Saturday 17 March 2018

Papua New Guinea stun Ireland in World Twenty20 qualifying

William Porterfield's unbeaten 57 was in vain
William Porterfield's unbeaten 57 was in vain

Nick Mashiter

Norman Vanua inspired Papua New Guinea to a thrilling two-wicket win over Ireland in World Twenty20 qualifying.

The bowler hit an unbeaten 28 off 10 balls, including three sixes in the penultimate over, to close the gap on Ireland at the top of Group A.

Ireland lost their 100 per cent record but remain leaders, however they are just a point ahead of second-placed Papua New Guinea following the defeat at Stormont on Wednesday.

William Porterfield's unbeaten 57 was their only meaningful score as Ireland managed 123 for nine before being chased down with seven balls left.

Vanua's knock swung the game for Papua New Guinea after they had fallen to 93 for eight and needed 30 runs from 18 balls.

Only Gary Wilson (10) and Alex Cusack (13no) reached double figures after Porterfield as the rest of Ireland's battling attack struggled.

They slipped to 33 for four after losing Niall O'Brien (nine) and Paul Stirling (one) early but Porterfield hit 57 from 58 deliveries to give them hope and post 123 from their 20 overs.

Kevin O'Brien continued his good form, claiming two for 11 after taking three for eight in Monday's win over Nepal, while John Mooney also took two wickets.

But they failed to stop Vanua at the death after Assad Vala had top-scored with 32 as Papua New Guinea reached 124 for eight with seven balls remaining.

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