PNG 223/7 (47.4) Tony Ura 87 (101) (POTM) Jason Kila 36* (42) Damien Ravu 2/35 (10) defeated Hong Kong 222/9 (50) Anshuman Rath 85 (98) Ahsan Abbasi 37 (55) Ehsan Khan 4/36 (10) Aizaz Khan 2/39 (10) by 3 wickets with 14 balls remaining.
Papua New Guinea got their first win of World Cricket League Division Two 2019 against Hong Kong on Sunday. The Barramundis prevailed by three wickets with 14 balls remaining in a see-sawing clash at Trustco United Cricket Ground in Windhoek.
Jamie Atkinson (6) was dismissed early when he was caught and bowled by off spinner Sese Bau but Rath, along with Kinchit Shah (22) and Ahsan Abbasi (37) proceeded to pick off the PNG bowlers well, hitting boundaries at regular intervals on a slow – but not as bad as yesterday – outfield.
When Rath was dismissed in the 34th over, caught down the leg side, the score was 155. The final 16 overs only saw only 67 runs scored due to some excellent bowling from the PNG bowlers. Legspinner Charles Amini was particularly misery, and he also picked up the key wicket of Babar Hayat, having him adjudge LBW after trapping the Hong Kong number five on the crease.
It did feel like Hong Kong left another 25 runs or so out there after nobody in the lower order really got going. Adding to this was that PNG was uncharacteristically poor on the bumpy outfield with misfields costing around ten runs and at least four chances going down.
Tony Ura got the Barramundis’ chase off to a supercharged start taking Tanwir Afzal for two sixes in the first over, and he raced to his fifty from only 39 balls. He and Sese Bau (15) put on 71 and a second half-century partnership – this time with the captain, got the score to 122 before Assad Vala fell to a sharp catch behind off Ehsan Khan.
With some accurate HK bowling and the heavy outfield, PNG then didn’t hit another boundary for 15 overs. This pressure continued to build until Ehsan Khan’s fourth over when Ura played a cut which he top edged. Rath dove forward at backward point taking a super catch – Ura stayed around for a few seconds to inquire if it carried, but he was on his way quickly after as the Umpire’s finger went up.
Charles Amini fell in the 35th over for 11 and after that, panic descended over Windhoek and two more wickets fell in the next eight balls as Siaka (15) and Doriga (1) were also dismissed by Ehsan Khan, who was getting the ball to turn on a wicket that up until then hadn’t offered much for the bowlers.
Jason Kila came to the crease, then edged the next ball from Khan, but a diving effort from Kinchit Shah at second slip was unsuccessful – which would’ve been Khan’s five-for. This missed chance went on to cost Hong Kong dearly as Kila played a fine knock finishing 36 not out from 42 balls to guide PNG home.
Hong Kong plays their first match at Wanderers on Tuesday against Oman who is undefeated after their two matches. PNG takes on the USA at Trustco. TV2 Africa will be broadcasting the HK match and Emerging Cricket will be live blogging all matches.from Wanderers Ground.