Quadrangular Twenty20I Series: Scotland drubs Oman to claim title honours

The concluding day of the first-ever Quadrangular Twenty20I Series at Amerat on Sunday in Oman turned out to be as thrilling as the format is known to be.

In the first match of the day, a   last-ball six by Ireland’s Stuart Poynter off Netherlands’ Paul van Meekeren had given Ireland a dramatic one-wicket win but more importantly, it also opened the door for title-success for Scotland, which took on the hosts Oman, later in the day.

A win for the Netherlands against Ireland would have secured the title for the Dutch, who recorded two solid wins ahead of their game against the Ireland.

Scotland seized the opportunity as it routed the hosts by seven wickets, courtesy tidy bowling performances from debutant seamer Adrian Neill and left-arm spinner Mark Watt.

With the facile win, Scotland joined Ireland and the Netherlands with four points each from two wins but tilted the title honours in its favour with a much-better net run-rate of +0.877 as compared to Netherlands (+0.207) and Ireland (+0.033).

Scotland’s Alasdair Evans began the proceedings with a wicket-maiden as Naseem Khushi departed. The lanky Neill then sent back Oman’s last-match half-century makers, Jatinder Singh and Khurram Nawaz, while debutant Wasim Ali was run out to leave the hosts tottering at 17 for four at the end of powerplay.

Captain Ajay Lalcheta (13) and Mohammed Nadeem (29) tried to rebuild but Watt struck to dismiss Lalcheta. Watt then accounted for Sufyan Mehmood and rounded off his tournament-best seven wickets with his final ball of the day, having Mohammad Nadeem lbw to make it 76 for seven after 16 overs.

Neill then castled Mehran Khan to make it 90 for eight. And had it not been for a gritty unbeaten 31 off 19 balls by Sandeep Goud, the hosts would have been left stranded under 100.

Scotland eventually bowled Oman out for 111 in 19.3 overs and chased down the target with 27 balls to spare for the loss of three wickets.

Scotland had a nervy chase as George Munsey (16) and Kyle Coetzer (3) were bowled by Nadeem and Bilal Khan got Matthew Cross caught to make it 42 for three in the eighth over.

Calum MacLeod (29 n.o.) and vice-captain Richie Berrington (47 n.o.) shared an unbroken 73-run partnership to seal the win and the title. The two teams will play a series of three 50-over matches at the same venue,beginning on Tuesday.

Ireland breaks Netherlands’ jinx

Earlier, Netherlands’ five-match winning streak against Ireland, since 2014, came to an end as Poynter hoisted van Meekeren over long-on off the final ball of the match for a thrilling win.

Netherlands rode on Tobias Visse’s 78 and Max O’Dowd’s 38 to score 182 for nine. Stuart Thompson took four wickets for Ireland.

Ireland’s chase was anchored by Andy Balbirnie’s 83 and Kevin O’Brien (46). It needed 12 to get off the final over with three wickets in hand.

Van Meekeren had a wicket of Boyd Rankin off the fourth ball after Josh Little was run out and the Netherlands was just one wicket away from victory.

Requiring six to win off the last two balls, Poynter turned down a single off the penultimate ball before lifting van Meekeren over the ropes.

Both Ireland and the Netherlands now head to India, with Ireland to play Afghanistan in T20Is, ODIs and its maiden away Test, while Netherlands has matches scheduled against domestic teams.

Brief scores: Scotland 115-3 (Berrington 47*, MacLeod 29*) beat Oman 111 (Goud 31*, Watt 3-20, Neill 3-21).

Ireland 183-9 (Balbirnie 83, O'Brien 46) beat Netherlands 182-2 (Visee 78; Thompson 4-18).  

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