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8th Match, Group B, Bulawayo, June 21, 2023, ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier
(46/50 ov, T:228) 228/5

Oman won by 5 wickets (with 24 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
52* (70)

Oman make it two in two with comfortable win over UAE

Ilyas, Shoaib and Nadeem score fifties to anchor the chase; UAE still searching for their first win

Abhimanyu Bose
Aqib Ilyas gives a thumbs up upon reaching fifty, Oman vs UAE, ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, Bulawayo, June 21, 2023

Aqib Ilyas gives a thumbs up upon reaching fifty  •  ICC/Getty Images

Oman 228 for 5 (Ilyas 53, Shoaib 52*, Nadeem 50*, Siddique 2-31) beat UAE 227 for 8 (Aayan 58*, Aravind 49, Odedra 3-31, Bilal 2-46) by five wickets
Oman followed up a disciplined bowling performance with confident batting display to make it two in two in the World Cup Qualifier group stage. Jay Odedra, Bilal Khan and Fayyaz Butt helped restrict UAE to 227 before half-centuries from Aqib Ilyas, Shoaib Khan and Mohammad Nadeem and a nifty knock from Ayaan Khan helped them seal victory with four overs to spare.
Ilyas and Shoaib put on a 100-run stand for the third wicket in Oman's chase, but in a three-over period, Rohan Mustafa cleaned Ilyas up and trapped Zeeshan Maqsood lbw. On top of that, Shoaib, suffering from cramps, had to trudge off.
But Ayaan and Mohammad Nadeem made sure UAE never got back in the game with a run-a-ball 76-run partnership that all but put the game to bed, with Shoaib returning to bat to see the game off.
Oman got off to the perfect start after winning the toss and choosing to bowl. Bilal trapped UAE captain Muhammad Waseem lbw in the third over and Butt had Mustafa strangled down leg in the next.
Vriitya Aravind and Rameez Shahzad then rebuilt for UAE, putting on an 87-run partnership. Aravind started quick, taking on Butt for 11 runs in the sixth over. But he slowed down after that and scored just one more boundary which was squeezed past slip off Maqsood.
Shahzad on the other hand started slow, taking ten deliveries to get off the mark. It took till the sixteenth over for him to really get going, pulling Mohammad Nadeem for four through midwicket and following it up with a punch down the ground for another boundary next ball.
Shahzad cut Odedra for four behind point in the 25th over and then looked to give him the charge, when the offspinner bowled a length ball that spun in to crash into his stumps.
Four overs later, Odedra got one to spin in sharply from outside off to bowl Aravind out one run short of a half-century.
Basil Hameed then gave a simple catch at point off Ayaan Khan before Odedra knocked over the dangerous Ali Naseer with another peach that spun past the outside edge from a length.
Asif Khan, who looked stuck till then, responded to the fall of wickets by beginning to up the tempo as he took on Odedra for a six over long-on and a four over cover. With Asif there as the enforcer, Aayan Afzal Khan held up one end, scoring just three off 15 in their 20-run stand before Butt had Asif caught at cover in the 40th over.
With the score still on 154 and having lost seven wickets, UAE were in threat of being bowled out for under 200. But then, Aayan began his assault on the bowlers. In the 41st, he pulled Bilal for a one-bounce four over midwicket before taking Butt for three back-to-back fours in the next over. He hit Maqsood for consecutive boundaries as well. He brought up his half-century off the first delivery of the final over and finished unbeaten on 58.
UAE started well with the ball as well. Junaid Siddique and Ali Naseer started off with maidens and the pressure soon told on the Oman openers in the fifth over.
Kashyap Prajapati looked to cut a short and wide delivery from Siddique but only found an edge to Hameed at slip. In the last ball of the over, Jatinder Singh went after another short and wide ball only to cut it to Karthik Meiyappan at point.
Ilyas and Shoaib then batted UAE out of the game. They were happy to go after Meiyappan and Aayan and Zahoor Khan didn't find much luck against them either. They looked in complete control until Mustafa knocked Ilyas over with a length ball that spun in to beat his attempted cut.
Shoaib having to go off with cramps and Maqsood getting out in quick succession lifted the UAE camp, but Ayaan and Nadeem snuffed out any hopes they may have had.
Ayaan took on the role of aggressor as he raced to 41off 36 balls, while Nadeem stayed solid and kept turning the strike over.
By the time Ayaan got out, holing out to midwicket off Aayan, Oman were firmly in the driving seat and Shoaib came back out and went on to bring up a half-century of his own. Nadeem got the winning run, and brought up his fifty, with a single to deep third as UAE slumped to two defeats in two games in their campaign.

Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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