PNG v Singapore Match Report
Damien Ravu’s 4-18 propelled Papua New Guinea to their fourth win in five games after key contributions from a number of batsmen allowed them to set Singapore a challenging target of 181.
Singapore skipper Amjad Mahboob chose to bowl first upon winning the toss, citing moisture in the surface as his motivation behind an uncharacteristic decision that he may well be regretting.
Singapore looked nervous to begin with as they conceded needless runs in the field and their bowlers regularly strayed down leg. Openers Assad Vala and Tony Ura were especially severe on anything pitched up, targeting the region between long on and mid wicket.
By the time Vala lofted Tim David to debutant Avi Dixit at long on, the Barramundis had registered 61 runs in the Power Play.
They ran hard after the Power Play to accumulate another 20 runs in the next two overs before off spinner Navin Param dismissed Ura and Lega Siaka off consecutive balls to put a break on the scoring.
Sese Bau struggled to get going, missing a straight one from Amjad Mahboob to leave PNG 101-4 in the 13th over.
This brought Kiplin Doriga to the crease to join Charles Amini. The two combined a master class of running between the wickets with regular hits to the short mid wicket boundaries on either side to propel PNG to what was ultimately a match winning total.
In response, Singapore got off to a nightmarish start. In an attempt to open his account, Rezza Gaznavi called Surendran Chadramohan through for a single only for the swashbuckler to jar his bat into the ground as he attempted to slide it in. Singapore had lost their top run-scorer before he’d even faced a ball.
Just as it looked like Gaznavi and the recalled Rohan Rangarajan were rebuilding the innings, Damien Ravu dismissed the pair off successive deliveries in the last over of the Power Play to leave Singapore reeling at 37/3.
Tim David—who top-scored with a quick-fire 44—then launched a counter attack even as batsmen were falling around him, giving Singapore some hope despite a required run rate that was rising with each passing over.
However, after he holed out to long on off a wide-ish Damien Ravu delivery with an asking rate in excess of 13, Singapore’s hopes of overhauling PNG’s total went up in smoke.
Their chase petered out to it’s inevitable conclusion as PNG walked away with another two points, strengthening their position atop the Group A table and increasing their odds of gaining direct qualification to the World Cup.
The Barramundis face Kenya in their final group game on Sunday, while Singapore will have to beat Namibia and hope that other results go their way in order to keep their World Cup dreams alive.