England thrash Oman to reignite WC campaign

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
England’s Mark Wood (C) and Phil Salt celebrate the dismissal of Oman’s Kashyap Prajapati (not pictured) during their ICC T20 World Cup match in Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday. AFP photo

AFP- England hammered Oman by eight wickets as the reigning champions revived their T20 World Cup campaign with a record-breaking win in Antigua on Thursday.

Needing a heavy victory to bolster their net run-rate as they attempt to overhaul Scotland in the race to qualify for the second round, England routed Oman for just 47.

England then made 50-2 in a mere 3.1 overs, captain Jos Buttler 24 not out and Jonny Bairstow, who hit the winning boundary, unbeaten on eight.

This overwhelming Group B victory meant England recorded the largest win in T20 World Cup history in terms of balls remaining.

Oman had no answer to England’s attack, leg-spinner Adil Rashid taking 4-11, while express quicks Jofra Archer and Mark Wood both had figures of 3-12 in an innings that ended with nearly seven overs to spare.

Number seven Shoaib Khan (11) was the only Oman batsman to reach double figures after Buttler won the toss.

England’s net run-rate climbed to 3.081, better than Scotland’s 2.16, although they stayed third on three points, behind the Scots’ five.

But amid speculation arch-rivals Australia, undefeated so far in Group B might ease up in their closing pool game against Scotland to engineer England’s exit, Buttler’s men now know they will go second if they beat Namibia in their pool finale on Saturday.

Even a win, however, would leave England awaiting the outcome of Sunday’s match between Australia and Scotland to discover if they have reached the Super Eights. 

‘I thought the tone was set really well by the bowlers, picking up the early wickets,’ said Buttler as England returned to winning ways after a comprehensive 36-run loss to Australia last time out that followed a washout with Scotland.  

‘Job done today, another big game in two days’ time.’

Defeat by Australia added to the pressure on Buttler and coach Matthew Mott, himself a native Australian, that had been growing since late last year when England lost six of their nine games during a woeful defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India.

‘I’ve been around long enough to know how things work,’ said Buttler. ‘We have confidence. We can only focus on ourselves, we’ve got a huge game against Namibia.’

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