Oman beat Bahrain by two wickets with three balls to spare last night in a thrilling day-night game of the inaugural Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Men’s U-16 West Zone Cup at the Vision Cricket Centre in Sharjah.
Chasing 180 to win off 35 overs, Oman slumped to 141 for seven after 29 overs and then lost their eighth wicket at 165 with 11 balls left and 15 still required but the 10th wicket pair of Varshieth Saai Dinesh and Prathieshhma Ramesh saw them home in the last over of the innings.
Left-arm spinner Sarthak had earlier sparked a mini-collapse in the 28th over when, with Oman seemingly cruising at 137 for three in the 28th over, he had the well-set Kriv Rajesh Patel caught by Anas Obaid Syed for 36 before trapping Puladith Omidu Ralalage leg-before off the very next ball.
Captain Vishwaesh Gurumurthy, who had bowled a brilliant opening spell and picked up the wickets of the two Oman openers, then brought himself on and the move paid dividends when he clean-bowled Rahil Daniyalhabibulla for nought with Oman suddenly reduced to 139 for six after 28.2 overs.
And when Kavish Rajeshkumar Shah was brilliantly run-out by a bullet Syed throw from the deep to wicketkeeper Abhinav Girish Vashisht two runs later, Oman had lost four wickets for four runs in the space of 10 balls and, with 39 still required off six overs, looked like they were out of the contest.
But their lower-order had other plans and soon Oman were celebrating their first win in the tournament after two straight defeats while Bahrain had suffered their first defeat after two consecutive wins.
In the afternoon, Bahrain batted first after Gurumurthy won the toss and, after losing Ayan Obaid Syed with the score 30 for one in the 10th over, Aryan Ashwin and Mohammed Basil added 53 off 58 balls before the latter fell for 31 – the first time he had been dismissed before reaching 50 in the tournament.
The left-handed Ashwin, who had assumed the anchor’s role, then saw Mohammed Adil come and go for four, before fellow left-hander Sarthak joined him in a steady 50-run stand off just 7.1 overs.
Sarthak eventually fell for 23 to Ramesh with Bahrain 138 for four in the 28th over but Ashwin, now joined by Anas Obaid Syed, looked in fine touch as the two tried to pick quick runs off a disciplined Oman attack.
Ashwin was finally run out, after a mix-up with Syed, for a well-played 61 with Bahrain 167 off 32.5 overs. Vashisht, in at number seven, also ran himself out in the quest for quick runs and Bahrain eventually finished with 179 for six off their 35 overs.
Bahrain will now play Kuwait in their fourth match today.
The game will start at 3pm, Bahrain time.