Ferguson’s Brilliance Leads New Zealand to Victory Over Papua New Guinea

Lockie Ferguson celebrates a wicket against Papua New Guinea (Photo: ICC)
Lockie Ferguson celebrates a wicket against Papua New Guinea (Photo: ICC)

Papua New Guinea’s hopes of an upset over New Zealand have ended in defeat with Lockie Ferguson’s hostile spell demolishing the Barramundi batting. 

Rain delayed the toss in Trinidad and Tobago with play eventually getting underway over an hour and a half later after the scheduled start time. 

There was early success for the New Zealanders who had won the toss and elected to bowl first. Tim Southee had opener Tony Ura skewing his shot high to Glenn Phillips at backward point to be dismissed for one.

Boundaries to Charles Amini and Assad Vala showed that PNG was up for the fight; however, this changed once speedster Lockie Ferguson was brought into the attack.

Ferguson had a wicket on the first ball of his spell with Vala edging to Daryl Mitchell at slip for six. New batter Sese Bau then could not score off the next five deliveries. It was the start of one of the most incredible bowling performances in T20 World Cup history. Bau and Amini put on the strongest partnership of the game for PNG with a 27-run stand for the third wicket to take them to 43/3, before Ferguson trapped Amini leg before wicket for 17. 

The Barramundis quickly fell to 43/5 as Bau fell to Santner for 12 and Chad Soper was bowled in Ferguson’s final over for one. Ferguson ended his four overs without conceding a run, ending with astonishing figures of 4-4-0-3. It set a new record for the most economical spell in T20 world cup history. And it was the second time in international cricket that a bowler had not conceded a single run in his spell, after Saad Bin Zafar’s 4-4-0-2 against Panama in 2021. 

Hiri Hiri and Kiplin Doriga rebuilt the innings following Soper’s wicket, but once they both departed for seven and five respectively, PNG found themselves on the ropes once again. Having picked up Hiri in his final T20 World Cup game, Boult managed to grab a second wicket in his final over with Norman Vanua top edging the ball to Mitchell at midwicket for 14. Ish Sodhi got two wickets in the final over with Alei Nao falling for three and Kabua Morea being stumped by Devon Conway for a duck.

PNG eventually finished on 78 all out from 19.4 overs, leaving the Black Caps a target of 79.

New Zealand stroll to victory

In response, the Kiwis started poorly with Morea getting a wicket on the second ball of the innings as Finn Allen edged behind to Doriga for a two-ball duck.

Rachin Ravindra and Conway provided some resistance, putting up a 20-run stand before Morea picked up Ravindra for six. The Kiwis highest partnership of the tournament came between Conway and captain Kane Williamson as they added 34 runs for the third wicket. 

Whilst PNG did get one more wicket with Semo Kamea striking Conway leg before wicket for 35, it was still a comfortable victory for New Zealand. Williamson and Mitchell finished the job off in style, scoring the final 25 runs in three overs to seal victory.

A seven-wicket win by the Kiwis means that they finish the group in third place. It was not enough to make the Super Eights, with defeats to West Indies and Afghanistan sealing a group stage exit, in what was a lacklustre campaign. It was the first time since 2014, that the Kiwis had failed to make it out of the group in an ICC World Cup event. On the other hand, PNG’s defeat consigned them to last place in the group with four losses out of four games, including a demoralising defeat to World Cup debutants Uganda. 

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