• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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T20 WC: England thrash Oman to keep their Super Eight hopes alive

Even with a win, England will have to wait for the outcome of Sunday’s match between Australia and Scotland to know if they have reached the Super Eight.

Adil Rashid of England celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Mehran Khan of Oman. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

England defeated Oman by eight wickets, reviving their T20 World Cup campaign with a record-breaking win in Antigua on Thursday.

England needed a significant victory to boost their net run-rate in the race to qualify for the second round. They bowled out Oman for just 47 runs.

England then scored 50-2 in 3.1 overs, with captain Jos Buttler remaining not out on 24 and Jonny Bairstow unbeaten on eight after hitting the winning boundary.

This Group B victory marked the largest win in T20 World Cup history in terms of balls remaining.

Oman struggled against England’s bowling attack. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid took 4-11, while fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood each had figures of 3-12. The innings ended with nearly seven overs to spare.

Shoaib Khan (11) was the only Oman batsman to reach double figures after Buttler won the toss.

England’s net run-rate improved to 3.081, better than Scotland’s 2.16, though they remained third with three points, behind Scotland’s five.

There is speculation that Australia, undefeated in Group B, might ease up in their final pool game against Scotland to eliminate England. Buttler’s team will secure second place if they beat Namibia on Saturday.

Even with a win, England will have to wait for the outcome of Sunday’s match between Australia and Scotland to know if they have reached the Super Eights.

“I thought the tone was set really well by the bowlers, picking up the early wickets,” said Buttler. “Job done today, another big game in two days’ time.”

England’s previous defeat by Australia increased pressure on Buttler and coach Matthew Mott, an Australian, following England’s poor defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India last year.

“I’ve been around long enough to know how things work,” said Buttler. “We have confidence. We can only focus on ourselves, we’ve got a huge game against Namibia.”

Oman, already eliminated, lost all four of their games in the tournament. They narrowly avoided the record lowest completed total of 39 in a T20 World Cup, set by Uganda against West Indies last week.

“We couldn’t do well in the batting, it was a big collapse,” said Oman captain Aqib Ilyas. “Overall we couldn’t do much. There are still many positives and you just have to get better and better. Once in a year you play against bowlers doing 150 kph (93 mph) plus.”

Archer caused early damage with 2-12 in nine balls. Oman lost two wickets in Wood’s first over, slumping to 25-4 in six overs. Buttler removed the bails to stump Khalid Kail off Rashid’s first ball as wickets continued to fall.

Phil Salt hit the first two balls of England’s chase for six, but was bowled off the third by Bilal Khan, setting England on their way.

(AFP)

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