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Men's T20 WC Qualifier B: PNG qualify for semis, Netherlands hammer Uganda

Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), July 14 (IANS) PNG became the fourth team to qualify for the semifinals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B despite losing to Hong Kong by two wickets, here on Thursday.

Put in to bat first, PNG put up an impressive batting display. Their start was slow as captain Assad Vala perished cheaply and Lega Siaka could not convert his start into a big score.

But Charles Amini and Tony Ura did well to get PNG on track. Amini and Ura added 59 runs for the third wicket. Even after Amini’s wicket, Ura continued to plunder runs, eventually ending with a 33-ball 83, a knock that consisted of four fours and eight sixes. His flamboyant innings powered PNG to 185/7.

In reply, Hong Kong got off to a wobbly start and were 24/2 after the first three overs. But Babar Hayat broke the shackles in the next over, clubbing Semo Kamea for three sixes. Despite wickets falling at the other end, he did not slow down and continued his aggressive game. He was supported by Zeeshan Ali, who slammed a 23-ball 42.

By the time Hayat got out in the 17th over after scoring a 45-ball 86, Hong Kong still needed 28 runs to win. A cameo from Shahid Wasif helped them get over the line on the final ball of the match, ending a total thriller.

Despite Hong Kong’s win, a superior net run rate meant that PNG became the fourth team to qualify for the semifinals.

Netherlands vs Uganda

In another game of the day, the decision of putting in the Netherlands to bat back-fired for Uganda as the Dutch put up a big total, courtesy of fantastic knocks from Max O’Dowd and Tom Cooper. Both batters have been in terrific form of late and shone in their previous game too. Despite losing Stephan Myburgh early for a duck in the third over, the Netherlands quickly recovered.

Shaking off the slow start, O’Dowd switched on the aggressive mode to clobber a 57-ball 73. After Bas de Leede’s wicket in the seventh over, O’Dowd paired with Cooper to share a 121-run third-wicket stand. Cooper was unbeaten on a fiery 42-ball 81 as the Netherlands posted 187/3.

With a mammoth target to scale and a place in the semi-final on the line, Uganda had a tough task in front of them. But a sensational spell from Fred Klaassen all but put their dreams to rest. He removed Roger Mukasa and Ronak Patel on the first two balls of Uganda’s innings.

At 0/2, Uganda found themselves in dire straits and further stuttered when Klaassen took two wickets again in the third over. He completed a five-wicket haul in the fifth over when he dismissed Uganda captain Kenneth Waiswa.

The Uganda middle and lower-order fought briefly but they were only delaying the inevitable as wickets fell at regular intervals. They could only manage to score 90/9 in their 20 overs, suffering a massive defeat by 97 runs.

Brief scores:

Netherlands 187/3 in 20 overs (Tom Cooper 81 not out, Max ODowdc 73, Frank Nsubuga 1/15) beat Uganda 90-9 in 20 overs (Riazat Ali Shah 19; Fred Klaassen 5/19, Bas de Leede 2/11) by 97 runs

Papua New Guinea 185/7 in 20 overs (Tony Ura 83, Charles Amini 37; Ehsan Khan 3/19) lost to Hong Kong 186/8 in 20 overs (Babar Hayat 86, Zeeshan Ali 42; Kabua Morea 3/34) by 2 wickets




Asim Riaz

Sidharth Shukla

Malavika Mohanan

Pragya Jaiswal

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