Debutants Oman dished out a resolute batting effort to register a nerve-wracking, two-wicket win over experienced Ireland in their Group A qualifying match of the ICC World Twenty20, in Dharamsala on Wednesday.
Chasing a competitive 155 for win, Oman were off to a blazing start with their openers Zeeshan Maqsood (38 off 33) and Khawar Ali (34 off 26) hitting 69 off 8.2 overs.
But then came Kevin O'Brien (2/25), who dismissed both the dangerous looking openers in his consecutive overs to bring Ireland back into the match.
Jatinder Singh (24 off 26) struggled to get going, while Adnan Ilyas and Mehran Khan disappointed their side as Oman lost three wickets in quick time.
After Kevin O'Brien, it was Andy McBrine's two scalps in 14th over that nearly dashed Oman's hopes.
But towards the end, Aamer Ali (32 off 16, 5x4s,1x6) used his long handle to great effect and keep Oman in the hunt till the very last over.
Needing 14 off the last over, Oman rode on good luck and some bad fielding and bowling from Max Sorenson to overhaul the target with one ball to spare.
Earlier opting to bat, Ireland top-order put up a decent show to post a competitive 154 for five.
Skipper William Porterfield (29 off 28) and Paul Stirling (29 off 22) shared a 48-run opening stand in 6.3 overs to give Ireland a flying start.
One down Gary Wilson then smashed 38 off 34 balls with the help of five boundaries to carry on the good work of the openers.
But then Oman pacer Munis Ansari (3/37) came to the party in the middle overs and picked up two wickets – Niall O'Brien (16) and his brother Kevin O'Brien (14) -- in the 16th over to pull back Ireland.
Andrew Poynter (11 not out) and Andy McBrine (10 off 3) played short little cameos to take Ireland past the 150 -run mark.
Besides Ansari, Aamir Kaleem (1/27) and Khawar Ali (1/20) picked up a wicket each for Oman.
Ireland: 154 for five in 20 overs (Gary Wilson 38; Munis Ansari 3/37) vs Oman: 156 for eight in 19.5 overs (Zeeshan Maqsood 38; Andy McBrine 2/15).
Bangladesh hold nerve to win
Bangladesh avoided Ireland's fate earlier in the day as the Asian test-playing nation staved off a spirited fightback from the Netherlands to kick off their campaign with a tight eight-run victory.
Fresh from their impressive Asia Cup show at home where they defeated Pakistan and Sri Lanka to reach the final, Bangladesh would have liked to prove they are a much better side than to be competing with the associates for a place in the Super 10 stage.
But impressive bowling from seamers Timm van der Gugten (3-21) and Paul van Meekeren (2-17) restricted Bangladesh after they were put in to bat and it was left to opener Tamim Iqbal to lift his team to 153-7 with an unbeaten 83.
Left-hander Tamim carried his bat through the innings, hitting six fours and three sixes in his 58-ball knock to notch up his fourth half-century in the shortest format of the game while all his batting colleagues struggled.
The Netherlands appeared well on course for an upset win until they lost their way by losing three quick wickets to finish on 145-7.
They were 112-3 in the 16th over but were reduced to 121-6 before Mudassar Bukhari and Pieter Seelaar smashed paceman Al-Amin Hossain for 16 in the penultimate over to keep Netherlands interested.
Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed bowled a tight final over to calm Bangladesh's nerves as their opponents failed to find the boundaries, needing 17 runs for victory.