Cricket. Oman’s progress has majorly relied on sheer hard work and rhythm set after partaking at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in India last year
It is barely a week into the Ramadhan season for the Muslim community.
But Team Oman have the lee way to break all rules in this religious fasting season after winning the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division Three tournament yesterday.
The nation from the Arabian Peninsula was declared champions after their final against Canada was washed out by rain at Lugogo Oval.
Considering there was no result, Oman were crowned winners on grounds they had topped the round-robin format with four wins in five games.
“We are glad to win the tournament,” Oman skipper Sultan Ahmed said shortly after lifting the tournament trophy on a really cold evening. “I think it is a big achievement from us,” the 39-year-old said.
It means that coach Duleep Mendis’ side has earned three successive promotions from the ICC WCL Division Five to now Division Two in a space of 19 months.
They were second at ICC WCL Division Five in Jersey back in October 2015 and at Division Four in USA last November.
Little wonder they had all rights to party late into the night. Oman’s progress has majorly relied on sheer hard work and rhythm set after partaking at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in India last year.
“Certainly,” Mendis said of this team who average age stand at 30 plus. “The guys put in a lot of hard work and they have focus,” the former Sri Lanka captain said of Ahmed, Jatinder Singh, Bilal Khan and Zeeshan Masqood.
“In the past four months, we were waking up at 5am every morning, then going to work and returning to the field to do so fielding drills in the evening,” Ahmed explained.
But Mendis’ opposite Henry Osinde believes they could have won the tournament had it not been the rain. “Overall, we played well so I will not say we are disappointed. The big aim was to qualify and go on to win the tournament,” the Ugandan-born stated.
The three-time World Cup finalists Canada were going for a big knock but two rain interruptions midway the 35th over and at the end of the 38th over.
But their innings, built on Bhavindu Adhihetty’s opening knock of 86 runs off 108 balls. The 17-year-old had shared an opening 102-run stand with captain Nitish Kumar (50 off 78).
“Today we batted well but the gods had different plans and the game was abandoned.” Osinde added.
The men from Muscat had attempted to chase a revised score of 177 in 24 overs with Zeeshan Masqood (32 off 16) but rain came in again with the score at 50-2 midway the fifth over.
Meanwhile, hosts Uganda survived the wooden spoon thanks to persistent showers in Entebbe in their fifth-place play-off against Malaysia. Both were relegated to ICC WCL Division Four.
Similarly, Singapore finished third ahead of USA after their third-place play-off tie in Kyambogo was too washed out. The pair retain the ICC WCL Division Three status.
2017 ICC WCL DIVISION THREE
PLACEMENT MATCHES -FINAL
Canada 176/3 Oman 50/2 (4.3/24)
(Match washed out)
(Singapore vs. USA washed out)
(Uganda vs. Malaysia washed out)
1st - Oman
2nd - Canada
3rd - Singapore
4th - USA
5th - Uganda
6th - Malaysia