Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea qualifies for T20 World Cup. Credit: Twitter

Papua New Guinea became the first team to qualify directly for the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup, after they won Group A of the qualifier tournament, finishing above the Netherlands on net run rate. Meanwhile, it will be their first-ever global tournament. Five more spots will be up for grabs for the premier tournaments.

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The 45-run win over Kenya, which gave PNG a record of five wins and a defeat from their six group matches, meant they were all-but assured of qualification. The Netherlands drew level on 10 points with victory over Scotland in their final game but were unable to overhaul Papua New Guinea’s net run-rate during the success.

They needed to reach their target of 131 in 12.3 overs but required 27 additional delivers to secure the win by four wickets, forcing them to settle for second place in Group A. However, the Netherlands will now go into the play-offs, with a place in the tournament in Australia still up for grabs.

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Papua New Guinea have been outstanding in the competition. An all-round effort from Norman Vanua helped them secure a win over Kenya in the low-scoring encounter. Norman scored a 48-ball 54 and then picked a two-wicket haul to pave way for his side’s win.

Asked to bat, PNG were in dire straits reduced to 19 for 6 by the end of the fourth over, with Emmanuel Bundi ripping through the top order. However, a career-best knock from Vanua, who was involved in a 77-run association with Sese Bau for the seventh wicket, led his team’s recovery as they finished with a total of 118.

Opener Irfan Karim gave Kenya a good start but the other batsman could not capitalise on the start. But Papua New Guinea bowlers bounced back in style to bowl out Kenya for 73 runs to home with the qualification.

Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making...