Dubai: Papua New Guinea on Sunday secured a maiden place in the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia next year with a 45-run win over Kenya, here.
Since Netherlands could not beat Scotland in 12.3 overs of their chase, it sent PNG into the premier event Down Under next year.
They were reduced to 19 for 6 within four overs, and it seemed they had blown their opportunity to secure automatic qualification. However, led by Norman Vanua’s fighting 48-ball 54, PNG recovered to post 118 in 19.3 overs.
Kenya had Irfan Karim scoring a 22-ball 29, and that meant they were 40 for one after the Powerplay.
However, the slide began. There were only two more scores that reached double digits: Collins Obuya made a 19-ball 10, and Aman Gandhi fought to a 25-ball 14.
Assad Vala returned a brilliant 3/7, and Nosaina Pokana provided superb support with his 3/21. Kenya were bundled out for 73 in 18.4 overs
Having done their bit, the PNG players waited in anticipation for the Netherlands result.
The Dutch won by four wickets, but it wasn’t sufficient on the day. They will have to go through the play-offs to reach Australia.
Earlier, Ireland had nearly sealed their spot with an eight-wicket win over Nigeria on Saturday. Their direct qualification was dependent on the result of the match between Oman and Jersey; a victory for Oman would have made Ireland’s job tougher, but Jersey beat Oman by 14 runs.
(With Inputs from PTI)