Oman 214/6 (49.1) (Sandeep Goud 57, Suraj Kumar 51, Frylinck 3/34) defeated Namibia 213 all out (Smit 60, Green 46, Fayyaz 3/52) by four wickets.
Fans at Affies Park were treated to a final over finish as Oman kept their perfect record at WCL2, defeating Namibia by four wickets.
Again blessed with a perfect day of cricket, Zeeshan Maqsood won the toss and elected to field, sticking to his winning formula.
His decision was vindicated in the seventh over of proceedings, though perhaps not in the most convincing of fashion. After the Namibian pair of Stephen Baard and JP Kotze defended the new ball effectively in the first six overs, Bilal Khan found a way through to Oman’s first scalp. Down the leg side, JP Kotze’s edge hit and ballooned off his body, only to be taken by a grateful Suraj Kumar behind the stumps. Earlier, Kotze was struck on the helmet with Bilal looking a touch sharper than his opening partner Kaleemullah on this particular morning.
Stephen Baard will look back perhaps a little disappointed after playing a lax shot in the 14th over. Captain Maqsood was the man to claim the wicket, as the veteran’s flick picked out Jatinder Singh. Just as he and Jean Bredenkamp had negotiated the new ball pair, the hosts handed the undefeated side a soft dismissal.
Bredenkamp was joined by captain Gerhard Erasmus, who held Oman until the drinks break. Perhaps as a response to the wicket that appeared to look flat to those observing, Oman peppered the ready Namibian top order with short stuff.
It was this pressure perhaps that undid Namibia’s work at the other end. In a lapse of concentration after the break, Jean Bredenkamp’s premeditated advance to Maqsood led to an easy stumping, with Bredenkamp so far down he didn’t bother to look or scurry back.
For all their fast-bowling threat, Oman ran through the Namibian middle order with spin, with the Affies Park square of two wickets experiencing heavy traffic over the course of the tournament. The headaches caused by Maqsood and leg-spin and Khawar Ali were compounded by a mix-up leading to Jan Frylinck’s run out dismissal. At 74/4, Namibia had gifted Oman the ascendancy.
With the advantage, the only undefeated side of the tournament showed the ruthlessness to capitalise. Khawar Ali showed wicket-to-wicket control through his ten over effort, claiming the key scalps of Craig Williams and Christi Viljoen. Khawar had several LBW inquiries turned down, though eventually trapped the pair. Williams was fired after being hit attempting to sweep, with Viljoen’s forward stride a little more contentious. Allan Haggo, joined by fellow Scot Alex Dowdalls in the middle, deliberated for a moment before raising the finger.
Six down for under a hundred, Erasmus followed. Again looking authoritative with bat in hand, Fayyaz Butt found a way through as the Namibian skipper chopped on. While the delivery looked a little too close to cut, Fayyaz’s reaction suggested he may have found some sideways movement in the surface.
With Namibia 98/7, the home side’s versatile batting order was tested. JJ Smit showed he may have a future of batting in the middle order, playing a range of shots that tested the vocabulary of those looking for superlatives. Manipulating the field, Smit’s square drives brought joy to the home side, who cheered on every boundary and intelligent two. Not even unnerved by a swarm of bees that swept across the ground, Smit showed little nerves or respite. So quick to cash in on anything short, Smit put Bilal onto the hill with a pummeled pull shot in an over of sixteen runs.
Zane Green accompanied Smit for an eighth-wicket partnership of 103, doubly impressive given it took them a tick over 17 overs to reach the milestone and the 200 innings mark. Green at times matched Smit with his hitting, with a leg-side slog ending over the fence and into some Windhoek vegetation. Namibia crucially batted out their 50 overs, with Zhivago Groenewald and Bernard Scholtz squeezing 11 off the last over. Posting 213 after being 98/7 many felt the momentum had swung in the hosts’ favour.
Namibia continued this momentum with pressure in the field. Known as a ‘keeper, JP Kotze made two diving stops to prevent Jatinder Singh from opening his account. This pressure led to the hosts’ first scalp, as a frustrated Jatinder slashed to Stephen Baard at point.
Gerhard Erasmus opted to ring things up in the field to continue the suffocation, though was punished for not having a slip for an Aqib Ilyas edge. In what was a double blow, Ilyas lofted over long-off soon after for six, over the groundsman’s shed.
Erasmus’ luck changed when a Khawar Ali drive picked him out, and when Zane Green took a brilliant low catch up to Jan Frylinck to remove Aqib, Oman sat at a precarious 67/3 off 19.1 overs.
Mohammad Nadeem and Suraj Kumar steadied things for Oman, with Kumar cementing his spot in the team quickly after his inclusion. Nadeem looked comfortable, only to fall to Craig Williams, finding Baard at point with a full-blooded cut shot. Williams bent his back with his bowling effort, looking a yard faster than previous spells in the tournament.
Out strode Sandeep Goud, who was calculated in his approach. Sitting on four from sixteen balls, he remained calm even as the asking rate approached nine an over. Losing Khurram Nawaz earlier to Jan Frylinck in an easy LBW decision, Goud pushed on with Fayyaz Butt. Needing 39 off the last 24 deliveries, Goud flicked the switch, hitting Frylinck for 10 runs off the first two balls of his last over, before ticking over with Fayyaz to score another five off the rest of the over.
From there, Oman had the match in their hands. Goud and Fayyaz scoring vital boundaries at the end of the 48th and 49th over meant six was required off the last. Goud, crowned Player of the Match, ended the match emphatically with a six, flicking a full toss over the rope at deep backward square-leg. On a sour note, a confrontation mid-pitch after an overzealous Goud celebration ensued, with multiple players exchanging words.
Oman, who had their ODI status achievement confirmed after Canada’s win, move to four straight wins. Namibia by contrast can confirm their ODI achievement with a win against Hong Kong, though with a superior net run rate compared to the three trailing teams a win behind, it would take a monumentally disastrous loss (among other unlikely results elsewhere) for the hosts not to qualify.