T20 World Cup: England beat Oman by eight wickets to boost Super 8 chances | Crickit
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T20 World Cup: England beat Oman by eight wickets to boost Super 8 chances

AP |
Jun 14, 2024 06:41 AM IST

Most importantly, England’s net run-rate that was minus 1.800 before the match is now plus 3.08, ahead of Scotland’s plus 2.164.

Adil Rashid took 4-11 and England boosted its chances of reaching the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup by bowling out Oman for 47 on Thursday en route to an eight-wicket win in a pivotal match for the defending champions.

England's captain Jos Buttler, right, and batting partner Jonny Bairstow shake hands at the end of the match.(AP)
England's captain Jos Buttler, right, and batting partner Jonny Bairstow shake hands at the end of the match.(AP)

Phil Salt then launched the first two balls of the England innings for sixes before being bowled third ball in a dramatic start as England chased the fastest-possible win. It reached 50-2 from a record 3.1 overs — 20 deliveries, including a no-ball — led by captain Jos Buttler's 24 from eight balls.

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It was not only the magnitude of the win but the speed with which it was achieved that helped improve England’s outlook at the tournament. It moved up to third place in Group B with three points, behind already qualified Australia (six points), and Scotland (five points).

Most importantly, England’s net run-rate that was minus 1.800 before the match is now plus 3.08, ahead of Scotland’s plus 2.164. Scotland next faces 2021 champions Australia.

England took a point from its first match against Scotland, which was a washout because of rain, and then lost to Australia by 36 runs. That made it imperative that it not only won Thursday’s match but won it emphatically to improve its run-rate and prospects.

Buttler won the toss and chose to bowl against Oman, theorizing that England would be in a better position to manage the run-rate equation if it was chasing.

The plan worked when England bowled out Oman in 13.2 overs on a glassy surface at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium which supported both Rashid’s leg spinners and the England fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

“We had a point to prove after the last couple of games," said Wood, who returned 3-12.

Rashid said England played “exceptionally well.”

“At the top Woody and Jofra set the tone and I thought we bowled exceptionally well as a team," he said. "It’s always nice to bowl the first ball and to see it spinning. When you get a wicket first ball as well it sets the tone a bit more.”

In other matches, Bangladesh beat Netherlands by 25 runs in St. Vincent to edge closer to confirming its second-round qualification, and Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bowl first against Papua New Guinea at Trinidad. Afghanistan is coming off back-to-back wins over Uganda and New Zealand.

England needed quick wickets Thursday and Archer delivered, capturing his first wicket on the eighth ball of the match. He had Pratik Athavale caught at cover by Salt from a full, fast delivery.

Archer then dismissed captain Aqib Ilyas in the fourth over when Oman was 16-2. The England quicks operated well in tandem, with Wood adding the wickets of Zeeshan Maqsood (1), caught and bowled, and Kashyap Prajapati (9) to leave Oman 25-4 at the end of the six-over power play.

Khalid Kail (1) was stumped by Buttler from the bowling of Rashid to the first ball afterward. Rashid also dismissed Mehran Khan (0), Fayyaz Butt (2) and Kaleemullah (5). His googly was particularly troublesome for the Oman batters.

Salt clubbed the first two balls of the England innings over the long boundaries for sixes, then was bowled by the third ball from Bilal Khan (1-36) as he teed off again. Jacks came in and defended the fourth ball in a rare moment of calm.

Buttler carried his bat to get England home with 101 balls to spare, hitting a six and four boundaries.

England will now play Namibia on Sunday. Its qualification for the Super Eight stage is still dependent on the outcome of the other group match Sunday between Australia and Scotland.

If Scotland wins, it will qualify. England likely would advance if Australia wins with a superior net run-rate.

"I thought the tone was set really well by the bowlers,” Buttler said. “Job done today and we’ve got another big game in two days time.”

Buttler said he told the England batters “just to be ultra-positive."

Bangladesh wins

Wrist spinner Rishad Hossain spun Bangladesh to victory, picking up 3-33 in four overs, after star all-rounder Shakib al Hasan had scored 64 not out off 46 balls. Bangladesh had posted 159-5 after being sent into bat, while the Netherlands was restricted to 134-8 in response in their Group D game.

With one game remaining, Bangladesh needs just two points to advance. It faces Nepal on Monday.

Group D leader South Africa has already confirmed its top spot from the group with three straight wins.

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