Netherlands defeat Oman with the help of Vikramjit and Barresi

Vikramjit scored an incredible 100 runs against Oman

In a rain-shortened match in Harare, the Netherlands defeated Oman by 74 runs to maintain their World Cup ambitions, but the margin of victory was insufficient to allow them to surpass Scotland and Zimbabwe in terms of net run rate.

That was the case thanks in large part to Ayaan Khan, who played a chance-filled hand to score his first ODI century on his route to an unbeaten 105 off 92 deliveries. Only Shoaib Khan, who batted alongside him, had a notable Oman innings; the two of them put on a fifth-wicket stand of 112 runs, although they never seemed to be in any serious danger of exceeding the enormous Dutch total.

When play was abruptly suspended due to poor lighting with Oman on 246 for 6 and 44 overs in the chase, Ayaan was at the crease. The Dutch needed to hold Oman to 242 in order for their NRR to surpass that of Scotland after choosing to bat and scoring 362 for 7 in a 48-over match. In the event of a three-way tie for second place, this would have been essential.

That is only possible if Scotland defeats Zimbabwe tomorrow, followed by a victory for the Netherlands over Scotland. Currently, the Dutch must defeat Scotland by a significant margin in order to pass Scotland on NRR, even if Scotland wins tomorrow. The Dutch will be out after tomorrow’s results, barring a victory for Scotland.

It may be a slight source of disappointment that they weren’t able to win by the required margin today because their batters had put them in a strong position to do so. Wesley Barresi came close to scoring his own century, Vikramjit Singh recorded his first ODI century, and cameos from Bas de Leede and Saqib Zulfiqar helped spark a late onslaught that resulted in 127 runs being scored off the final 10 overs.

When Oman was reduced to 4 for 102 by their bowlers, they thought they had a winning position. However, Ayaan and Shoaib joined forces to put up a resolute stand. This would have been especially disheartening given that Ayaan had been dropped three times during the course of his innings—on 12, 20, and 33. The fact that none of the three were taken would have hurt, even though each one was of a different level of difficulty.

That didn’t affect Ayaan’s knock, which included 11 fours and two sixes, one of which was a gorgeous lofted straight drive and the other a strong pick-up over long-on. Yet another area where the Dutch may have felt a little unlucky is highlighted by his control percentage of 77%, which shows multiple mishits that went safe.

He had the most difficulties playing against the outstanding Aryan Dutt, whose subtle variations and pace changes made it impossible for multiple Oman batsmen to get on base. The only other batsmen to enter the batting order, aside from Aayan, were Kashyap Prajapati, Mohammed Nadeem, and Shoaib. The right-arm off spinner would finish with figures of 3 for 31 in 10 overs.

A total of 36 more scores, including 23 wides, were given up by Oman during the game, which was where they really lost it. Oman conceded nearly four extra overs in a game that was cut short by two overs per side. Along with this, the team’s ground-fielding performance was subpar, allowing a number of easy singles and doubles to be lost.

Thought must be given to the Dutch, whose sprinting between the wickets has set the standard for the entire tournament. This attitude occasionally worked against Sri Lanka, a much better fielding team, but it was used to their advantage against Oman.

It served as the cornerstone of an innings that never really let up, beginning with an opening stand of 117 runs off 132 deliveries and ending with the devastating death overs onslaught. Between them, Singh and Barresi put up a stand for 80 off 72, and when Singh fell shortly after hitting his century, Barresi stepped it up with successive stands of 30, 55, and 57 with Scott Edwards, de Leede, and Zulfiqar, respectively.

No bowler had a strike rate below 100 against him, but he had a soft spot for the spin of Aaqib Ilyas and Ayaan, who were filling in as skipper for the injured Zeeshan Maqsood. He hit the former for two sixes over cow corner and the latter for a flat smash over long-off. With 10 fours and three sixes among the 65 deliveries, he managed to score 97 runs.

De Leede and Zulfiqar were both moved over Teja Nidamanuru when quick runs were required by the Dutch, who also played the game state well. Out of just 36 deliveries, the two would score a total of 72. While it was sufficient to keep them in the running for qualification, they must now wait tomorrow and hope that Scotland does its part.