Papua New Guinea (PNG) have qualified for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia next year. This will be the first time the team will feature in a World Cup in any format.
Meanwhile, Ireland finished at the top spot in Group B after Jersey earned a shock 14-run win over Oman on Sunday. The result meant Ireland progressed as group winners as UAE could manage to beat Canada by 14 runs. Ireland won four and lost two of their six matches in the ongoing tournament and will play two more matches next week, with mainly ranking points at stake.
Earlier on Sunday, PNG came back to defeat Kenya by 45 runs in a thrilling morning match and the failure of Netherlands to then beat Scotland in 12.3 overs of their chase saw PNG secure their place in the premier event next year.
Having headed into the final day of the group stages of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 as favourites – PNG were top of Group A with a superior net run-rate to second-placed Netherlands – PNG nearly made a mess of things against Kenya.
At one point of time, PNG were 19 for 6 within four overs with their opportunity to secure automatic qualification under threat. However, led by Norman Vanua’s fighting 48-ball 54, they recovered to post 118 in 19.3 overs.
After this, the bowlers did their job well to wrap up Kenya for 73 runs. Kenya, who were 40 for 1 after the Powerplay, failed to capitalise their good start and succumbed 46 runs short of the target.
PNG skipper Assad Vala returned a brilliant 3 for 7, and Nosaina Pokana provided superb support with his 3 for 21. Kenya were bundled out for 73 in 18.4 overs and the PNG players waited in anticipation for the Netherlands result.
Though the Dutch won by four wickets, it wasn’t sufficient on the day. They will have to go through the play-offs to reach Australia. As for PNG, they can already plan their itinerary.