Quadrangular T20I Series: Stirling, Singh help Ireland defeat Oman by 15 runs
Fancied Ireland, which had lost both its warm-up matches ahead of the Quadrangular T20I Series to Oman Development XI, shrugged aside those losses, as it overcame hosts Oman to win by 15 runs its opening match at the Amerat ground on Wednesday.
Ireland's Paul Stirling led the way with a captain's knock of 71 in 51 balls that was studded with 11 boundaries and one six to get a fighting total of 159 for five.
And then, off-spinner, Simi Singh struck thrice in a space of five balls at the halfway stage to take the wind out of Oman's sail as it finished at 144 for nine. The win also ended Ireland's five-match T20I winless streak.
Chasing 160 to win, Oman was in command at 73 for three needing less than eight per over with Aamir Kaleem on 21 when Singh struck thrice in his second over.
He first bowled Kaleem and then Mehran Khan drove his first ball straight back to him. After two singles, Oman captain Ajay Lalcheta was leg before as Oman ended the tenth over at 76 for six.
Duleep Mendis' men never recovered as Joshua Little bowled a tidy death spell to finish with two for 24 in his four overs.
With 24 needed off the final over and one wicket remaining, Peter Chase conceded just eight runs to close out Ireland's win.
Oman paid dearly for a sloppy fielding performance in which it dropped six chances.
Hosts’ Jatinder Singh (22), Mohammad Nadeem (25) and Fayyaz Butt (25 n.o.) were the main run-getters.
Earlier, Ireland openers, Stirling and Kevin O'Brien, put on 44 in six overs and then Stirling added 78 with Andy Balbirnie for the second wicket.
Fayyaz Butt took two for 19 but the efforts of the bowlers were undermined by poor fielding.
The T20I series got under way with the Netherlands defeating Scotland by seven wickets in the first match of the day on Wednesday.
George Munsey's blitzkrieg knock of 32 off 11 and Calum MacLeod's 53 helped Scotland reach 153 for seven.
A Dutch record opening stand of 100 by Tobias Visee (71) and Stephan Myburgh (24) saw their team to win with a ball to spare.
After a rest day, Oman takes on Netherlands on Friday (match begins at 9.15 am) followed by Ireland's match against Scotland at 1.45pm.
Brief scores: Ireland 159-5
(P Stirling 71, A Balbirnie 34, Fayyaz Butt 4-19) beat Oman 144-9 (M Nadeem 25, Fayyaz Butt 25 n.o, J Little 2-24, G Dockrell 2-20, S Singh 3-15).
Scotland 153-7 (G Munsey 32, MacLeod 53; F Klaasen 2-38,
T van der Gugten 2-35) lost to Netherlands 154-3 in 19.5 overs (Visee 71, Myburgh 24).