Put in to bat, PNG made 145 for 4, and then shot out Namibia for 120 all out in 18.1 overs, keeping its hopes of qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh alive.
PNG got off to a good start, with Tony Ura playing the lead role in a 42-run opening stand in 6.2 overs. Asad Vala, who contributed only nine runs in the opening stand, fell first. With Kili Pala and Ura (34 off 37) falling soon after, things slowed down as PNG slipped to 59 for 3 in the 12th over. Geraint Jones (36) and Jack Vare (30 not out), then came together for a 64-run stand in 43 balls to lead PNG’s recovery. Jones’s 33-ball knock contained four boundaries, while Vare hit a boundary and a six during his unbeaten 23-ball innings. Mahuru Dai’s cameo at the end boosted PNG’s total further, as he smashed a four and two sixes on the way to hitting 19 not out in seven deliveries.
Bernard Scholtz was Namibia’s best bowler, returning figures of 2 for 22 off four overs. He found good support from Nicolaas Scholtz, who took 2 for 24 in four overs.
Namibia’s chase was in trouble early, with a rush of top-order wickets leaving the side struggling at 46 for 5 in 9.4 overs. Craig Williams and Jaen Kotze, the wicketkeeper, tried to rebuild with a 38-run stand for the sixth wicket, the highest of Namibia’s innings, but with none of the other batsmen making an impact, Nambia’s chase fell well short. Williams made 42 off 37 balls, hitting a couple of boundaries and as many sixes, to finish as Namibia’s top scorer.
Raho, who took three of the first four wickets to fall, found good support from the rest of the attack with Willie Gavera, John Reva and Chris Amini, the PNG captain, chipping in with two wickets each.
PNG faces Hong Kong in a must-win clash on Thursday, and Amini was confident his side would give a good account of itself. “We have been a fighter side. It was a brilliant performance from the side considering it was kind of a knock out match for us,” said Amini. “We clicked as a unit today; we now have another shot at qualifying in our next match so our spirits are high and we will come out with full passion and once again put a fighting performance.”
Sarel Burger, the Namibia captain, was disappointed that his team was out of the running for a spot in the ICC World Twenty20. “Bit disappointing the dream is over. We could not really get momentum throughout the whole tournament. This is sad end to our bid to qualify but we still have a match to go so we will try and give our best,” said Burger.
Namibia faces Italy tomorrow in Abu Dhabi.