Match Report:


England surge past Scotland's NRR in Oman thrashing

England took just 19 balls to chase down Oman's 47 all out, boosting their all-important net run-rate above Group B rivals Scotland

England have surged back into Super Eight contention after registering the most emphatic victory of the T20 World Cup, demolishing Oman in Antigua in a huge boost to their hopes of qualifying out of Group B alongside Australia.

With his team requiring a big win to remain in the hunt to defend their 2022 title, Jos Buttler (24 off eight balls) led a stunning rout as they chased Oman's 47 all out in just 19 balls after Adil Rashid (4-11) led a comprehensive bowling effort.

It has seen England's net run-rate (NRR) take a major spike, with the all-important figure now standing at 3.08. Scotland are ahead on the standings but their NRR is 2.16 and they now have ground to make up.

"Just to be ultra positive," Buttler told the host broadcaster when asked about his message to his fellow batters.

"We spoke in the lead up about, 'we have to win games and if we get a chance we have to take advantage with the net run-rate,' and we managed to do that today.

"We can only focus on ourselves. We've got a huge game against Namibia."

An intriguing final day of first-round matches now looms on Saturday (Sunday morning AEST) for a group that has been the most fascinating of the tournament so far.

England will need to keep their NRR above Scotland's by recording another strong win over Namibia in Antigua, and then hope the Scots cannot pull off an upset over Australia in the later match in St Lucia.

England had faced some unwanted scrutiny since landing in the Caribbean, with a lethargic bowling performance in a washout against Scotland and a poor defeat at the hands of Australia getting their title defence off on the wrong foot.

Match Wrap | Aussies sink England in scintillating display

But the English attack proved too hot for an Oman side rarely exposed to the elite level, with leg-spinner Rashid toying with his prey and pace pair Mark Wood and Jofra Archer returning matching figures of 3-12. The innings lasted only 13.2 overs – a marathon compared to what came next.

With the race on to chase the runs in 5.2 overs and move ahead of Scotland's NRR of 2.164 in the process, Phil Salt set the tone by launching the first two balls of the reply hard over long-on for six.

He was cleaned up swinging at the third and Will Jacks followed but Buttler lashed 24 not out off just eight balls and Jonny Bairstow crunched both deliveries he faced for four to win it with 101 balls unused. No batting side has ever finished a game quicker at this level and England's net run-rate was dragged from -1.8 to 3.081 in the process.

The mission in front of England was clear from the off, with maximum points needed in each of their last two games and healthy margins a necessity.

Buttler won the toss and handed responsibility to his bowlers, trusting them to impose themselves rather than asking his batting line-up to aim for the stands.

It was a call he would not regret. Reece Topley, recalled for Chris Jordan in the only change to the XI, set the tone with a solid three over spell as Archer kicked off the procession of wickets at the Sir Andy Roberts End.

Pratik Athavale and captain Aqib Ilyas were both unsettled by his length and lift, trying to get on top of the bounce but only succeeding in feeding low catches that were snapped up by Salt and Jacks.

Archer should have had a third when Moeen Ali grassed an ankle-high chance at slip, but the missed opportunity barely registered as Oman failed to get to grips with task at hand.

Wood was handed the final over of the Powerplay and his express pace was too much for the Oman batters. He had Zeeshan Maqsood caught and bowled off his first delivery and quickly added Kashyap Prajapati, flapping to mid-wicket after being hustled for pace.

At 4-25, much of the damage had been done, but the arrival of Rashid's well-honed leg-breaks and googlies merely accelerated Oman's decline.

He ripped his opening ball past Khalid Kail's sweep, who was stumped by a scrambling Buttler as he crept out of his crease, then watched as Mehran Khan offered Moeen the easiest possible catching practice at slip.

In between Ayaan Khan dragged Wood into his stumps, another victim of the Durham player's speed through the air. Rashid bagged two more as he toyed with the tail, producing a pair of wrong 'uns that turned between bat and pad and sent the bails flying.

Oman snuck past the tournament's all-time lowest ever score of 39 – made by Uganda earlier in the tournament – but the end was close. Shoaib was last man out, top-edging Archer into Buttler's gloves to leave a regulation chase.

Salt sauntered out in fifth gear, drilling Bilal Khan for two straight sixes before losing his stumps. Jacks chipped Kaleemullah to point soon after but there was no drama to be had, Buttler laying into Bilal's second over at a cost of 22, leaving Bairstow to apply the finishing touch.

– with PA

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