The 2021 T20 World has finally kicked off in Oman with the home side up against Papua New Guinea in opening match of the tournament. It was always going to be an exciting contest considering both the sides would be under slight pressure playing the first match of this year’s mega event. As Oman won the toss and opted to field first, the nerves of PNG batsmen were evidently visible as they lost two early wickets with the score reading 0/2 in 1.3 overs.
However, this is when the star duo of Assad Vala and Charles Amini came together to stitch a valuable partnership for 3rd wicket, getting their side back into the contest. The two left-handed batsmen played some smart cricket in the middle and did not give any opportunity to Oman in first few overs. But there was a half-chance presented in the 7th over which was almost grabbed magically by the bowler.
What an effort by the bowler!
It was spinner Aqib Ilyas who was bowling the over after the end of powerplay. Both the batsmen were looking cautious against the off-spinner. The 5th delivery of the over was bowled slightly slower through the air as PNG captain Assad Vala was deceived and the ball was chipped towards the left of the bowler.
The ball was way beyond the reach of Ilyas but it did not stop the Oman player from making an outstanding attempt. Ilyas made a valiant flying dive towards his left and there was a moment when he was literally in the air parallel to the ground. As it turned out, he did manage to get his fingertips onto the ball but the batsman survived.
Watch the video here:
The 3rd wicket partnership was ultimately broken through a brilliant run-out in the 12th over with PNG on 81/3 in 11.3 overs. Although Aqib Ilyas remained wicketless, he bowled an economical spell where he conceded only 28 runs in his quota of 4 overs.