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Ilyas 55 sets up Oman's triumph over USA

Oman avenged twin defeats at last year's WCL Division Four in Los Angeles with a four-wicket win via D/L Method over United States of America in Entebbe. On an overcast morning with wet weather expected, Oman won a key toss and sent USA in.

USA made it to 31 for 0 when rain interrupted play after 7.4 overs, causing nearly a two-hour delay. Seven overs were shaved off and Oman struck a major blow on the first ball after the restart when medium pacer Mohammad Nadeem pinned USA captain Steven Taylor on the crease with a good length ball ball that kept low. Ibrahim Khaleel arrived and helped construct two half-century stands on his USA debut but his wicket in the 33rd over, lofting legspinner Khawar Ali to long off for 48, was the catalyst for Oman to take control of the game.

Jamaica Tallawahs allrounder Timroy Allen was promoted to No. 5 at the fall of Khaleel and Oman responded by bringing back left-arm swing bowler Bilal Khan, whose took 0 for 15 in his opening four-over spell. Oman's counter worked to perfection as Bilal troubled Allen before a thin edge was snapped up by Sultan Ahmed behind the stumps on the final ball of the 34th over for a six-ball duck to complete a wicket maiden. Alex Amsterdam slogged Khawar to deep midwicket for 25 to complete a ten-ball collapse of 3 for 0 to make it 137 for 5 and from there USA scratched their way to end on 180 for 7. Khawar claimed innings best figures of 3 for 27 in nine overs.

A D/L adjusted target of 184 in 43 overs was set and USA got an early breakthrough when Allen had Khawar caught at backward point for 5 in the third over. But the afternoon sun helped flatten out the pitch and next man Aqib Ilyas took the wind out of USA's sails, striking his second ball for four in a harbinger of the assault to come.

Ilyas seized on anything overpitched and regularly drove USA's bowlers over the infield in the Powerplay, scooping legspinner Timil Patel for six over wide mid-on to bring up his half-century off 26 balls. Ilyas, who collected the Man-of-the-Match award, eventually fell for 55, caught at extra cover off Taylor, but by that stage Oman needed 100 off 27 overs and they cantered the rest of the way before clinching victory with 20 balls to spare.

Canada upended hosts Uganda by 66 runs at Lugogo Stadium courtesy a vintage blitz from Rizwan Cheema. In a 42-over match delayed by two hours at the start, Canada made reasonable progress after choosing to bat, reaching 74 for 1 before left-arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo sparked a collapse of three wickets in four balls, which included the run-out of captain Nitish Kumar for 43.

Cheema arrived in the 29th over at 105 for 5 and immediately released all the pressure built up by Uganda's spinners, clattering 91 off 44 balls, including 10 sixes over the short boundaries at Lugogo, making Uganda pay dearly for dropping him three times along the way. Canada ended on 234 for 8 and Uganda never threatened to chase the runs after Cecil Pervez wiped out the top order with three wickets in his opening spell. Pervez finished with 4 for 44 as Uganda was bowled out for 168.

Singapore thrashed Malaysia by seven wickets via D/L Method at Kyambogo Oval. In a match reduced to 45 overs, Anish Paraam put on an all-round show, spinning out the Malaysia tail to take 4 for 10 in 4.3 overs before striking an unbeaten 50 to chase down an adjusted target of 123 with 13.4 overs to spare.

Allrounder Khizar Hayat top-scored with 32 in Malaysia's total of 121 but they were bowled out in 35.3 overs. Selladore Vijayakumar fell on the third ball of Singapore's reply, but Paraam and Chaminda Ruwan added 51 for the second wicket to get the chase back on course.

Oman faces Canada on Wednesday at Lugogo in an early battle of unbeatens. USA takes on Malaysia at Kyambogo Oval with both teams seeking to bounce back after first-day losses while Uganda takes on Singapore at Entebbe.