Papua New Guinea threw Group B wide open at the Bulawayo Athletic Club on Tuesday, as an unbroken stand of 132 between skipper Assad Vala and Sese Bau enabled them to chase down Uganda’s 160 for four and win by eight wickets.
Across town at the Queen’s Club the Netherlands recovered from a slightly indifferent start to beat Hong Kong by seven wickets and stay top of the group, their victory due in part to a hat trick by pace man Logan van Beek.
Uganda’s innings was built on a third-wicket partnership of 108 between opener Simon Ssesazi, whose 78 came from 48 deliveries and included seven fours and four sixes, and Riazat Ali Shah, hero of yesterday’s hard-fought victory over Hong Kong, who made 48 before holing out to Lega Siaka off the bowling of Charles Amini.
PNG seemed to be in a spot of bother when Frank Nsubuga dismissed Siaka and Amini in the fourth over of their reply to reduce them to 29 for two, but then Vala was joined by Bau and they needed just 77 deliveries to knock off the remaining runs.
Vala’s unbeaten 93 came from 47 balls and included seven fours and six sixes, while Bau’s comparatively restrained 41 not out took 37 deliveries with two fours and a six; Nsubuga’s two wickets came at a cost of just 16 runs in his four overs, but all the other Ugandan bowlers came in for heavy punishment as PNG won with more than three overs to spare.
After Nizakat Khan elected to bat at the Queen’s Club the Dutch were initially less disciplined with the ball than they had been on Monday, and despite the loss of Aizaz Khan and Babar Hayat Hong Kong went at better than seven runs an over in the powerplay, ending the sixth over on 43 for two.
By the halfway point they were on 75 for two and on course for a total in excess of 150, but then Kinchit Shah was well caught by Fred Klaassen off the bowling of Shariz Ahmad, and Bas de Leede, Tim Pringle and Van Beek combined to slam the brakes on.
Yasim Murtaza gloved a catch to keeper Edwards off De Leede, Steph Myburgh took a superb diving catch off Pringle to remove Zeeshan Ali and when Klaassen ran Shahid Wasif out off his own bowling, Hong Kong had slumped to 109 for six.
Worse was to follow, as Nizakat, who had posted a 51-ball half-century and went to 60 when he was dropped on the midwicket boundary, fell to another fine catch by Myburgh off Van Beek’s next delivery, and the Dutch seamer proceeded to trap first Scott McKechnie and then Ehsan Khan in front with the next two balls.
Two delieveries later it was all over, as Klaassen bowled Haroon Arshad; four wickets had fallen in five balls, and Hong Kong had lost eight wickets for just 40 runs.
Van Beek finished with four for 27, Klaassen claimed two for 16, and Pringle’s four overs cost 18.
Aizaz Khan struck early when the Dutch replied, bowling Myburgh for 11, but the innings soon gathered momentum, and by the end of the powerplay Max O’Dowd and De Leede had taken the total to 57 for one.
O’Dowd was eventually trapped in front by Ehsan Khan for a 27-ball 45 which included eight fours and a massive six over long on and into the upper tiers of the scoreboard, but De Leede was able to bat with greater freedom in pursuit of a small target, and he was well supported by Tom Cooper.
The scores were level at the end of the 13th over, and although Ehsan had Cooper leg-before for a cameo 15-ball 20 Edwards took the winning single off the next ball, with De Leede finishing on 36 not out, made from 27 deliveries.
The Netherlands will need to beat Uganda on Thursday to make quite sure of reaching the semi-finals, while Papua New Guinea have given themselves a chance of joining them if they can take the points against Hong Kong.
You’re reading Emerging Cricket — brought to you by a passionate group of volunteers with a vision for cricket to be a truly global sport, and a mission to inspire passion to grow the game.
Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, please subscribe for regular updates, and follow EC on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Don’t know where to start? Check out our features list, country profiles, and subscribe to our podcast.
Support us from US$2 a month — and get exclusive benefits, by becoming an EC Patron.