Oman stun Ireland in World Cup Qualifier
Ireland’s hopes of reaching the World Cup later this year suffered an early blow with a five-wicket defeat by Oman in their opening qualifying game.
After losing the toss, Ireland made 281-7 off their 50 overs, with George Dockrell ending unbeaten on 91 and Harry Tector scoring 52.
Kashyap Prajapati top-scored with 72 as Oman chased down Ireland’s total with 11 balls to spare, finishing on 285-5.
Ireland face Scotland in their next Group B game in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
That is followed by fixtures against Sri Lanka on Sunday and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, with the top three from both groups advancing to a Super Six stage.
The top two from the 10-team tournament will progress to the World Cup in India later this year.
Ireland failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup and are the fourth highest ranked team in the competition.
Oman’s win was their first over Ireland in one-day internationals and saw them complete their highest successful run-chase in the format.
Andy McBrine (20) and Paul Stirling (23) put on an opening partnership of 51, before being dismissed in consecutive balls at the end of the ninth over and the start of the 10th.
Tector’s half-century kept Ireland on track but it was Dockrell’s score off just 89 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, which helped them post a competitive total.
Bilal Khan and Fayyaz Butt were the pick of the Oman bowlers with two wickets apiece.
Jatinder Singh fell early to Adair for just a single, but 52 from Aaqib Ilyas helped lay the foundation, along with opener Prajapati.
Skipper Zeeshan Maqsood chipped in with 59 and Mohammad Nadeem contributed 46 not out as Oman ran out relatively comfortable victors.
The winning runs came at the start of the penultimate over, with Shoaib Khan crunching a four to spark jubilant celebrations.
Josh Little and Adair ended with identical bowling figures of 2-47. (BBC Sport)