Qualifying race thrown wide open by minnows

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Qualifying race thrown wide open by minnows
Oman made 144 batting first in their victory against Afghanistan in Edinburgh on Wednesday. - Supplied photo

Dubai - UAE and Oman have different kinds of missions in today's match.

By Moni Matthews

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Published: Fri 17 Jul 2015, 6:59 PM

Last updated: Sat 18 Jul 2015, 9:32 AM

For the UAE and Oman, Friday's last Group B outing in Stirling, Scotland means totally different kinds of missions in the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup Qualifier-2015.
The 14-team qualifying tourney jointly hosted by Ireland and Scotland with the final slotted for July 26 in Dublin has seen stunning results especially this week when Oman for the second straight day shocked the seeding committee. On Tuesday, they beat the Netherlands, and on Wednesday Afghanistan, the 2014 runners-up. Then in the latest Group A match, rank outsiders Hong Kong sprang a surprise when they defeated the group's second rated side Nepal.
Next to turn the form book upside down were islanders Papua New Guinea who has an Intercontinental Cup win this season against the Netherlands. They handed Ireland, champions for the past two years, the most unexpected defeat on Wednesday in Group A.
For the UAE, who are out of the running in the championship, the match against Oman will be one to keep some of their reputation intact especially under the coaching of Aqib Javed who was confident of at least a third place finish in Group B. "We have the tougher group than Group A but I still think a third place finish will enable us to progress as one of the six for the world cup in India next year."
The UAE have to contend with the form shown by Omani stars Jatinder Singh, Zeeshan Maqsood and Mehran Khan all of whom are outright match winners on their given day.
Man of the Match against Afghanistan on Wednesday, Mehran told media: "This is one of the best wins we have had in the recent past. It is great for us to have such a wonderful victory over Afghanistan here today. Yesterday I said to my team that I would be man of the match today and I have proved it."
"This is our third time in the qualifiers and we have never made it into the World Twenty20 but this time things are going very well, the boys are doing excellent work thanks to the coaching of Duleep Mendis and Derek Pringle. We have done five months hard work at home and it's paying off now."
Ireland is still top in Group A with six points but PNG is just one point adrift with three teams - Namibia, Nepal and Hong Kong - level on three points.
In Group B, Afghanistan and Kenyan are logded on top at the moment with seven points with the third and fourth places jointly shared by Oman and Scotland with six point each.

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