Shock result as Oman beat Netherlands
If the match started under a sky greyer than Peter Borren's eventual mood, it at least ended under bright skies and the brighter enthusiasm of an Oman team that has won two on the trot. The loss of Ahsan Malik proved pivotal for the Dutch, as he would have been perfectly suited a wicket in which only four overs of pace were bowled by the Dutch, and van Meekeren's only contribution was a catch.
Having been put in, the Dutch made a cautious start albeit helped by extras, against Oman's contrasting openers. Ansari, round-arm and fast, beat the bat of Barresi twice in the opening over. While Lalcheta, left-arm and very slow, struggled with his line, conceding 8 wides, before beating everyone with the last ball of the over, which popped off the pitch. Two boundaries helped them to 0/25 after 4 overs.
The Dutch batsmen struggled with the adjustment from the Grange to Myreside's slower pitch, with no batsman looking comfortable timing the ball, and only Myburgh making a significant early contribution. His steady but unspectacular innings ended with an excellent diving catch by Zeeshan Ahmed at long off for 41 off 43 balls, though at this stage the Dutch had a platform for some late scoring. O'Dowd provided some of that, scoring 32 off 21, but the decisive moment of the match was to come with the return of Omani slinger Munis Amari.
Van der Merwe had his stumps re-arranged in the 17th over, but more was to come in the 19th, with a brilliant display of full fast bowling. He knocked over Bukhari with his first ball, beat Seelaar with his second before bowling him with his third, and had Rippon out lbw to his fourth. Van der Gugten dug out the hat-trick ball, but a triple wicket maiden put paid to a big Dutch total. When O'Dowd was caught on the rope with the fourth ball of the last over, they were all out for 135.
Maqsood was determined to get Oman off to a fast start and both he and Zeeshan Ahmad hit early boundaries, cutting hard at anything with width, and lofting the ball over cover. Some relatively poor deliveries did for both Maqsood, caught at long on, and Wategaonkar, caught at deep mid-wicket, while Aamir Kaleem managed just two balls before he conspired with Myburgh to run himself out. With seven overs remaining, Oman required only 45 runs, but could ill afford any more wickets.
Fortunately for them, man of the match, Jatinder Singh was joined by the captain Sultan Ahmed, who put on a chanceless, even riskless, unbroken partnership of 56. With little apparent pressure from the Dutch, who used eight bowlers - the eighth being front-line seam option Bukhari - searching for something they never found, the pair worked singles relentlessly, with just four dot balls in forty faced, and only the five boundaries. The last, over cover, setting off jubilant celebrations by their team, who now have a genuine chance of making the playoffs.
The Dutch sulked off, failing to attend the presentation ceremony. They have plenty more chances to ensure they finish in the playoff places, but they'll need to play significantly better than today with all but Canada seemingly capable of progressing in an increasingly interesting group.