The World Cup Qualifier is nearing the business end as the Super Six got underway today with the hosts taking on Oman in Bulawayo. And the Omanis gave a good accounting of themselves, getting within 14 runs of the Zimbabwean total.
Omani captain Zeeshan Maqsood won the toss this morning at the Queens Sports Club and - unsurprisingly for this tournament - asked his opposing number to bat first.
Zimbabwe's innings owed much to an excellent innings by Sean Williams, who seems to be in the form of his life in this tournament. He scored 142 - his third century in five games - from 103 balls and some late innings hitting from Luke Jongwe, who scored an unbeaten 43 from just 28 balls.
Sean Williams celebrates upon reaching his third century of the tournament (ICC)
Fayyaz Butt was the pick of the Omani bowlers, taking 4-79 from his ten overs as Zimbabwe racked up 332-7 from their 50 overs.
Oman lost Jatinder Singh early in their reply, but Kashyap Prajapati and Aqib Ilyas were able to put on 83 fior the second wicket before the latter was out for 45. Zeeshan Maqsood then added 44 with Prajapati - scoring 37 of those himself - before he was forced to retire hurt after stretching to play a sweep and ending up almost doing the splits.
Prajapati was eventually the third man out but not before bringing up his second ODI century, scoring 103 from 97 balls. The middle order kept close to the required rate with Ayaan Khan scoring 47 from 43 balls and Mohammed Nadeem scoring an unbeaten 30 from 18 balls.
In the end though, Oman fell just short - their 318-9 was their highest total in ODI cricket, but was 14 runs short of the Zimbabwean effort earlier. Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani both took three wickets for the home side.
In his post-match interview Zeeshan Maqsood rued some dropped catches and fielding errors by his side, and felt that had he not had to retire hurt Oman would have chased down the target. He revealed that his injury was to his hamstring and was unsure if he'd be fit for Oman's next game, which is against Netherlands on Monday. Zimbabwe's will next be in action on Sunday against tournament favourites Sri Lanka.