Prajapati is the bowling captain for Oman which astounded Ireland. Oman stunned heavily favored Ireland on day two of World Cup qualifying action in Bulawayo by successfully chasing down 282 with five wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare.
Kashyap Prajapati, Aqib Ilyas, and skipper Zeeshan Maqsood all scored fifty, which helped Oman conduct its chase with the utmost professionalism. They never appeared rushed, and they formed partnerships at every opportunity, eventually winning their first ODI ever against a Full Member team and setting off wild celebrations in the dugout.
As Oman’s spinners kept the Ireland batsmen in check during the middle overs, it was George Dockrell’s career-best 89-ball 91 that allowed Ireland to reach 281.
After being put into bat, the new opening duo of Andy McBrine and Paul Stirling wasted no time getting going, scoring 51 runs in just nine overs. The 9 a.m. start time provided enough swing for the fast bowlers, but Oman’s Fayyaz Butt and Bilal Khan were wasteful with their freebies and didn’t take advantage.
Almost counter to expectations, Ireland lost both openers to consecutive deliveries. Stirling attempted a pull on a similar ball to the one he had hit for a home run off Bilal. The key difference was that Stirling toe-ended his pull straight down the fielder’s throat, who had just moved to a deep backward square leg. The very next ball, a harmless short ball outside off, McBrine picked out mid-off.
Ireland lost their captain, Andrew Balbirnie, for 7 runs off 19 balls as their score dropped to 3-18 after seven overs. Ireland were put through their paces in a spin trial by the likes of Maqsood, Ayaan Khan, and Jay Odedra.
Despite Ayaan removing Lorcan Tucker, the fifth-wicket partnership of Dockrell and Harry Tector produced 79 runs. Dockrell extended the game after Tector was out after he reached fifty. With his assistance, Ireland scored 86 runs in the last ten overs. It was certain, though, that the 157 dot balls they faced during their innings would come back to haunt them.
Oman never appeared to be outmatched during the pursuit. Batters benefited from the sunny conditions, but Oman’s lack of apprehension during the chase was impressive.
Mark Adair got a top-edged catch from Jatinder Singh after he watched the ball ricochet off the bat and back into the air. However, Prajapati and Ilyas ensured that the necessary run rate was kept under control at all times. They held back the quality balls and made the most of the sloppy ones. In the seventh over, Ilyas went after Graham Hume and hit him for three consecutive fours. After putting up 94 runs off 88 balls, Ilyas top-edged Dockrell to short fine leg.
At No. 4, Maqsood joined forces with Prajapati for 63 runs, and then with Mohammad Nadeem for 56 more. Due to outstanding strike rotation and several fours from the Oman hitters, the necessary run rate never rose above six an over.
While Maqsood fell soon after reaching his fifty off 58 balls, there were no jitters in the Oman camp. Oman cruised to victory with help from Nadeem (46 not out), Ayaan (21), and Shoaib Khan (19).