Ireland v Oman, ICC World T20 Qualifier, Dubai March 20, 2012

Ireland end league stage with easy win

Gerard Siggins

Ireland 160 for 5 (Wilson 52*) beat Oman 116 for 6 (Jatinder 56*) by 44 runs

Ireland completed their Group A programme with a comfortable 44-run win over Oman in the Sheikh Zayeed Stadium. The result meant Oman ended the tournament as the only side without a win.

It took an unbeaten first Twenty20 fifty from Ireland's keeper Gary Wilson to post a stiff target of 160, after which Oman's opener Jatinder Singh carried his bat through the 20 overs for an unbeaten 56 off 55 balls to no avail.

With the UAE failing to qualify, the tournament has been a bit low key in terms of spectators and local interest. Whatever hopes the organisers might have had of attracting supporters from neighbouring Oman have fallen flat. The sole Omani in the squad, Qais bin Khalid Al Said, was born in New York and the rest consist of low-key Indians and Pakistanis.

Ireland produced a surprise at the toss. Phil Simmons had been expected to rest Trent Johnston, and with just two other fit options, Simmons went for the man just off the plane. Andrew Poynter, called up to replace John Mooney, had arrived in Abu Dhabi in the early hours after flying first from London to Dublin to pick up his gear. He then got a taxi to Dubai in time for his 7am coach trip back to Abu Dhabi.

Porterfield, captaining his country for the 100th time in less than four years, had just hit Rajeshkumar Ranpura for six when he got a nick on a rising ball wide of his leg stump and edged to keeper Sultan Ahmed. Joyce had hit one gorgeous drive through backward point when he mistimed a flick to leg and skied the ball back to the bowler. Stirling was motoring on ominously, but disappointed his admirers by lifting the ball straight to long on for 35.

Wilson has been remarkably consistent here, never making less than 19. At the same time, until today, he hadn't reached fifty in the tournament. He hits clean and straight, and three heavy blows off the slow lef-armers went sailing over the rope. He played a support role when Kevin O'Brien was at the crease, and the Dubliner enjoyed his brief stay. O'Brien scored a century in Ireland's only previous game against Oman, and feasted on Farhan Afzal Khan's third over, hitting him for four consecutive fours. But he tried to hit Zeeshan Siddiqui's first ball against the spin and was held at long on. Siddiqui, a tidy leggie, has been Oman's leading wicket-taker here, so it was some surprise that he was not called upon until the 16th over.

Poynter rubbed his red eyes and clipped his first ball for six months for a single, but his timing was off when he chipped Siddiqui to cover for 5.

Andrew White stayed with man-of-the-match Wilson to the end, and the Surrey wicketkeeper brought up his maiden Twenty20 fifty with a boundary through midwicket off the last ball of the innings. He had faced 38 balls and hit two fours to go with the trio of sixes down the ground.

Oman struggled with the pace of Rankin, but although Zeeshan Siddiqui was trapped in front, his fellow opener Jatinder Singh stuck around to reap his reward off the medium pacers. Max Sorensen started with a brace of wides, but found his line in a blistering second over - a wicket-maiden in which he demolished Vaibhar Wategaonkar's stumps.

Kevin O'Brien showed his happy knack for taking wickets, removing the middle order thanks to stunning catches on the ring by Andrew White and Nigel Jones. Both Sultan Ahmed and Farhan Khan showed some fight, with Farhan launching a huge six and a pair of fours.

With Oman 82 for 6 off 15, William Porterfield brought on his spinners to complete the game, and Jatinder completed his fifty in the 19th over with a single off George Dockrell.

The tall Jatinder, who kept wicket for Oman Under 19s before he outgrew the role, is a compact batsman who went about his job in unhurried fashion. He hadn't played for Oman before this competition, and started as a reserve.