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Hong Kong Qualify, Italy Finish Ninth

Tony Ura
Tony Ura (left) was unable to get Papua New Guinea past Hong Kong's total
©International Cricket Council

Hong Kong qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 2014 by beating Papua New Guinea by 29 runs while Italy beat Namibia to finish the ICC WT20 Qualifier in ninth place.

Having come so close to beating Nepal before missing out one day ago, Hong Kong put up a score of 137 for nine, which they successfully defended by dismissing PNG for 108.

The final qualifier will be decided when the Netherlands take on Scotland in the day's final game.

Italy bounced back from their heavy defeat to Scotland to beat Namibia, hitting 130 for nine and dismissing their opponents for 105.

Hong Kong's victory was an astonishing comeback after they were reduced to 19 for four batting first. Willie Gavera's three quick wickets put Papua New Guinea in the ascendency but Hong Kong fought back.

Babar Hyat hit a vital 48 in 47 balls, allowing Munir Dar (22) and Mark Chapman (28) to score quickly at the other end.

They were the only three players to score more than 10 runs, and despite Pipi Raho also taking three wickets, Hong Kong managed to put a defendable score on the board.

PNG also lost early wickets, slipping to 19 for two, before Tony Ura (21) and Geraint Jones (20) got them back on track, only for Hong Kong to dismiss both men, and Jack Vare for 10, to leave them struggling once more on 59 for five in the 12th over.

Charles Amini cracked 30 in 24 balls but he played a lone hand and unlike Hong Kong earlier, there was to be no way back for PNG as their hopes of making it to Bangladesh next year ended with them all out for 108 in 19.1 overs.

Italy finished the tournament with a comprehensive 25-run win over Namibia, in which Gareth Berg took the tournament's first hat-trick.

Carl Sandri made 34 and Damian Crowley 32 after opener Andy Northcote had struck 18 to help the Italians make 130 for nine.

A brace of wickets from Christi Viljoen, Bernard Scholtz and LP van der Westhuizen kept the Italians to a modest score but Namibia's batsmen then failed, and they were all out for 105 in 19.4 overs.

Gerhard Erasmus was left unbeaten on 28 and Nicolaas Scholtz made 25 as Berg (3-12), Sandri (2-12) and Shan Munasinghe (2-30) cut through their batting line-up.

Berg ended the game with his hat-trick by removing Louis Klazinga (7), Shalako Groenewald (0) and Bernard Scholz (0) - all bowled.

© Cricket World 2013