Oman extend unbeaten run; Karim, Odhiambo star in Kenya's win
While Oman held on in a nervy finish against Denmark, Kenya bounced back from a lopsided loss to USA with a six-wicket win over Uganda
Oman held on in a nervy finish behind Jatinder Singh's 73 to maintain their unbeaten run with a three-wicket win over Denmark.
In a game which had sloppy fielding from both sides, Denmark paid dearest for dropping Jatinder twice - on 5 and 19 - as he went on to anchor Oman's chase of Denmark's 154.
It arguably should have been a much smaller target and a less taxing chase but the hosts were guilty of a number of drops that allowed Denmark off the hook after being under pressure following their decision to bat first. An edge by Zameer Khan to second slip off Kaleemullah was followed by a full inswinger by Bilal that trapped Hamid Shah to leave Denmark 9 for 2 in the third over.
Freddie Klokker's decision to take on Mehran Khan for a third run after chasing down a drive from mid-on resulted in a direct hit run-out leaving Denmark 36 for 3 at the end of the Powerplay. It could have been 36 for 4, but Saif Ahmad was spilled by Khawar Ali at slip off the very next ball by Jay Odedra. Khawar had injured his right shoulder a short time earlier diving to stop a boundary and left the field immediately after the drop, eventually leaving the ground with his arm in a sling for further evaluation.
Oman had reduced Denmark to 59 for 5 and maintained pressure that resulted in another chance when Bilal returned for a second spell and bounced Anique Uddin on 17, resulting in an uncontrolled hook to deep fine leg that was spilled by Sufyan Mehmood. The two misses resulted in 55 extra runs as the pair built up a 64-run partnership that came to an end in dubious circumstances when Uddin was given out lbw for 31 to Odedra on a ball which video showed was sliding down leg.
Denmark wound up losing their last five wickets for 31 runs after Bilal returned to hasten a finish with two more wickets as they were bowled out in 41.4 overs. It meant Oman had to bat 25 minutes before lunch and they reached 20 for 1 in eight overs by the interval.
Khawar had been due to come in at three but with his shoulder wrapped in ice, Oman's middle order struggled without him. Denmark opened with spin from both ends and did not bowl an over of medium pace until the 25th before reverting to spin the rest of the way. It almost worked as Nicolaj Laegsgaard, Bashir Shah and Saif worked their way through Oman's order.
Jatinder was on 59 at 128 for 5 when he called for a suicidal run to midwicket that Fayyaz Butt turned down. Both batsmen wound up at the non-striker's end but Fayyaz alertly left his crease before Hamid's throw reached Abdul Hashmi behind the stumps, allowing Jatinder to continue. Khawar entered at No. 8 and contributed an unbeaten 9, helping Oman get across the line after Jatinder fell with 10 needed to win.
Kenya bounced back from a lopsided loss to USA with a six-wicket win over Uganda. Uganda were committed to playing Irfan Afridi but received news less than an hour before the toss during warm-ups that he had been suspended with immediate effect from bowling in international cricket. It forced Uganda to make him the third change to the XI from their last game as Frank Nsubuga, Brian Masaba and Kenneth Waiswa all saw their first action of the tournament.
After choosing to bat first, Uganda struggled to make 177 for 9. Captain Roger Mukasa's lean run at the tournament continued as he chopped on to Lucas Oluoch for 11. Fellow opener Arnold Otwani, who had crossed 50 in Uganda's first two matches in Oman, edged Emmanuel Bundi behind for six runs. Ronak Patel was then smartly stumped by Irfan Karim off a leg side wide standing up to Sachin Bhudia's medium pace to make it 33 for 3 in the 13th over.
Dinesh Nakrani and Masaba built a 66-run stand to hold Kenya's bowling unit at bay but pressure from Shem Ngoche finally resulted in a wicket for Narendra Patel, who dismissed Masaba for 21. Nakrani fell to Bhudia immediately after reaching his 50 while Ngoche's stifling spell of 2 for 13 ensured Uganda would not get past 200.
Kenya were likewise under pressure early in their reply when Nsubuga struck twice with the new ball bowling offspin to leave Kenya 33 for 3 at the end of their Powerplay. Riazat Ali Shah trapped Rakep Patel in the first over after drinks to make it 71 for 4 and Uganda had a golden chance to put Kenya under more pressure in Riazat's next over when Nelson Odhiambo edged him to slip but Ronak spilled the chance.
Karim and Odhiambo never looked back in a 107-run partnership, as they both scored half-centuries, clinching victory with 25 balls to spare.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna