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Match Report
Barry Chambers

Ireland recorded their second win in the WCQ beating a spirited Oman side by 116 runs in Krugersdorp.

They were given a scare by the Omanis, who raced to 98 without loss in 16 overs, before the introduction of spin in the form of ReganWest brought immediate dividends. The burly left arm spinner removed both openers in the space of two deliveries immediately after the drinks break.

Zeeshan Ahmed (48), and Nileshkumar Parmar (41) had both treated the Irish opening attack of Peter Connell and Boyd Rankin with disdain, unleashing an array of powerful cuts, pulls and drives all around the picturesque ground.

Trent Johnston and Kevin O'Brien proved just as ineffective, and there were some worried faces in the field as both openers looked in complete control.

However once that initial breakthrough was achieved, the result was never in doubt as West spun his magic to finish with the excellent analysis of 5 for 26, meaning that Kyle McCallan's continued absence with injury didn't prove crucial. Andrew White, recalled to the team for the rested Andre Botha, also bowled well, finishing with 1 for 31 in 9 overs.

Peter Connell came back strongly to clean up the tail, including the wicket of Hemal Mehta, who made an entertaining 32, before chasing a wide delivery to give Porterfield a regulation catch at cover. Eoin Morgan with a brilliant pick up and throw from cover accounted for Khan, as Oman capitulated to 169 all out in 37.3 overs.

Earlier, Ireland won the toss and decided to bat on a flat track. William Porterfield continued in the same vein as he showed in his century against Scotland, striking 6 boundaries as he raced to 32, adding 65 in 13 overs with Gary Wilson, before chipping a tame catch to midwicket. Eoin Morgan departed for just a single, but Gary Wilson (46), and Niall O'Brien (20), kept the scoreboard ticking along.

Zeeshan Ahmed (2-44) accounted for both in the same over, and soon Ireland were looking nervous at 111 for 4. Andrew White and Kevin O'Brien settled any Irish nerves as they compiled a perfectly timed 174 run partnership in 163 balls, with O'Brien making the most of three reprieves to score his 3rd international century.

The pair were content to score in singles initially, rotating the strike at every opportunity, with White in particular looking very assured. He was outscoring O'Brien in the early stages of the stand, and finished unbeaten on 71 from 73 deliveries, which included 4 boundaries.

Having reached his fifty from 67 balls, O'Brien launched into a blistering assault on the beleaguered Oman attack, reaching his century in just another 23 deliveries. In total he struck 6 fours and 5 sixes, two of which sailed out of the ground, in his unbeaten 101. 107 were added by the pair in the final 10 overs, as Ireland posted an imposing 285 for 4 in their 50 overs. That was to prove 116 too many for Oman.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons was relieved to get the potential banana skin out of the way: "It was a no-win situation for us. It is always hard to come out and play one of the less fancied teams after a win like that against Scotland - which was a big game for us.

"The main thing was to get the two points on the board and another win. It was also good that two batsmen who didn't get to the wicket against Scotland showed they are in form. We need all eight batsmen in good nick.

"I don't think our bowlers assessed their opening batsmen as quickly as they could have done. At this level you should know where you are going to bowl to a batsman after seeing him for a couple of overs and we didn't do that.

"Luckily Westie came up with the goods. He is bowling well - taking wickets and not going for a lot of runs either."

Ireland have a rest day before facing Uganda at the same venue on Saturday. A win there would guarantee qualification for the Super 8 phase of the tournament.

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