Oman celebrate after being crowned tournament champions © Peter Della Penna
After finishing as the tournament runner-up at 2016 WCL Division Five in Jersey and Division Four in Los Angeles, Oman were crowned champions of Division Three on Tuesday at Lugogo Oval after rain intervened to produce no result in the tournament final against Canada. Oman were declared winners by virtue of finishing with a 4-1 record in round-robin play compared to Canada’s 3-2 mark.
Of the three playoff matches on the day, the final was the only match that began on schedule while rain wreaked havoc everywhere else. Oman sent Canada in after winning the toss but were on the back foot through most of the first innings. Captain Nitish Kumar and Bhavindu Adhihetty added 102 for the first wicket before Kumar was bowled for 50 by offspinner Nestor Dhamba.
Adhihetty carried on to go past fifty for the second time in the tournament and only the weather appeared to stand in his way of a maiden century. He was on 79 when the players were taken off for the first time with the score 159 for 2 in 35 overs. After a delay of more than two hours, the match was reduced to 41 overs. Adhihetty fell for 86 to end the 38th, but the umpires took the players off once again at his dismissal – for another lengthy delay – thereby bringing an end to Canada’s innings.
After the skies cleared, Oman was set a target of 177 in 24 overs. Zeeshan Maqsood, who had been batting in the middle order for the entire tournament, returned to his traditional role as an opener for the chase and blitzed Canada’s medium-pace bowling, speeding to 32 off 16 balls through a steady drizzle. He flicked two sixes over square leg and another two fours through midwicket and mid-on off Satsimranjit Dhindsa before the bowler struck back, inducing a catch to cover and then followed it with a full delivery to knock back Aqib Ilyas’ stumps in an action-packed fourth over.
Steven Taylor’s cover drive took him to 1000 ODI runs, becoming only the fourth USA cricketer to achieve the feat © Peter Della Penna
Dhindsa never got to bowl his hat-trick ball to start the sixth over, though, because play lasted just three more deliveries before the umpires took the players off for good at 50 for 2 as the rain intensified. Oman had been 11 runs ahead of the par score on Duckworth-Lewis calculation at the time.
At the post-match presentation, 17-year-old Adhihetty was named Man of the Match and finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with 222 runs. Team-mate Rizwan Cheema was named Player of the Tournament in his comeback series for Canada. Cheema was named Man of the Match in the team’s first two wins of the tournament over Uganda and Oman to set them on the path to promotion. The hard-hitting allrounder finished with 181 runs at a strike-rate of 157 as well as six wickets at 19.83, playing a key role in Canada’s other win, over USA, by taking 3 for 31.
The third-place playoff between United States of America and Singapore at Kyambogo also finished with no result after USA had reached 95 for 2 in 25.2 overs after being sent in. However, an American milestone was achieved in the limited play that took place.
USA captain Steven Taylor only managed 10 runs in his innings but in his brief stay he became just the fourth player from his country to pass 1,000 runs in one-day cricket. Taylor entered the day needing six runs to reach the landmark and brought it up with his second boundary of the day driven through cover. He joins three former captains – Steve Massiah, Sushil Nadkarni and Orlando Baker – as the only ones to reach the mark for USA but at age 23 is by far the youngest to do so.
The fifth-place playoff between Uganda and Malaysia was abandoned without a ball bowled as Entebbe took the brunt of Tuesday’s rain in central Uganda.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna
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