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T20 World Cup: Brandon McMullen stars as Scotland cruise to seven-wicket victory over Oman | Cricket News – Times of India



NEW DELHI: Scotland significantly improved their prospects of advancing to the second round of the T20 World Cup by convincingly defeating Oman by seven wickets in North Sound, Antigua, on Sunday, propelling them to the summit of Group B.
Brandon McMullen‘s remarkable unbeaten innings of 61 runs from only 31 balls propelled Scotland to victory with almost seven overs to spare.The Scots chased down Oman’s total of 150-7 with ease, finishing at 153-3 off just 13.1 overs.
“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 the Scotland team are set to face Australia in their final group game, carrying a wave of confidence after a strong 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 began smoothly, with George Munsey contributing 41 runs before being caught by Shakeel Ahmed off the bowling of Mehran Khan. Michael Jones added 16 runs to the scoreboard before McMullen took charge of the game.
McMullen’s impressive innings steered Scotland towards victory, supported by Matthew Cross, who remained unbeaten on 15 runs from just eight balls, including two powerful sixes.
In contrast, Oman captain Aqib Ilyas expressed disappointment over his team’s inability to set a more competitive total and their missed opportunities during Scotland’s innings. Oman, after winning the toss, opted to bat first 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 initially seemed promising, as opener Pratik Athavale set the tone with a well-made 54 off 40 balls, supported by Naseem Khushi (10) and Aqib Ilyas (16).
However, the momentum was disrupted when Zeeshan Maqsood fell cheaply for three runs, followed by Khalid Kail’s run out with just 10 more runs added, leaving Oman struggling at 71-4 after 8.5 overs.
Ayaan Khan played a crucial role in stabilizing the innings with an unbeaten 41 off 39 deliveries, receiving support from Mehran Khan, who contributed 13 runs.
Among the Scottish bowlers, Safyaan Sharif stood out with two wickets, albeit conceding 40 runs. Brad Wheal delivered an economical spell, claiming 1 wicket for 19 runs off his four overs, while spinner Mark Watt took one wicket conceding 25 runs in his four overs.
(With AFP inputs)

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