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The Oman Quadrangular series 2019 is going to be played between Oman, Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands. All the matches are going to be T20 in format and have been given international status by the ICC. All the matches are going to be hosted in Oman, as the name of the tournament suggests, and it is extremely encouraging to see some international cricket being played in the region.
Oman has been one of the most improved associate sides in recent times and there are many in the ICC that hope this could be another success story like Afghanistan or Nepal. Scotland narrowly missed out qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and has really stepped up the level of its cricket. Ireland is the only nation in this group which has test status and so it would want to prove to everyone it is a step above the other teams in the tournament.
There were a couple of setbacks to the Oman side even before the tournament got off the mark. Their regular captain, Zeeshan Maqsood, has been ruled out of the tournament with an injury leaving the captaincy duties to Ajay Lalcheta. The mercurial opening batter, Aqib Ilyas is also out with an injury leaving a pretty big hole in the batting.
All is not doom and gloom, though. Amir Kaleem is making a comeback into the side after three years and Khurram Khan is also making a comeback to add some batting experience to the squad. The T20 format is all about the big hitting, though, and this is where Naseem Khushi and Mehran Khan are going to come in.
The team is quite confident about holding its own in the T20 format of the game. There were two warm-up games against Ireland which were both won by Oman. Of course, Ireland was rotating its players and Oman did not have all of its national payers but it still shows that a decent level talent pool is developing in Oman.
The T20 format brings teams together and allows a greater chance of upsets. This is why the side would be hoping to get some good performances out its bowlers to keep Ireland to challenging totals. Bilal Khan and Sufyan Mehmood are two of the bowlers that we are going to keep a close eye on for this series.
The slower bowlers should be able to tie down the Irish batsmen and keep their side in the game if they can get their lines right.
Khawar Ali, Jatinder Singh, Aamir Kaleem, Khurram Nawaz, Mohammad Nadeem, Naseem Khushi, Ajay Lalcheta, Mehran Khan, Bilal Khan, Fayyaz Butt, Jay Odedra.
Paul Stirling is going to be leading the Irish side in the absence of Gary Wilson. There is going to be a lot of pressure on Stirling even though the tournament is against associate sides. There is nothing that Ireland is really going to gain by winning this tournament but even a single loss is going to make headlines around the world.
Ireland may be a test nation now but its golden generation of players has passed. The replacements do not seem to be flooding in and it is falling behind Afghanistan in the race to be accepted as a top-tier side.
Paul Striling is going to be leading the batting for Ireland. He is a swashbuckling opening batsman that has destroyed attacks around the world. Consistency is perhaps the only thing that is holding him back from really making the most of his potential.
It will be interesting to see who the other batsmen are that step for Ireland in this side. Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O’Brien, and Peter Chase have been around for quite some time now. They have had problems against spin in the past and that is exactly what they can expect in this series as well.
All of them will need to find some ways of rotating the strike without taking too many risks and then target the loose deliveries.
Boyd Ranking, George Dockrell, Simi Singh, and Stuart Poynter make a n impressive bowling attack. It is a collection of players that should be able to knock out the Oman order on most days. These are not conditions that are familiar to them, though, and so understanding what the best lines are to bowl is going to be very important.
PR Stirling, Andy Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Shane Getkate, Joshua Little, Kevin O'Brien, Stuart Poynter, Simi Singh, George Dockrell, WB Rankin, Lorcan Tucker.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The Oman Quadrangular 2019 T20 match between Oman and Ireland is going to be played at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground Oman Cricket (Ministry Turf 1), Al Amarat, Oman. The pitch is expected to be flat but slow in nature. There is not going to be anything in it for the bowlers and the batsmen will have to work hard to get boundaries once the ball gets older.
The weather is expected to be absolutely perfect for cricket on match day.
Oman is playing at home in conditions which it knows very well. It is not a side to be taken lightly. Ireland is also a side that has regressed in the last few years. Still, having players that play in country cricket and other domestic leagues around the world could stand Ireland in good stead.
Back Ireland to win.
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