Netherlands v Oman World T20 preview, Match 7
Oman wants to sustain success, while the Netherlands aims to put opening disappointment behind it to get challenge back on track
10 March 2016 20:09
The tight scheduling of the first round of ICC World Twenty20 2016 matches means there is little turnaround time for teams. To recover from narrow losses, and from the euphoria of historic wins.
The Netherlands falls in the former category after losing a hard-fought game to Bangladesh on Wednesday (March 9) while Oman finds itself on a high after stunning Ireland in its first game at a global event. Both sides have to regroup as they face each other on Thursday at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala.
Oman's victory in its opening game has thrown Group A open. It also sends out a strong message that the gap between associate countries is narrowing, making the first round a lot more interesting.
But the bigger challenge for Oman starts now. Can it show that success wasn't one-off? Can it sustain its performance, especially with a lot more attention on it?
In a way, these are extensions of the situations the side faced against Ireland. Oman had a great start in its chase thanks to its openers, but a middle-order wobble and its inexperience threatened to cost the side the game. Fortunately, it found a gem in the form of Aamer Ali, who unleashed an unbelievable cameo to seal the game. Oman now has to extend such performances on a larger scale if it is to continue its rise.
The best thing about Oman's win was that it wasn't a case of just one player having a field day. The result was a consequence of a complete team effort; Munees Ansari, Aamir Kaleem and Khawar Ali starred with the ball before Zeeshan Maqsood, Khawar and Aamer produced magic with their bats.
Sultan Ahmed, Oman's captain, after the first match, promised his side had more such surprise packages and it would be interesting to see what's in store. It could well just be an expression of excitement following the victory, but fortunately for Oman, it has enough experience in the backroom staff to keep it grounded, focussed on the bigger picture and working on its shortfalls despite the win.
“There was a little bit of celebration, but we have a long way to go,” said Duleep Mendis, the coach, on Thursday. “Obviously it was a good win and we wanted to celebrate, but it was curtailed. We also have to sharpen our fielding and middle-order batting. We got a good start yesterday but we couldn't continue the momentum. We have to improve on that."
At the other end of the spectrum is the Netherlands, who finds itself in a tight spot despite giving a strong Bangladesh side a run for its money.
Peter Borren, the captain, spoke about how difficult it would be pick itself up given that a solitary loss could end its hopes of progressing to the Super 10 stage, but he would know well that the tournament isn't over by any means.
And it wasn’t like his side was outplayed by Bangladesh. The bowlers did well to keep Bangladesh to 153, which could have been a lot less if not for a missed stumping off Tamim Iqbal. Its top order too got decent starts and kept the Netherlands in the game for most parts before running out of steam.
It was a massive opportunity lost, but the Netherlands has no time to worry about the past – something that can work to its advantage. Oman, though, will look to repeat its performance on Wednesday. Or more specifically, its performance on July 14 last year, when it defeated the Netherlands in Edinburgh in an ICC World T20 Qualifier game.
Netherlands: Peter Borren (capt), Wesley Barresi, Logan van Beek, Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Timm van der Gugten, Vivian Kingma, Ahsan Malik, Paul van Meekeren, Roelof van der Merwe, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar.
Oman: Sultan Ahmed (capt, wk), Aamir Kaleem (vice-capt), Amir Ali, Munis Ansari, Jatinder Singh, Ajay Lalcheta, Mehran Khan, Rajeshkumar Ranpura, Sufyan Mehmood, Khawar Ali, Vaibhav Wategaonkar, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Zeeshan Maqsood, Bilal Khan, Adnan Ilyas.