Ireland walked out to bat and scored 154-5, a good effort, but it should have been at least 10 more, they kept losing key wickets at important times.
Oman came out to bat second, made a strong start to their innings (opening partnership of 69 off 51), then lost 5 wickets leaving them 90-5 needing 10 an over to win.
The second game of the day began with a maiden, the first of the tournament. Lalchettta, with his slow, staggered run up, made it difficult for porter field to make contact and sent down his first world cup over for a maiden.
Stirling was in the mood though, hitting boundaries through the offside against Bilal, who managed to get a bit of shape in the air. The powerplay went smoothly, with ireland emerging with a respectable 46-0, with both batsmen now looking fluent, especially against pace, with the new ball coming on nicely and batsmen timing the ball well.
Stirling, in the 7th over, Hit a crisp shot wide of short mid off for a 2, only to repeat the same shot next ball, hitting it harder, only to be caught brilliantly by short midd off (Masqood), diving with his left hand outstretched and pouching it, holding onto the ball as he hit the turf.
This saw a period of rebuilding as Wilson came to the crease, the pair building a partnership typified by good running, a theme of the Irish innings. During the twelfth over, with the partnership settled and the run rate cruising around 7.5, Porterfield tried to up the rate, only to be stumped after charging the spin of Khawar Ali.
Again Ireland rebuilt, and going into the back 5 overs were on 112-2, with hitters still in the shed.
Ansari came back into the attack, with his clingy, low arm action, and accounted for both N O’Brien 16(11) and Wilson 38(33). Wilsons dismissal was a good ball, tailing slightly, full on clattering into middle and off as Wilson gave himself room by shuffling down leg.
Despite the arrival of K O’Brien and Pointer, two big hitters, the rate never really went up, with K O’Brien being bowled by Ansari, after seemingly loosing track of the ball in the air.
Ireland finished with 154-5, which again, should have been higher. regular wickets pegged the score back, but it was still a good total to defend.
Oman came in, knowing they had restricted Ireland somewhat but needing a solid start and sustained effort. Masqood and Khawar matched the rate from the off, scoring 44 off the power play. Masqood scoring heavily through the leg side and Khawar joined in scoring both sides of the wicket.
After a strong partnership of 69 Oman collapsed, Kevin O’Brein getting both openers to play on a couple of overs apart.
69-0 (8.3 overs)
90-5 (13.6 overs)
5.3 overs, 21 runs and and 5 wickets thanks due to inadequate batting and tight bowling, typified by McBrine (3-0-15-2).
Oman were left needing 65 of six overs.
A.Ali, new to the crease, hit 3 boundaries in the Next two overs as both Sorenson and Stirling were hit for 11, however the rate was still going to be difficult, needing 43 off 20. The Murtagh came back into the attack, having gone 2-0-16-0 so far.
A no ball (height), two wides and a misfield were followed by three consecutive 4’s off the bat of A.Ali, in a disastrous over for Ireland Murtagh went for 20, giving Oman a sniff.
Kevin O’Brein bowled the 18th over, and Ali swung, the ball just passed the Midwicket boundary only for Wilson to throw himself up and backwards, flicking it back onto the outfield, saving five runs. O’Brein went for five runs.
18 off 12
Rankin, after a torrid opening spell against Masqood and Khawar (2-0-19-0) came on and bowled tightly, clean bowling Jatinder Singh 24(26), who had played with wickets falling around him but could not hit the boundary often enough. Nerves were apparent though as A.Ali called new batsmen Sultan Ahmed through for a non existent single, only to send his captain back and run him out. Rankin went for 4 for the over.
14 off 6
19.1 No Ball (height), flicked for 4 down to fine leg
19.1 Free hit, clean bowled, scurried for a single. 1 Bye
19.2 Thick outside edge runs fine of third man for 4
19.3 Leg bye, one run, brings Ali on strike
3 off 3
19.4 Wicket. Caught behind (replays suggest no contact is made, Ali walks of)
19.5 Full toss, no ball on height. The ball runs through the Keeper for 5 runs
I was originally supporting Ireland, and did not think Oman were ever in pole position, they started well, but I waited for them to duly collapse, and they did. Murtagh bowled them back into it, and Ali, the 37 year old with a cool head, helped them home. Ireland gave this game away, and Oman grabbed it with both hands.
Russell arnold may well have exploded when Oman won, never have I heard a commentator chat so much rubbish only to, by sheer dumb luck, be vindicated at the end.
It was an amazing game, and only about 3 fans turned up to watch it. Well done BCCI.