Captain Zeeshan Maqsood’s (4/20) sensational bowling performance helped Oman restrict Papua New Guinea to 129-9 in the opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at Al Amerat Cricket Ground, here on Sunday.

Assad Vala (56 off 43) and Charles Amini (37 off 26) were the top scorers for PNG in the first match of the mega-event.

Put in to bat first, Papua New Guinea were off to a terrible start as they lost wickets of openers Tony Ura and Lega Siaka on duck. While Bilal Khan dismissed Tony, Kaleemullah got rid of Siaka. Oman bowlers bowled with discipline as PNG scored their first run in the 12th ball of the innings.

After losing two wickets in quick succession, Assad Vala and Charles Amini batted sensibly and took PNG to 40/2 in the powerplay. They added 83 runs for the third wicket before Amini (37 off 26) got run out in the 12th over.

Assad (56 off 43), who looked in fine touch, smashed a six off Zeeshan Maqsood to bring his fifty in the last ball of the 13th over. But, he couldn’t carry his innings any longer and was dismissed by Kaleemullah in the 15th over.

Norman Vanua (1) was the next batsman to get out. He was dismissed by Zeeshan Maqsood, leaving Papua New Guinea in deep trouble at 112-5 in 15.1 overs.

PNG were 81-3 at one point, but lower-order batsmen didn’t contribute at all and they lost the wickets in clusters. In the end, they were restricted to 129-9 in 20 overs.

Brief scores:

Papua New Guinea 129-9 in 20 Overs (Assad Vala 56 off 43, Charles Amini 37 off 26; Zeeshan Maqsood 4/20 against Oman

–IANS

avn/bsk

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