Abu Dhabi: Assad Vala bowled Papua New Guinea to a thrilling win over Kenya with a spell of three wickets for seven runs in the ICC Men’s World T20 qualifiers at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Both the morning matches of the qualifiers were low-scoring affairs. In Dubai, despite bowling out PNG for 118, Kenya lost the match by 45 runs after being skittled out for 73 runs. In another match at the Tolerance Oval ground in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong restricted Nigeria to 81 for nine and then raced to a five-wicket win.
Few expected Kenya to crash to such a huge defeat after putting PNG in to bat. Kenya’s right-arm pacer Emanuel Bundi destroyed PNG’s top order taking four wickets for 18 runs. PNG, who at one stage were 19 for six in the first four overs, had Norman Vanua hitting 54 runs from 48 balls with three boundaries and two sixes.
Chasing the moderate total, Kenya lost their opener Dhiren Gondaria to Vanua for one. Opener Irfan Karim (29) and Collins Obuya (10) took the score to 40 in 5.6 overs when off-spinner Assad Vala struck three in quick succession to reduce them to 51 for 5 in 11.3 overs. Vala gave away just seven runs and took three wickets from his four overs. Left-arm pacer Nosaina Pokan then took three wickets for 21 runs to hasten the end of Kenya innings.
Nigeria could muster only 81 for eight due to Hong Kong bowlers, who kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Hong Kong reached the target in 7.1 overs with the consistent Kinchit Shah hitting quick 25 off 10 balls.
In the afternoon match at Dubai, the Netherlands defeated Scotland by four wickets. Scotland could muster only 130 for eight despite wicketkeeper Matthew Cross hitting 52 runs. Netherlands then reached the target in 17 overs through Ryan ten Doeschate’s unbeaten 51 off 35 balls.
Oman squandered their chance for a direct qualification chance to the World T20 by losing to unheralded Jersey by 14 runs. Jersey posted 141 or nine with opener Nick Ferraby topscoring with 41 runs. Oman got off to a nightmarish start — losing first three wickets for six runs. Dominic Blampied was the chief destroyer with three wickets for 27 runs, while Elliott Miles bagged three wickets for 21 runs.
In the last over, Anthony Hawkins-Kay took two wickets off the first two balls and in the end Oman could muster only 127 for nine. Oman’s Zeeshan Maqsood knock of 56 runs went in vain.