Amir Ali propels Oman to upset win over Ireland

The stocky, bespectacled Amir Ali struck a quickfire 17-ball 32, containing five fours and a six, to help Oman record its first World T20 win, with a defeat of Ireland, and burst into wild celebrations.

Oman's players celebrate after defeating Ireland.   -  AP

Thirty-seven-year-old debutant Amir Ali's heroics propelled Oman to a sensational two-wicket upset win over a higher-ranked Ireland in the World T20 qualifiers at the HPCA Stadium here on Wednesday. The stocky, bespectacled player struck a quickfire 17-ball 32, containing five fours and a six, to help his team record its first World T20 win and burst into wild celebrations.

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Needing 155 runs to win, Oman had a bright start thanks to the good work of Zeeshan Maqsood (38 off 33) and Khawar (34 off 26 balls), who forged 69 runs for the opening partnership. Even as the Irish bowlers struggled to grip the ball because of heavy dew, the seasoned Kevin O' Brien got rid of the Oman openers in his two-wicket burst in the middle overs to wrest momentum in favour of his team.

Oman lost three more wickets quickly before Jatinder Singh (24 off 26) and Aamir, who hit three consecutive fours off Tim Murtagh, offered some superb resistance and put up a 47-run partnership to keep the match alive.

Amir hung in there till 19.3 overs but his departure did not prevent Oman from achieving a deserving victory.

Gary Wilson top scores for Ireland

Earlier, opting to bat, captain William Porterfield (29 off 28) and Paul Stirling (29 off 22) put up 48 runs for the opening stand. Stirling, who found the fence six times, was the first to go when Maqsood took a flying catch at short cover off Aamir Kaleem in the seventh over.

However, Porterfield, who hit three fours and a six, continued to bat sensibly and added 36 runs with the experienced Gary Wilson (38 off 34) before being stumped off legspinner Khawar in the 12th over.

The following batsmen guided the team past the 150-run mark despite Munis Ansari's three-wicket haul.