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Papua New Guinea hot on the heels of Netherlands in the ICC WCL Championship

Papua New Guinea hot on the heels of Netherlands in the ICC WCL Championship

India Blooms News Service | | 12 Apr 2017, 09:18 am
Dubai, Apr 12 (IBNS): Papua New Guinea (PNG) is two points behind the Netherlands in the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) standings after notching up another victory, this time against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi, an official release stated.

PNG recovered after losing its first match by 82 runs, claiming victory in the second by 26 runs, even as the UAE went on to win its first ICC Intercontinental Cup (I-Cup) fixture which was played from Apr 7-10.

PNG captain Assad Vala was very impressed with his team’s comeback in the ICC WCL Championship fixture.

“We have done really well in this competition and are very well placed in the points table. We were disappointed with the result in the first game, but fought back really well in the second game to get the win with a much improved performance overall.

“Having New Zealand’s Ross Taylor (as coach) in the team dressing room is a great experience for us. He’s got a lot of experience and played all over the world against the best and having him around gives us some insight to how we can improve.”

Vani Morea’s 52 — the only half-century in the PNG innings — helped the side to 232 for nine in 50 overs. The UAE's Ghulam Shabber responded with a gritty 100-ball 70, but Assad Vala's three for 20 halted the UAE's charge. Muhammad Usman was the last man dismissed after a run-a-ball 30 as the UAE was bowled out for 206 in 47.4 overs. The seventh win in 10 ICC WCLC games for PNG.

In match one, the UAE completed an impressive victory after putting on a daunting 292 for five from 50 overs on the back of three half-centuries, with Rameez Shahzad’s fiery 87 the top score. In response, PNG’s top order looked in good stead at the start of the run chase, but a wobble in the middle was followed by a late collapse, and the team was bowled out for 210 in 47.3 overs.

The top sides from this tournament, with each team playing 14 matches in a double round-robin format, will join the bottom four sides from the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018. This forms the event qualification pathway where the top teams will qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be hosted in England and Wales.

In the ICC Intercontinental Cup fixture, the UAE won its first match in the tournament beating PNG by nine wickets.