Sport: PNG stay unbeaten at T20 World Cup Qualifier

1:13 pm on 21 October 2019

Papua New Guinea has made it two from two at the T20 Cricket World Cup Qualifier after beating Namibia by 81 runs in Dubai on Sunday.

After electing to bat first, Tony Ura smashed top-scored with 71 from 42 balls, including six fours and four sixes, and combined with captain Assad Vala (48 from 34 balls) in an opening stand of 125 as the Barramundis posted a commanding total of 197 for seven.

In reply, Vala claimed three for 19 with the ball to seal man of the match honours as Namibia were dismissed for 116 in the 18th over.

PNG also eased to a 10 wicket win in their opening group match on Saturday, with Norman Vanua bagging a hat-trick as Bermuda were rolled for 89, with Assad Vala top-scoring with 53 not out as the Barramundis reached their victory target with 58 balls to spare.

Papua New Guinea are one of three unbeaten teams in Group A and face Scotland in their third pool match later tonight.

The two group winners will qualify automatically for the T20 World Cup in October, while another four teams will book their ticket to Australia via the playoffs.

Barramundis coach Joe Dawes said in the lead-up to their first game that PNG had a great chance to qualify for their first ever senior World Cup.

"Absolutely, it's probably the best we've had but there's 14 good teams here so it's going to be a tough competition," he said.

PNG coach Joe Dawes.

PNG coach Joe Dawes. Photo: Screenshot/ICC

"You want to get in that top four first up and then it's just a matter of winning a game and you're through to Australia."

Dawes said if PNG could make history, the spinoffs for the game back home would be huge.

"There's a big financial benefit to it," he said. "It's a couple of hundred thousand US (dollars) I think, to help you prepare and that sort of thing.

"Also, it will give you options, especially sponsors and thing like that are going to get on board because you're going to be able to offer them a lot more exposure during a World Cup competition so it would be great for the game and history-making for these players, which would be lovely.

"For Cricket PNG and being able to drive its programmes forward that extra cash is always going to be amazing."