Papua New Guinea became the first Team to qualify for the ICC Men’s World T20 2020 to be held in Australia. PNG was superb in the tournament defeating Bermuda, Netherlands, Singapore, Namibia, Kenya. There only in tournament came against Scotland.
PNG came back from a hopeless situation as they were reduced to 19 for 6 in the first match played at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai today. Kenya captain Shem Ngcohe won the toss and decided to field first. The decision paid off as Bundi ripped the batting order dismissing Ura, PNG captain Asad Vala, Amini and Doriga. Olouch was brilliant with the new as he took wickets of Siaka and Hekure. At the end of 6 overs, PNG were tottering at 22 for 6.
Norman Vanua and Sesea Bau steadied the rot taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries. Vanua was sensible and reached an important 50 off 45 balls. The experienced Collins Obuya got the breakthrough Bau for 17. Bau and Vanua added 77 runs for the 7th wicket. Obuya struck again by getting wicket of Vanua in the same over. Kila scored a quickfire 12 off 7 balls. From 19 for 6, PNG were bowled out for a respectable 118 in 19.3 overs.
Chasing 119 runs to win, Kenya lost an early wicket of Dhiren Gonderia who was dismissed by Vanua. Karim played with positive intent and took on the PNG bowlers. Before the power play over ended, Ravu got the breakthrough dismissing Karim for 29 off 22 balls. At the end of 6 overs, Kenya were 40 for 2.
After the power play overs, the PNG bowlers kept it tight and never allowed Kenya batsmen to score runs with ease. Aman Gandhi remained not out on 14. PNG bowled out Kenya for a modest total of 73 in 18.4 overs. Pokana, Vala took 3 wickets each while Norman Vanua, Ravu took 2 wickets each.
PNG pipped at the top of points table ahead of strong favourites Netherlands, Scotland. If Netherlands needed to finish at top, they needed to chase the target of 131 runs in 12.3 overs. Scotland posted 130 for 8 in 20 overs. Netherlands won the match by 4 wickets with 3 overs to spare.