Papua New Guinea 90/0 (Vala 53*, Ura 33*) defeated Bermuda 89 (Rawlins 25, Trott 19, Vanua 3-14 including a hattrick) by ten wickets with 58 deliveries remaining.
After a poor recent international record, PNG may just have got their mojo back after they brushed aside Bermuda by ten wickets at ICC Academy Ground 1. It was both sides’ first T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 Group A match.
EC Ambassador Norman Vanua was the chief destroyer taking a hattrick which tore away the Gombey Warriors’ middle order. Dion Stovell’s side lost their fifth wicket on the last ball of the third over, with only eleven runs on the board.
There was some semblance of a fightback from the lower order of Bermuda–who knocked out USA from the Americas Regional Finals–but lost their final wicket in the 18th over. Rodney Trott (19) was the last dismissal, comically run out by almost half the length of the pitch when he took on the arm of Lega Siaka coming back for two.
The Barramundis completed the chase on the second ball of the eleventh over with fellow EC Ambassador and PNG skipper Assad Vala finishing on 53* (35) with Tony Ura also unbeaten on 33 from 27 deliveries.
Quizzically, Sussex player and England hopeful Delray Rawlins’ bowling was held back until the sixth over. By the time he took the ball PNG were already 41 and well on their way to victory.
There was also noticeable bickering between Bermuda players towards the backend of the match and this unrest will surely need to be nipped in the bud if the cricket-mad territory’s campaign is to get back on the rails.
(Thanks, as always, to Peter Della Penna for additional insight.)