Oman absolutely outplayed World Cup debutants Papua New Guinea in the opening match of the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup at Al Amerat. Oman won by 10 wickets which was only the third 10-wicket win in the history of the T20 World Cup.
Oman skipper Zeeshan Maqsood called it right at the toss and chose to field first. Papua New Guinea got off to a nightmare start as they lost experienced Tony Ura in the first over. The right-hander had no answer to Bilal Khan's inswinging delivery and was cleaned up off an inside edge.
Ura's partner Lega Siaka too didn't bother the scorers and all of a sudden Papua New Guinea were none for two in the second over.
The onus then was on skipper Assad Vala and Charles Amini to rebuild the innings. Amini was the more aggressive of the two, hitting Bilal for two consecutive fours and Mohammad Nadeem for a six and a four. They collected 40 for two in the powerplay.
They carried on until the 12th over until a misunderstanding caused Amini's dismissal. Amini wanted a quick single but Vala refused and Nadeem hit the bull's eye off his own bowling. They added 81 for the third wicket. Amini made 37 off 26 balls.
Vala continued in his merry way. The southpaw struck a four and a six in the 13th over off Zeeshan Maqsood and reached his fifty. Vala became the second associate captain to score a half-century on World Cup debut.
But Kaleemullah came back and removed the well-set Vala for 56 in the 15th over and left Papua New Guinea in a bit of worry at 102 for four.
Maqsood struck thrice in the 16th over and Papua New Guinea were in further trouble.
Papua New Guinea managed 129 for nine after 20 overs. Zeeshan Maqsood returned four for 20 which is the joint-best bowling figure by a captain in T20 World Cups. The record is now held by Maqsood and Daniel Vettori who recorded four for 20 against India in 2007.
In reply, Oman openers- Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh- started steadily. They had a pretty productive first six overs as they added 46 without losing a wicket.
The duo scored at a faster pace after the completion of the powerplay as they added 50 off the next five overs and inched closer to the target.
Jatinder reached his fifty off just 33 balls in the 12th over. The right-hander struck a cracking six down the ground and brought up the half-century in some style.
Ilyas too reached his fifty a couple of overs later. Jatinder Singh finished things off in style by hitting a six in the very next ball. Oman went past Papua New Guinea's total with 38 deliveries to spare. Jatinder was unbeaten on 73 off 42 balls with the help of seven fours and four sixes. He was ably supported by Ilyas who was not out on 50.
Zeeshan Maqsood was adjudged player of the match for his outstanding bowling performance.