Back-to-back victories help PNG jump up to third on the points table
· Fourth round to begin in August when the Dutch host Nepal and UAE travel to Scotland
Papua New Guinea (PNG) hosted and got the better of Kenya in the final two fixtures of the 50-over ICC World Cricket League Championship round three in Port Moresby.
The back-to-back victories have helped PNG jump up to third on the points table, one behind second-placed Hong Kong and two behind leader the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is unbeaten in the competition with four wins in two series against PNG and United Arab Emirates (UAE), while both its matches against Scotland were washed out. With 10 points after three rounds of a total of seven, its leads the race.
Hong Kong also has four wins from six games, with one loss to Namibia and one washed-out game, leaving it a point behind the Netherlands. Scotland, which has dropped a place to fourth, is still very much on the heels of the top three as it has six points after three rounds.
Kenya arrived in Port Moresby with a chance to join Netherlands at the top of the table. To make it happen, it had win both its final third round matches against PNG. But the two-nil defeat has meant it has stayed fifth, four points behind the leader, with Nepal sixth, followed by Namibia and UAE.
All eight teams have a chance to shake up the table, when the fourth round action gets underway in August.
The Netherlands will host Nepal in Amstelveen, while Scotland will take on the UAE in the two ODIs in Aberdeen. October will see Namibia travel to PNG, while in November Kenya and Hong Kong are scheduled to play at a venue to be confirmed in due course.
PNG vs Kenya
Over the weekend, PNG made history by winning its first-ever ICC sanctioned home series, defeating Kenya in the two 50-over games at Amini Park.
Game 1 on Saturday, 28 May, was a one-sided affair with PNG dominating with bat and ball to signal its intentions to the rest of the ICC WCLC group.
PNG paceman Chad Soper’s five-wicket haul limited the visitors to 188, while Vani Morea’s 53 and the in-form Assad Vala’s 69 allowed PNG to chase down the target in just 34.3 overs.
The second game was a much closer affair, with Kenya keeping up the pressure from the word go. It took a century from Vani Morea for PNG to post a score of 249 for six. Kenya was on course to chasing it down, thanks to a superb 95 from Rushab Patel. However, a four-wicket-haul from John Reva pulled pull things back for PNG as Kenya lost its last six wickets for just 18 runs to be dismissed for 228 with 13 balls to spare.
Scores in brief:
PNG beat Kenya by 6 wickets at Amini Park, Port Moresby
Kenya – 188, 47 overs (Irfan Karim73; Rakep Patel 39; Chad Soper; 5-27 John Reva 2-19)
PNG – 191-4, 34.3 overs (Vani Morea 53; Asad Vala 69 not out; Nehemiah Odhiambo 2-31
PNG beat Kenya by 21 runs at Amini Park, Port Moresby
PNG – 249-6, 50 overs (Vani Morea 102 not out; Sese Bau 66; Collins Obuya 4-42; Nehemiah Odhiambo 2-51)
Kenya – 228, 47.5 overs (Rushab Patel 95; Collins Obuya 38; John Reva 4-31)
Schedule of fourth round matches:
Netherlands vs Nepal (50-over matches)
13 and 15 August– VRA Ground, Amstelveen
Scotland vs United Arab Emirates (both ODIs)
14 and 16 August– Mannofield Park, Aberdeen
Papua New Guinea vs Namibia (50-over matches)
22 and 24 October - Amini Park, Port Moresby
Kenya vs Hong Kong (50-over matches)
18 and 20 November – venue tbc
ICC World Cricket League Championship table
About ICC World Cricket League Championship
The ICC World Cricket League Championship offers teams the chance to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 with the top two sides progressing to the event proper in 2019, as well as a chance at qualification for the ICC Intercontinental Cup, ICC’s four-day first-class competition for Associate and Affiliate members
The winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup will play the 10th-ranked Test nation in the four-Test ICC Test Challenge in 2018. If the Intercontinental Cup winner clinches the ICC Test Challenge, then it will become the 11th Test nation until 2022.