Sri Lanka beat Oman yet again in a T20 international achieving the target of 160 with 15 balls to spare. The victory also handed the visitors a series win and a much-needed practice time before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifying round. Oman batters improved since the first game, scoring 16 more runs compared to 143 in the first T20.
Aqib Ilyas made 59 runs off just 38 balls to lead Oman near 160 runs. Meanwhile, for Sri Lanka, Lahiru Kumara’s two wickets for 20 runs spell became the difference in the end. While chasing, Sri Lanka looked in control, cruising at 87 for 2 in the tenth over, however, the team lost three wickets in 8 balls. This didn’t deter Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Chamika Karunaratne who made 30+ runs to pull through in the end.
Oman who is going to host the first and qualifying leg of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is getting a taste of the experience acquired by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka plays powerhouses like Australia, England, India, Pakistan, etc. more often so it is obvious that there is going to be a gap. However, Oman has shown that the team can still put up a fight in the upcoming Qualifiers and DOES enter with a chance despite a lot of top-heavy international fixtures.
The top two teams qualify from the two groups and Oman is grouped alongside Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, and Scotland. Among those three teams, Bangladesh can be highly troublesome and one of the favorites to qualify. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is grouped with Ireland, Netherlands, and Namibia. Sri Lanka and Ireland are favorites to advance from this group.