|World Cricket League Division 3: Hong Kong, January 2011|
Disappointment for Italy as Oman scrapes home
In Italy’s fixture against a rejuvenated Oman, the Italians set a target of 240, which at Kowloon Cricket Club is deemed a below par total at the ground, with Italy captain Alessandro Bonora finally finding his batting form with an unbeaten 124 runs.
Alongside Bonora, Damian Fernando made a steady 46 but Oman captain Hemal Mehta sent him on his way after the umpire declared him leg-before. Peter Petricola, who has been so dangerous with the bat departed for a duck off the bowling of Mehta and it was up to Bonora to guide his side to its total with little help from his lower order.
When the time came for the Omanis to knock of the runs the Italians had the side on the back-foot early on with strong bowling from Vince Pennazza and the team were reduced to 6-63. Bowler Andy Northcote was expensive and Omani Awal Khan’s 92-ball 81 that included 10 boundaries proved decisive in the match.
Awal’s partnership with Sultan Ahmed and later Amir Ali proved the turning point for the Sultanate of Oman and when Bonora bought Gayashan Munasinghe on for his final over in the 48th of the match, it was too little too late despite the 24-year-old dismissing Rajesh Kumar and it fell to Amir to score the winning runs for the side.
A disappointed Bonora said, “We’ve lost two games now, both of which were games that we could have won if we had applied ourselves better. We simply did not complete the basics – bowling, fielding and even batting.
“I may have scored 124 runs for our 240 but it was still not enough on this pitch. We need to regroup ahead of tomorrow’s game against Hong Kong. We both have one win each and tomorrow’s game is almost like a semi-final as whoever loses falls into the relegation battle.”
Oman’s captain Hemal Mehta was delighted with another victory but by no means felt it was an easy win over the Italians.
“We were definitely the most challenged in this game – Italy didn’t let us take wickets easily and credit has to go to (Alessandro) Bonora for his knock, it was outstanding and if we’d got him out early then we would have seen a much lower score on the board.
“Sultan Ahmed and Awal Khan had a great partnership and after Sultan departed and Amir Ali and Awal paired up, their run partnerships really made the difference for us. We can’t be complacent though, tomorrow we’ve got USA who we know will be wanting to bounce back after being bundled out for 44 so we need refocus to face them at HKCC,” said Mehta.