Papua New Guinea hammer Kenya to book maiden T20 World Cup place
Papua New Guinea will make their first-ever appearance at a World Cup after beating Kenya in Dubai on Sunday to book their place at next year's T20 World Cup. PNG hammered Kenya by 45 runs at Dubai International Stadium but had to wait for the result of the Netherlands' game against Scotland before they could celebrate their automatic qualification for the tournament in Australia next year.
The Dutch beat Scotland by four wickets but failed to knock off the 131 they needed for victory in 12.3 overs which meant that PNG topped the group with a higher net run rate.
"I am feeling a little emotional," PNG's Australian coach Joe Dawes told the ICC. "It's been a pretty big two years, for them to achieve this is pretty special."
The former Queensland fast bowler said planning for the World Cup in Australia next year could wait.
"We'll start thinking about that tomorrow. We are just going to enjoy the moment. For them to achieve this is a great thing for us and for the nation."
PNG were facing disaster as they slipped to 19-6 in four overs but Norman Vanua led the recovery, clubbing 54 from 48 balls and sharing a seventh wicket partnership of 77 with Ses Bau.
Kenya needed to reach the target of 118 in 12 overs to have any chance of qualifying for the play-offs but the batsmen were unable to get out of first gear.
Opener Irfan Karim was the only person to hit a boundary and top-scored with 29 as Kenya slid to 73 all out. Nosaina Pokana was the most successful of the PNG bowlers with 3-21.
The six teams finishing highest in the Dubai qualifying tournament will join Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first group stage of the World Cup in October 2020.