World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015
Unfancied Oman look to avoid wooden spoon
Oman return to the World Twenty20 Qualifier this year for the first time since 2012 after failing to qualify the 2013 tournament. But their prospects don't look all that promising, and they are very much long shots for qualification.
The Arab country qualified for the tournament by winning the ACC Twenty20 Cup, just edging out Kuwait on net run rate. But, as with Jersey who won the European qualifier, the standard of opposition they're up against in the main tournament is of a much higher class.
They haven't helped matters by being essentially inactive as a national side since that Asian qualifier back in January, and the warm-up match they played against Nepal yesterday was their first cricket since their win over Kuwait in the last match of the tournament.
They have been preparing in other ways though, most notably by bringing in former England seamer Derek Pringle as a consultant. Pringle - whose father played for Kenya, one of Oman's opponents in the group stage - will be with the team for the duration of the tournament.
The last World Twenty20 Qualifier they played in 2012 saw them finish without a win in the group stage before beating Denmark in the 15th place place play-off. They at least can't finish as low as that now that the tournament has been reduced to 14 teams, but barring any surprises it seems likely that qualification is a remote possibility.
If they are to qualify, a lot will depend on the batting of Zeeshan Maqsood and Jatinder Sing, mainstays in the Oman line-up since making their debuts in 2012 and 2011 respectively. Left arm spin dominated their attack in the qualifier in the UAE, but they will need to work on their pace bowling if they're to have success in Scotland.
Star Man: Zeeshan Maqsood. He had one of the most sensational debuts in international cricket three years ago when he scored 199 in a 50 over match against Bhutan. Consistency has been a problem since, but on his day he can be a dangerous player.
Players to watch: Jatinder Singh won the batsman of the tournament award during qualification, and Oman will look to him as a key member of their batting line up this time too. Aamer Kaleem and Ajay Lalcheta led the way with the ball in that tournament, but it remains to be seen whether they translate well to European conditions.
CricketEurope verdict: They have a chance against Kenya and Canada, but the other teams in the group are likely to outclass them. 6th/7th in their group.
Oman: Sultan Ahmed (captain), Yousuf Abdulrahim, Zeeshan Ahmad, Amir Ali, Khawar Ali, Munis Ansari, Aamir Kaleem, Mehran Khan, Ajay Lalcheta, Sufyan Mahmood, Zeeshan Maqsood, Muhammad Nadeem, Rajeshkumar Ranpura, Jatinder Singh, Vaibhav WategaonkarOman Fixtures