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Team preview: Oman

ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019, feature

Arguably the team in the best form heading into the tournament, Oman are well-placed to challenge for a spot in Australia.

Overview

Unbeaten in the home pentangular series, scheduled as a warm-up for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier, Zeeshan Maqsood's side are in as good a form as anyone competing. Their win over Ireland, who are one of the tournament favourites, will be particularly pleasing.

At 16th place in the MRF Tyres ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings, they are among the top-ranked teams, but they lack international T20 experience, having played only 24 such matches since gaining T20I status four years ago.

How they got here

They were 16th in the T20I team rankings at the cut-off date, and so gained automatic entry to this qualifier.

T20WC history

Oman have once previously competed in the T20 World Cup, in 2016. A win over Ireland in their opening game proved to be the high point, as their second game was washed out, before they were humbled by a Tamim Iqbal century in a Bangladesh victory that confirmed Oman's departure before the Super 10 stage.

Key player

Aamir Kaleem – At 37 years old, Kaleem is a senior member of the Oman squad, and will likely prove vital for both their batting and their bowling, as he showed during the pentangular series. A canny slow left-armer, he took career-best figures of 5/15 in Oman's last game to flatten a talented Nepal batting line-up. Two games before that, his 27-ball 46 was key in the defeat of Ireland.

One to watch

Aqib Ilyas – The second-youngest member of the squad at 27, Ilyas scored his maiden T20I fifty two years ago, with an explosive effort in a short chase against Hong Kong. Despite having been in and out of the team since then, he showed the ability is still there with 44 in a similar situation against the Netherlands in the pentangular series.

Fixtures

18 October: v United Arab Emirates, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
20 October: v Hong Kong, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
21 October: v Ireland, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi
23 October: v Nigeria, Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi
25 October: v Canada, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

27 October: v Jersey, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Squad

Zeeshan Maqsood (c), Khawar Ali, Fayyaz Butt, Sandeep Goud, Aqib Ilyas, Aamir Kaleem, Kaleemullah, Bilal Khan, Mehran Khan, Naseem Khushi, Suraj Kumar, Sufyan Mehmood, Khurram Nawaz, Jay Odedra, Jatinder Singh

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