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15 July 201518:44

Vanua cameo takes PNG to stunning win

Porterfield half-century goes in vain as Ireland stumbles

Vanua cameo takes PNG to stunning win - Cricket News
A late cameo from Papua New Guinea's No.9 batsman Norman Vanua (28 not out from 10 balls) helped it stun Ireland in their Group A clash at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Belfast on Wednesday (July 15).

After a combined bowling display helped restrict Ireland to 123 for 9, PNG was struggling at 93 for 8 at one stage before Vanua smashed four sixes to pull off a late heist. William Porterfield’s unbeaten 58-ball 57 went in vain.

Jack Vare, the PNG captain, said his side didn't take the defending champions lightly. "We just wanted to go out and play to the best of our ability," he said after the match. "We learnt a lot things today from Ireland. We learnt how to play under pressure. We just wanted to do the little things right and came out positive."

The match was tantalisingly poised at the end of the 18th over, with PNG requiring 20 runs with two wickets in hand. However, Vanua made light work of the chase and hit three sixes off the penultimate over bowled by John Mooney to seal the game with seven balls to spare.



"We've got a good batting line-up, unfortunately it didn't click today. But Norman showed that we've got potential in such type of pressure situations," said Vare praising Vanua's effort.

PNG’s chase started on a poor note as it lost both openers before the third over. Assad Vala, the No. 3, kept it in the chase with a run-a-ball 32 but Kevin O’Brien (4-011-2) and Tyrone Kane (3-0-19-3) kept striking in the middle overs to put PNG on the backfoot.
The chase seemed to have run out of steam when Kane dismissed Jack Vare and John Reva in the 17th over, but Vanua had other ideas.

Earlier, Ireland opted to bat but got off to a poor start as Vanua bowled Paul Stirling for one in the second over. Willie Gavera then removed Niall O'Brien and Kevin O'Brien in a space of three balls in the fifth over to rock Ireland early.

The loss of early wickets left Ireland struggling for momentum. Porterfield, the No. 3, was steady at one end but PNG struck at regular intervals to keep Ireland under check. A 37-run stand between Gary Wilson and Porterfield for the fifth wicket steadied the innings briefly but Ireland lost its way once again after Porterfield was stumped off off-spinner Asad Wala in the 14th over.

The run outs of Stuart Thompson and George Dockrell didn't help Ireland's cause either, but Porterfield's solid half-century and a late cameo by Alex Cusack (13 from 5 balls) took it past 120.

To view full scorecard, please click here.