Match reports

Ireland v Oman

Wisden's review of the fourth match, Ireland v Oman

Sidharth Monga
Sidharth Monga
At Dharamsala, March 9, 2016 (floodlit). Oman won by two wickets. ‡Ireland 154-5 (20 overs) (G. C. Wilson 38; M. S. Ansari 3-37); Oman 157-8 (19.4 overs) (Zeeshan Maqsood 38, Khawar Ali 34, Aamer Ali 32). MoM: Aamer Ali.
Oman, a team of ageing expats from India and Pakistan relying on spirit and surprise rather than orthodoxy and fitness, supplied the tournament's first feel good story; Ireland, so often the giant-killers, were now the victims. Perhaps preoccupied with a slow pitch, and forgetting the problems posed by handling a dew-covered ball later on, Ireland chose to bat and managed a middling 154. Slow left-armer Ajay Lalcheta, whose stuttering action was hard to pick, began with a maiden, while Munis Ansari, whose slinging yorkers recalled Lasith Malinga, collected three wickets. Oman's openers started well, but 69-0 quickly became 90-5, with six overs to go. Aamer Ali, a jack-in-the-box 37-year-old marketing manager of an Indian restaurant in Muscat, got stuck in - and, with 14 needed off the last over, the dew kicked in too: Max Sorensen began with one that was no-balled on height and flashed to fine leg for four, then two more full bungers slipped out. It didn't matter that Aamer was caught behind off the fourth legitimate ball, after clubbing 32 from 17: the next delivery - another high no-ball - nutmegged keeper Niall O'Brien, and sparked wild celebrations among the Omanis, who carried coach Duleep Mendis on their shoulders in gratitude.