls with four boundaries and a six.

Nadeem's subsequent removal of Erasmus in the following over left Namibia reeling at 101/6.

Despite a late flourish from Tangeni Lungameni, who struck 12 off just four balls, Oman held on to claim victory in the second match.

Earlier electing to bat, Oman encountered familiar middle-order struggles.

Despite a solid foundation laid by the opening duo of Kashyap Prajapati (20) and Pratik Athavale (38 off 26 balls, 3x4s, 2x6s), which yielded 34 runs in five overs, the hosts faltered to accelerate despite finishing powerplay at 48/1.

Aqib Ilyas (23) and Athavale's partnership of 49 for the second wicket was the highlight of the innings. However, their departure in quick succession, courtesy of Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus, disrupted Oman's momentum.

Subsequent wickets fell quickly, with Oman finding themselves at 104/5 in the 17th over. Ayaan Khan's notable contribution of unbeaten 22 off a run-a-ball and a brief cameo by Rafiullah (15, 8 balls, 2x6s) propelled Oman to a total of 137/7.

Erasmus shone with the ball, claiming three crucial wickets for a mere seven runs, including two wickets in four balls. He found support in Ruben Trumpelmann, who contributed three wickets for 30 runs.

Brief scores: Oman 137/7 ( Kashyap Prajapati 20, Pratik Athavale 38, Aqib Ilyas 23, Ayaan Khan 22*; Gerhard Erasmus 3/7, Ruben Trumpelmann 3/30) beat Namibia 131/9 (Gerhard Erasmus 58; Mehran Khan 3/17, Fayyaz Butt 2/31