Singapore stun defending champions Scotland; Oman win - GulfToday

Singapore stun defending champions Scotland; Oman win

Singapore stun defending  champions Scotland; Oman win

Singapore players celebrate after winning their match against Scotland in ICC men’s T20 World Cup qualifier in Dubai on Friday.

Oman defeated UAE by seven wickets with 10 balls to spare at the ICC men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Earlier, Scotland, the highest ranked team at the ICC men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in the UAE, and joint-holders of the trophy, were shocked in the opening game of the tournament by Singapore.

Singapore, who are No.21 on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I team rankings, had defeated Zimbabwe and Nepal in the run-up to the tournament, and added another big scalp to their collection by pulling off a thrilling last-ball win at the ICC Academy Ground A in Dubai.

Chasing 169, Scotland needed eight runs in the last over with four wickets in hand. Captain Amjad Mahmood, though, kept his cool, taking the wickets of the dangerous Calum MacLeod and Safyaan Sharif, while Alasdair Evans was run out in the last ball. The two-run win sparked scenes of delight and reminded opposing teams of Singapore’s threat in the competition.

“[The win] opens that group wide open,” Preston Mommsen, former Scotland captain and commentator for the tournament, told ICC.

“Everyone thought Scotland were an absolute shoo-in [to qualify] — they probably had the easier of the two groups. It’ll give a lot of other teams a lot of confidence playing Scotland in future games.”

Selladore Vijayakumar, who took 3/16, was Player of the Match. But Singapore also had Surendran Chandramohan to thank, for rescuing the side from 7/2 after being put in. Opener Chandramohan struck two sixes in his 55-ball 51.

He had good support from Aritra Dutta, who smashed three sixes in a brisk 15-ball 32 to give the innings momentum. Useful knocks from the middle order took them to 168/6.

In reply, George Munsey used the reverse sweep to good effect, taking on Vinoth Baskaran for a six and two fours in the same over. He combined with Kyle Coetzer in a strong opening stand of 70 in just 7.4 overs.

Singapore had a scare when Janak Prakash was struck on his follow through; fortunately, the bowler was treated for a cut and cleared to take the field after a short break.

Vijayakumar’s off-spin and spectacular catching by Tim David put Singapore back in the game. With Coetzer the third wicket to fall, Scotland went from 111/2 to 125/5. MacLeod kept his side in the game and Tim Sole struck a couple of fours, but Amjad’s final over sealed a famous win for the Asian side.

“[Scotland] would have approached this tournament with the mindset of ‘anything can happen’,” Mommsen added. “In qualifying tournaments these things happen. It’s about being able to adapt and overcoming those challenges when they do arrive.”

The winners of each group of seven will qualify automatically, with the four remaining spots to be decided in playoffs.

Meanwhile, the prize money for ICC women’s events will be increased by $2.6 million following the conclusion of the ICC Board meetings in Dubai.

The increase follows a rise in the revenue generated by the sport, a proportion of which is assigned to prize money.

For the event in Australia next year the winners and runners up will now receive $1 million and $500,000 respectively; five times the amount on offer in 2018.

An overall 320 per cent increase in the prize pot for 2020 (compared to 2018) will see every single one of the 10 competing teams receive significantly more as part of ongoing efforts to drive improved standards throughout the game and not just rewarding the top end.

There will also be a substantial increase in the money available for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 with the prize pot increasing to $3.5m from $2m in 2017.

The Board approved the establishment of an U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup with the first edition to be played in Bangladesh in 2021 and every two years after that. ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: “We have already stated our long-term commitment to reach parity across men’s and women’s cricket as part of a broader plan to grow and develop the women’s game.

“We want to build a long-term sustainable foundation for women’s cricket and that is about more than just prize money. It is about building a product that fans want to watch, that kids want to take up, that sponsors and broadcasters want to be part of. Creating a Women’s U-19 event also improves the pathway available to young cricketers and ensures they have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

“This is a journey we started in earnest in 2017 and next year it’s our ambition to fill the MCG on International Women’s Day for the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 which would be a world record for a women’s sporting event. This significant increase in prize money and the introduction of a Women’s U-19 event is part of a much larger effort to grow the women’s game around the world.”