USA captain Monank Patel spearheaded a historic day of epic proportions with his second ODI century, becoming the first USA player to score an ODI ton on home soil, to set a platform for a 114-run win over Oman in the seventh ODI at Moosa Stadium on Wednesday in the ICC Cricket World Cup League Two tri-series in Pearland, Texas.
Monank’s mark was one of a number of landmark achievements on the day as the USA captain’s fourth century in limited overs cricket tied Sushil Nadkarni’s USA record charting their one-day history dating back to 1979. The USA captain also shared in a 209-run partnership with Sushant Modani, eclipsing the previous record for USA’s best second-wicket partnership which had been held by Xavier Marshall and Steven Taylor for their 184-run stand against Hong Kong at 2019 WCL Division Two in Namibia. It ended as USA’s second highest partnership for any wicket, ending four runs short of the 213-run stand between Aditya Thyagarajan and Orlando Baker against Argentina at Bermuda during the 2010 ICC Americas Division One Championship. Modani also crossed three figures on the day for his maiden ODI ton just an hour after Monank, marking the third time in the last two weeks that he has produced a 50-plus score. Promoted to No. 7, Nosthush Kenjige turned in a USA career-best 34 not out off 21 balls as well to give USA a late surge following the departure of both centurions.
On the bowling side, it was also a banner day for strike weapon Ali Khan. The fast bowler secured a maiden ODI five-wicket haul, his second List A five-for in USA colors, with a career-best 5 for 20 to kill off the match as Oman slumped from 182 for 4 to all out for 209 in 43.3 overs chasing USA’s imposing total of 323 for 8. His demolition of the tail came after 19-year-old debutant legspinner Yasir Mohammad provided two crucial breakthroughs to remove the set pair of Shoaib Khan and Ayaan Khan, both for 59, after they had kept Oman in the hunt for a possible victory with a 107-run partnership.
The result also ended a historic losing streak to Oman. USA had lost seven matches in a row to their Persian Gulf rivals dating back to the opening day of 2017 WCL Division Three in Uganda. The last time USA had beaten Oman prior to Wednesday was the last time both sides square off on American soil as USA swept both contests at 2016 WCL Division Four in Los Angeles.
USA was sent in to bat first after losing the toss on a day when two changes were made with Mohammad and Rusty Theron coming into the starting XI in place of Nisarg Patel and Cameron Stevenson. Despite the early wicket of Steven Taylor, caught skying a drive to mid-off against left-arm medium pacer Bilal Khan for 16, Oman could not stem the flow of runs as Monank joined Modani to generate USA’s best Powerplay of their Texas tour, reaching 68 for 1 at the end of the first 10 overs.
Oman had two chances to bring about a much earlier end to the mammoth second-wicket stand, but failed to capitalize on either occasion. On 33 in the 14th over facing Ayaan’s left-arm spin, Monank failed to keep a cut shot down as it floated toward backward point. But Bilal, Oman’s weakest fielder, backpedaled with the ball in the air rather than come forward as the ball landed just a few feet in front of him.
A much clearer missed opportunity came in the 25th over, also off Ayaan’s bowling. It was moments after both players had brought up their respective half-centuries – Monank off 59 balls and Modani in the following over off 69 balls – when Monank pushed into the covers and set off looking for a single. Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood fielded the ball with Monank stranded halfway down the pitch following Modani’s decision to stay put. But Maqsood rushed a poor throw that short hopped wicketkeeper Naseem Khushi, who could not collect cleanly as he wound up knocking a bail off without the ball in hand. Monank was on 57 at the time and the partnership at 104 runs. By the time Monank fell, both numbers had more than doubled as he needed just eight more overs to reach three figures off just 90 balls as he needed just 31 balls for his second fifty. By the time his knock was done, he had launched 11 fours and six sixes.
It took the second drinks break to disrupt Monank’s rhythm and end the partnership. Just four balls after play resumed following the mini-break after 35 overs, Monank punched Khawar Ali’s legspin back at head height for a simple return catch ending a career-best knock at 130 off 101 balls to make it 236 for 2. A steady stream of wickets continued to flow opposite Modani as Aaron Jones could make just 3 before being give leg before to a failed sweep against Khawar. Gajanand Singh then chipped a low return catch back for 10 to Khawar for the Oman vice-captain’s third wicket. Rahul Jariwala was bowled missing a sweep to Maqsood for 4 to make it 264 for 5 in the 43rd.
By this stage, Modani had gone 13 overs without a boundary as he inched along into the 90s. But the arrival of his Dallas-area training partner Kenjige seemed to calm his nerves and two overs later he brought up his maiden ODI ton off 124 balls with a two glided through third man. Two balls later, he found the boundary for the ninth and final time in his innings. Modani finally fell for 111, trying to chip Fayyaz Butt’s fast medium bowling over mid-off in the 48th but couldn’t clear Mohammad Nadeem on the ring.
A yorker from Bilal claimed Saurabh Netravalkar in the 49th before Kenjige provided a strong flourish for USA, scoring 14 of the 15 runs that came off the final over, including an imperious six driven off Butt through the wind over long-on, before Ali Khan was runout off the final ball attempted a bye which Kenjige was not interested in.
Khawar ended with Oman’s best figures taking 3 for 46 off his 10 overs of legspin. Bilal was rocked early on before a respectable death spell resulted in final figures of 2 for 63 in seven. Maqsood helped rein in the USA run rate with his 1 for 39 in 10 overs while Butt finished with 1 for 51 off eight. Tall right arm pacer Kaleemullah had an uncharacteristically poor day finishing with 0 for 67 in seven.
Oman began their reply in measured fashion, reaching 40 for 0 in the ninth over before Rusty Theron sparked a top-order slide of 10 for 3. The first two of those came on consecutive deliveries as Theron induced a false cut that found Jones at cover in the ring for 28 by Kashyap Prajapati. Jatinder Singh then fell off the first ball bowled by Taylor upon entering the attack in the 10th over, playing back to a good length ball that skidded on and hit him in front of off stump to be given leg before for 12. Maqsood then became Taylor’s second lbw victim of the day, playing over the top of a pull shot that once again skidded low past the bat to be out for 8.
Shoaib and Ayaan then commenced their dashing riposte. Having taken 11 balls to get off the mark, Shoaib suddenly found his aggression upon the dismissal of Maqsood as he went on to strike four boundaries across the next six overs of play. Ayaan joined in the fun in the 23rd over, striking two boundaries off Kenjige’s left-arm spin as part of a 14-run over. Taylor missed a sharp runout chance from close range at mid-off that would have had Shoaib out for 45 in the 25th over.
But the right-hander was only able to add a further 14 runs to his total before the intervention of Mohammad broke the partnership. The 19-year-old legspinner struggled in his opening four-over spell, conceding 20 runs. But after being given a rest, Monank brought Mohammad back after 30 overs with the score 156 for 3 and Oman threatening to chase down the target. It proved to be a masterstroke from the USA captain as Mohammad struck with the fourth ball of his second spell. While he was consistently too short and quick in his first four overs, Mohammad slowed up his pace and flighted it fuller upon his return and it snared him the wicket of Shoaib, teased into trying to clear Gajanand on the ring at mid-on. Ayaan then fell four overs later, once again trying to drive straight down the ground on a full and flighted delivery that could only go as far as Taylor 10 yards in from the boundary at long-on off the final ball of the 35th.
Once Mohammad removed the set pair, Ali Khan was brought back in another piece of sharp captaincy from Monank that paid immediate dividends. The fast bowler struck on his first ball of a new spell in the 36th, the second time on the day that USA took wickets on back-to-back balls, bowling Khawar with a reverse swinging delivery for 14. Khushi could not handle Khan’s reverse swing at high pace, dragging onto his stumps for a three-ball duck in what ended as a double-wicket maiden that also included Butt being rattled on the badge of the helmet by a first-ball bouncer from Khan. Butt wound up adding a gritty 6 before chopping a cut onto his stumps in the 40th before Kaleemullah swung over a pull in the 42nd to become Khan’s fourth victim out bowled. Nadeem, who had entered at No. 7 but rapidly ran out of partners, was last man out for 17 as Khan foxed him with a slower ball that was miscued to Stevenson on as a sub fielder at midwicket after Monank had left the field in the 38th after vomiting due to dehydration.
Aside from Khan’s 5 for 20, Taylor claimed 2 for 48 in 10 while Mohammad finished with 2 for 50 in nine overs. Theron ended as the only other wicket-taker on the day for USA, taking 1 for 21 in six. Netravalkar ended a rare wicketless day with figures of 0 for 48 in six while Kenjige returned 0 for 21 in four.
Oman returns to action on Thursday playing the second half of a back-to-back ODI slate when they take on Nepal at Moosa Stadium. USA has two days off before coming back to Moosa Stadium against Nepal on Saturday.