BANGKOK: Oman Under-19 reached the semifinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Asia Division Two after coming out victorious from its sternest test in the tournament and beating Saudi Arabia by 4 wickets in a crucial Group A clash in Bangkok on Wednesday.
Unbeaten Oman has now strengthened its position at the top of team standings with six points from three games, followed by Saudi Arabia with four points from three outings.
Oman bowlers were outstanding again, dismissing Saudis for 104 in the 42nd over. Kevin Stagy Kattokaran and Sanjay Ravindran ran through another opposition batting line-up, picking up three wickets each.
Struggling at 40 for 5, Oman showed great character in fighting back, Neev Poojari playing the leading role in putting the run chase back on track with two vital partnerships. He was first involved in a 39-run 6th wicket partnership with captain Prathamesh Kumble (11 off 59) and then an unbroken 26-run partnership with Yash Mehta who remained not out on 11 off 29. Neev’s 42 not out off 107 balls, including 3 boundaries, ultimately steered Oman to a fighting victory. Opener Adeel Abbas had earlier scored 15 off 38. Saud claimed three wickets for Saudis.
Oman will now take on hosts Thailand on Friday before playing the semifinals on Sunday. The final is scheduled for Monday.
Brief scores: Saudi Arabia 104 all out in 41.3 overs (Muhammed Taha 23 – 1×4, Abdullah Riaz 20 – 4×4. Kevin Stagy 3-08, Sanjay Ravindran 3-16) lost to Oman 105 for 6 in 47. Neev Poojari 42 not out – 3×4, Adeel Abbas 15, Yash Mehta 11 not out. Saud 3-12) by 4 wickets.