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17 July 201517:41

Big win helps PNG make knockouts

Nepal manages to put up just 93, which is overhauled in just 14.1 overs with eight wickets in hand

Big win helps PNG make knockouts - Cricket News

PNG justified its decision to field first as Nepal was bowled out for just 93 in 19.4 overs.

Papua New Guinea climbed to the top of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 Group B table and qualified for the tournament knockouts with an impressive eight-wicket win over Nepal in Malahide on Friday (July 17).

PNG justified its decision to field first as Nepal was bowled out for just 93 in 19.4 overs. Tony Ura and Assad Vala then piloted the chase as PNG won with 35 balls to spare.

Nepal's early aggression made sense as it cruised to 48 for 1 in seven overs before a batting meltdown resulted in a complete breakdown of momentum. It lost the three big scalps of Gyanendra Malla (2), Pradeep Airee (29) and Paras Khadka (5) in quick succession within eight runs to slide to 56 for 4 in the tenth over.

It was a blow the side couldn't quite recover from as its attempt to play out the overs proved futile.

Airee apart, only two others – Sagar Pun (15) and Sharad Vesawkar (11) – managed to get into double figures, with PNG's slower bowlers applying the choke. John Reva, Mahuru Dai and Vala picked up two wickets apiece.

PNG lost Lega Siaka (1) in the second over, but its chase of a modest target was never derailed as Ura took the game forward with his unbeaten 21-ball 32.

"It’s a sort of performance we’ve been expecting for a while," said Deepal Patel, the PNG coach after the game. "We’ve always had faith that we are good and I think showed it today but we didn’t start very well. We showed we can come back.

"Before the tournament started we wanted to be the best fielding team of the tournament. We were always capable of doing it but we’ve never done it consistently in a tournament. We are travelling very well in the outfield, our catching can be slightly better."

Basant Regmi, the left-arm spinner, caused a brief flutter by taking out Ura, but Vala then steered the side home with an unbeaten 34 in the company of Kila Pala (22 not out). The win, with 5.5 overs to spare, also enhanced PNG’s net run-rate.

PNG now has seven points from four games, while Nepal remains at fifth spot with three points from five outings.

Click here to view the full scorecard.