The win over Hong Kong in the last match was just rewards for a team that played with great spirit and exuberance, winning a lot of hearts along the way.
Overall grade: D
Lost to United Arab Emirates by 56 runs (DLS method)
Lost to Ireland by 4 wickets
Lost to Windies by 6 wickets
Lost to the Netherlands by 57 runs
Lost to Nepal by 6 wickets
9th/10th place play-off
Beat Hong Kong by 58 runs
Positives to take home
An upcoming cricket nation with a spirited bunch of players, PNG will most likely benefit immensely from the experience of rubbing shoulders with Windies, especially, and teams like Ireland and the Netherlands. Not to mention the excellent win in their last game, when they rode on good knocks from Tony Ura, Chad Soper and Mahuru Dai to put up 200 and then bowled Hong Kong out for 142, with Norman Vanua and Charles Amini picking up four wickets each.
Though they failed to register even a single win in the group stage, Ura’s blazing 151 against Ireland, one of the highlights of the tournament, and the performances of Vanua, Alei Nao and the rest of the bowling line-up were encouraging.
As Marlon Samuels pointed out in his chat with the PNG boys after Windies’ game against them, the fielding of the newcomers is also exemplary, and should stand them in good stead going forward.
Areas to improve
Ura was one of the stories of the tournament, and Assadollah Vala, the captain, played a couple of good knocks, but till the last game, it was seldom the case that more than one batsman did well in the same game.
That’s a concern. Ura is clearly up there, but the rest of the batsmen need to up their game as the stakes get higher. Especially disappointing were Sese Bau and Kiplin Doriga, who aggregated 35 run from six games and 47 from three games respectively.
Though Vanua, Nao and Amini were among the wickets and Dai and Vala economical, they were often left with too much to do.
After he missed the first game, Ura made an instant impact by smashing 151 from 142 balls to lead PNG to 235 against Ireland, and it took Ireland till the last over to complete the chase. Against an attack led by Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin, Andy McBrine and George Dockrell, it was a sterling effort.
Ura had two more good outings, 37 against Windies and 49 against Hong Kong, but wasn’t able to match the heights he achieved against Ireland again. But he clearly has the ability, and will be worth keeping an eye on.
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