The PNG side went down to the more expierenced Netherlands in the final in the early hours of Sunday morning Port Moresby time.
After already securing their T20 World Cup participation in Australia next next year, they entered the Qualifier finals series, looking to prove themselves further and leave Dubai as the trophy holders. They faced the powerful Namibian side in the semi-final on Saturday, who easily accounted for Pool B runners up Oman in their play off final, forcing Oman into sudden death against Hong Kong for the final World Cup spot.
The Barramundis, who needed to control the emotions of Qualifying in the previous round, won the toss and elected to bat, setting a respectable total of 5/130 on a difficult batting wicket. After losing the top order early, CJ Amini 31 (28) and Sese Bau 40 (38) put on a 4th wicket 50 run partnership with Norman Vanua adding some valuable runs 20* (13) at the death to reach what they considered a defendable target.
Namibian Opener Stephan Baard 34 (40) got his team off on a good start despite losing his partner Davin 0 (2) in the second over bowled by Jason Kila.
He combined with JP Kotze 30 (27) to have Namibia on track for the chase before the reintroduction of Ravu, who picked up Baard caught and Bowled and changed the momentum in the game. Assad then bowled himself and CJ Amini to strangle the Namibian run rate before Norman Vanua came back for the death bowling in a player of the match performance, taking 2/16 (4) to ice the game and see the Namibians finish 18 runs short on 5/112.
The Barras then got to play in their first ever ICC global final against a red hot Netherlands side who had knocked over Pool B winners Ireland, their only defeat in the tournament was to PNG in the pool games.The well led Dutch side had done their homework with tatical changes in their selected side and fielding placements put the blowtorch to our top order batting first.
The Barras quickly found themselves in trouble at 3/30 after the first 6 power play overs, with the Dutch bowlers hitting their marks and the close in ring fielders giving nothing away. Siaka looked comfortable playing some superb shots in his 39 (41) before swiping across the line and being bowled by van Der Merwe trying to lift the run rate. All batsmen struggled with timing on a two paced pitch Sese Bau again fared well with 29 (29) and Jason Kila 27* (11) with a powerful last over, including two sixes and two fours got PNG’s total to 128/8. This was probably 20 runs short of a good score on this pitch but with the bowling unit in good form they went out with some confidence they could defend the lowish total.
The vastly experienced Netherlands line up came out with intent, Ben Cooper 41 (33) and Colin Ackermann 29 *(33) kept thre required run rate in check with controlled hitting and hard running.Damien Ravu who picked up Cooper to a fine catch from Lega Siaka on the boundary, again bowled well with Assad Vala with his usual economic bowling 0/15 (4) including 14 dot balls made sure PNG took the game deep.
However,with victory in sight, the Netherlands’ most expierenced player, Ryan ten Doeschate, hit the winning runs on the last ball of the 19th over to give the Netherlands their third Global Qualifier Total. Brandon Glover picked up player of the final with a fine spell of fast bowling 3/24 (4) and Gerhard Erasmus of Namibia was awarded player of the tournament for his fine all round performances.
The Barramundis won 7 of 9 games in the tournament, their one pool game loss to Scotland by a mere four runs, in a very successful tournament. They will return to Jackson’s Airport Port Moresby today (Monday 12.30pm) as history makers.
“T20 World Cup berth secured, we encourage all supporters to give them the welcome and accolades they deserve!”
(The two finalist teams post-match; both will be in Australia next year to compete in the ICC T20 World Cup)