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by Alastair Symondson Thursday 31 October 2019
Papua New Guinea secured qualification to the 2020 T20 World Cup by ending the group stage at the top of the group A points table in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup qualifier 2019. They finished with 5 wins and one loss from 6 games at 10 points and a net run rate of +2.086.
PNG will compete against Namibia who created history by first making it to play off 2 by defeating Singapore by a huge margin of 87 runs in their last league game and then earning a T20 WC berth. They finished at the third spot in the group A points table with 4 wins and 2 losses from 6 matches. Namibia had 8 points and a net run rate of +1.080.
The team then beat Oman by 54 runs in play off 2 to win an unexpected encounter and make it to the 2nd semi-final.
Openers Assad Vala and Tony Ura have been quite consistent for PNG as both of them average just over 35. While Vala has made 184 runs from 6 games at a strike rate of 128.67 and the best of 53, Ura has 177 runs from 6 matches as well with a strike rate of 119.15 and the best of 71.
Damien Ravu is their top wicket-taker with 10 wickets from 6 games.
Gerhard Erasmus is the top run-scorer for Namibia and is the sixth highest run-scorer of the tournament with 213 runs from 7 games at an average of over 40 and a strike rate of 137.41. He has 252 runs to his name and the best of 72.
Jan Frylinck has picked up 15 wickets from 7 games and is the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
Papua New Guinea- Assad Vala, Tony Ura, Lega Siaka, Charles Amini, Sese Bau, Riley Hekure, Kiplin Doriga, Norman Vanua, Jason Kila, Damien Ravu, Nosaina Pokana
Namibia- JP Kotze, Niko Davin, Gerhard Erasmus, Craig Williams, Christi Viljoen, JJ Smit, Zane Green, Stephan Baard, Jan Frylinck, Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo
Who will win the toss? - Namibia
Who will win? – Papua New Guinea
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Gerhard Erasmus (Namibia), Assad Vala (Papua New Guinea)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Jan Frylinck (Namibia), Damien Ravu (Papua New Guinea)
Most Sixes – JJ Smit (Namibia), Assad Vala (Papua New Guinea)
Man of the Match – Assad Vala
Team Scores Batting first – Namibia 135+, Papua New Guinea 160+
Match Handicap Papua New Guinea
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*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features, so stay tuned.
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