Oman Triumphs in ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Asia Division 2 Qualifier, Nitish Nadendla Crowned Player of the Tournament

Oman's U19 Cricket Victory: Nitish Nadendla Shines!

Oman Triumphs in ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Asia Division 2 Qualifier, Nitish Nadendla Crowned Player of the Tournament

In a commanding display of cricket, Oman emerged victorious in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Asia Division 2 Qualifier, defeating Hong Kong, China by a comfortable margin of 100 runs in Bangkok, Thailand.

The team’s dominance was evident throughout the match, with Nitish Nadendla, who was later named Player of the Tournament, delivering a stellar performance by scoring a swift 50 off 34 balls, guiding Oman to a total of 249/5. Saumya Sampat was awarded Player of the Match for his contribution of 48 runs and three wickets.

Oman team celebrating their victory

Oman, having won the toss, chose to bat first. Despite losing opener Gaurav Dinesh early in the game, the team managed to maintain a steady scoring rate, reaching 32/1 after the first Powerplay.

The team’s 50 was brought up in the 17th over, with Saumya Sampat and Jeet Shah maintaining a steady partnership against the spin attack of Puri and Harry Hodgson.

The Oman batters shifted gears in the 28th over, attacking left-arm spinner Puri, which helped them reach the 100-run mark. However, their partnership was broken when Arya Panjwani trapped Saumya lbw for 48.

Oman team in action

Jeet Shah completed his half-century in 97 balls before falling victim to Panjwani. Oman’s innings was further dented with the dismissal of skipper Rahil Habibulla, leaving them at 145/5.

Just when it seemed like the match was tilting in favour of Hong Kong, China, Nadendla and Rohan Ramachandran rebuilt the innings, their partnership resulting in a flurry of big shots and a 100-run stand. This helped Oman set the highest total of the tournament – 249/5.

Nadendla finished with a quickfire 51 off 34 balls, while Ramachandran provided solid support with 49 off 53 balls.

Chasing a target of 250, Hong Kong, China lost their first wicket in the third over. Their captain, Shiv Mathur, who had been a valuable contributor throughout the tournament, was dismissed for 4, leaving the team in a precarious position at 17/2.

Hong Kong, China team in action

Despite a brief resistance from Arya Panjwani and Aarez Dar, Hong Kong, China continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, struggling at 70/5 after 20 overs.

Matthew Clayton reached his half-century but was dismissed immediately after, leaving Hong Kong, China at 149/9 at the end of their innings, handing Oman a comfortable victory by 100 runs.

Saumya Sampat was named Player of the Match, while Nitish Nadendla was awarded the Player of the Tournament. Mohammad Akram of Malaysia and Janath Herathliyanage of Kuwait were named Batter and Bowler of the Tournament, respectively.

Oman team with the trophy

Post-match Reactions

Oman captain Rahil Habibulla said:

“I’m feeling proud of our players and the backing we have from our coaching staff and management. It’s been an incredible journey for us, one that started two months ago. Although, it was a journey that started two years ago for me, falling short at the knockout stage last time around in 2022 was something that’s hurt for a long time. However, this victory gives me and the whole team no better feeling than putting every yard behind us and setting right every time we stepped onto the field.

“We had a majority of a young bunch of players playing a tournament of such stake for the first time and it’s been an honour to lead them. We look forward to doing something big in Division 1 ahead and aim for the glory that’s to come. Lastly, I would like to thank the Oman Cricket Board and its staff for always supporting and believing in us and providing us a platform to express our talent.”

Oman coach Aamir Kaleem said:

“It’s a very good feeling winning a tournament of this stature. The conditions here were hot and humid and such conditions are not favourable to play the longer format of the game. I am proud of the way our team showed character and played outstanding cricket to lift the trophy. I would commend each and every individual as they have risen to be matchwinners in all departments in every situation the game brought to us.

“We have remained unbeaten throughout the tournament and that speaks how well we have been against every opposition. I would like to commend our skipper Rahil Habibulla for leading the team extremely well and being decisive and on top of every decision made on-field makes my job easy and helps me work with the team in a better way. We had 10-11 players playing for the first time in an international event.

“I would like to thank Oman Cricket and our Head Coach Duleep Mendis for believing in us and in my skills as a coach to help them perform and develop their cricketing acumen.”