Oman 106/2 (Illyas 37, Maqsood 24, Shah 1-18) defeated Hong Kong 103 (Nizakat 31, Kaleem 3-14, Khawar Ali 3-24) by 8 wickets with 15 balls remaining.

Oman extended their unbeaten run in T20Is to six on Sunday afternoon when they reeled in Hong Kong’s total of 103 in the 18th over. Conversely, Hong Kong has lost the same number of T20Is in a row, last winning against the Netherlands three years ago during the Desert T20.

Despite the Oman chase taking longer than they probably should’ve they never really looked in danger. The chase was anchored by their unflappable skipper Zeezhan Maqsood in an unbeaten partnership 60 in 8.4 overs with Aqib Illyas who top scored with 37.

Earlier on, Maqsood won the toss and invited Hong Kong to bat first on a wicket, originally billed as a ‘belter’ by the commentators, where both teams struggled to time the ball even as the afternoon sun bake the Abu Dhabi surface.

Oman Aamir Kaleem
Aamir Kaleem – on his birthday – took 3-14 and player of the match honours (Photo: ICC)

Hong Kong skipper Aizaz Khan was the first go after misreading a Fayazz Butt slower ball and despite Nizakat Khan smeared a boundary over the off side for four and crunched a monstrous six from the off spin of Aqib Ilyas to the long side of the ground, he never found his rhythm.

Friday’s best performer for Hong Kong Kinchit Shah mistimed a slog sweep from Kaleem’s second ball of left-arm orthodox and was caught by Jatinder Singh, some 15 metres off the boundary on the shorter side. Then Oman tightened the screws.

From 48 for 2 in the ninth over Hong Kong then managed to lose their final eight wickets for 60, only hitting the solitary boundary between overs 7-20.

Oman Aaqib Illyas Zeeshan Maqsood
(Photo: ICC)

The spin bowling of Aamir Kaleem and Khwar Ali stood out again, and this performance only reinforces Oman’s credentials as a real threat in this tournament, notwithstanding the fact their batters haven’t really been tested yet.

Hong Kong’s next game is against the hosts tomorrow, another TV game in the afternoon heat. Oman will take on Ireland at the same time on the stadium’s outer oval.

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