Sport: PNG keep T20 World Cup dreams alive with win

12:25 pm on 25 October 2019

Papua New Guinea has upset the Netherlands at the T20 cricket World Cup Qualifiers, leaving them on top of Group A with two rounds of to play.

The PNG Barramundis celebrate a wicket.

The PNG Barramundis celebrate a wicket. Photo: Twitter/T20 World Cup

The five-wicket win keeps their World Cup dreams alive with games against Singapore and Kenya to come.

The PNG coach Joe Dawes said his team had set themselves up nicely.

"That was gonna be a danger game, probably a real pivotal point in this tournament," he said.

"To knock [the Netherlands] off sets us up nicely with the run home against two good sides. Lose and you fall back into the pack with everyone else so it gives us a little bit of breathing space but more importantly it takes the boys forward with some confidence."

The two group winners of the tournament automatically advance to next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

PNG coach Joe Dawes.

PNG coach Joe Dawes. Photo: Screenshot/ICC

Dawes said his team was targeting that route.

"Everyone wants to be in that top spot because that means you are automatically guarantee and don't have to win another game to go through so the earlier you can lock in the spot to the world cup next year, the nicer it will be, and definitely after today that's what we will be looking at, to win the games firstly and then win them well and keep our run rate up."

Dawes paid tribute to PNG's top order who he said have laid the platform particularly the opening pair of Tony Ura and captain Assad Vala.

"They're worked really hard and [Vala] has really taken on obviously leadership role as captain but also the role on himself to win us games of cricket and today he set us a nice platform and [Ura] is probably not quite going as well as he would have liked but he is setting us a platform with [Vala]."

Vala top-scored against the Netherlands, hitting 37 off 38 balls, including five boundaries.

Ura scored 23 off 25 balls as PNG chased down their target of 127 with an over to spare.

Dawes said he if PNG continued to set the platforms and bowl and field like they did against the dutch then they will play some good cricket.

PNG play Singapore later tonight and then Kenya in their last game.

Assad Vala discusses tactics with coach Joe Dawes, (right).

Assad Vala discusses tactics with coach Joe Dawes, (right). Photo: PNG Cricket

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs