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Scotland cruise to victory over Oman at World Cup

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Richie Berrington and Michael Leask of Scotland during the game against Namibia. — AFP

NORTH SOUND: Scotland boosted their chances of qualifying for the second round of the T20 Cricket World Cup on Sunday after thrashing Oman by seven wickets in Antigua to move to the top of Group B.

Brandon McMullen´s unbeaten 61 off just 31 balls steered Scotland to victory with nearly seven overs to spare as the Scots finished on 153-3 off 13.1 overs to reel in Oman´s total of 150-7.

“Very chuffed to get the win for the team,” said McMullen, who clinched the win with a four — one of nine boundaries in his swashbuckling batting display that also included two sixes.

“The priority was to win and get the points but at drinks we said we should get this done.”

McMullen and Scotland face Australia in their final group game but are brimming with confidence after an impressive start to the tournament.

“We are confident going into the Australia game, always trying to raise the bar. That´s the plan going forward,” McMullen said.

Scotland´s run chase had got off to a smooth start, with George Munsey making 41 before being caught by Shakeel Ahmed off Mehran Khan, and Michael Jones adding 16.

McMullen then took charge of the game, finishing alongside Matthew Cross, who was 15 not out from an eight-ball knock that included two monstrous sixes.

Oman captain Aqib Ilyas meanwhile lamented his team´s failure to build a more competitive total, and missed chances in the Scotland innings, after winning the toss and opting to bat at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound.

“175 could have been a good score, but we had too many dot balls on a flat track,” Aqib said. “In the batting we have to improve. 150 was par but we dropped too many chances.

“Catches, if you take them, puts pressure on the other team. This is cricket, sometimes you are at the top, sometimes you are down.”

Aqib´s decision to bat first appeared to have paid off with opener Pratik Athavale hitting 54 off 40 balls to get the innings going, with Naseem Khushi adding 10 and Aqib Ilyas 16.

But Zeeshan Maqsood fell cheaply for three runs before Khalid Kail was run out 10 runs later to leave the Omanis wobbling at 71-4 after 8.5 overs.

Ayaan Khan steadied the ship with an unbeaten 41 off 39 deliveries with support from Mehran Khan, who added 13.

Safyaan Sharif was the only Scottish bowler with multiple wickets, but the seamer´s brace came for an expensive 40 runs.

Brad Wheal bowled an economical spell of 1-19 off four overs while spinner Mark Watt´s four overs went for 25 runs with one wicket.

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