Following a comprehensive defeat in the first match on Friday, the Barras hopes of making the World Cup Qualifiers were looking tenuous particularly with other nations on the march to secure a top 4 finish. Chasing 279 on an ideal batting pitch, the Barramundi batsmen were their own worst enemies losing their wickets to poor decisions resulting in an eventual 101 run defeat.
Faced with once again succumbing at the final hurdle, the PNG bowlers managed to restrict Scotland to 203 with a far more polished bowling an fielding display in the second match. In reply and in a worrying trend for PNG, the Barramundi top order again faltered to leave the match in the balance at 5/130 before Mahuru Dai’s 63 guided PNG to victory. Dai batted with aplomb and conviction and with no fear his 54 ball knock including 10 adventurous boundaries. Fortune favoured the brave and Dai again reiterated what a valuable commodity he is in the Barra line-up backing up his 2/19 bowling exhibition with one of his important innings for his country.
The win elevated PNG above Scotland to 2nd in the World Cricket League, two points behind The Netherlands with one round remaining. PNG can be reasonably assured of their spot in the top 4 with only an outside chance of results going against them in the remaining games. They will also relish the prospect of what awaits the winner of the World Cricket League – a spot in the ICC ODI league against the 12 test playing countries and substantial financial rewards as a consequence. The equation for the Barramundis is simple – defeat Hong Kong in Dubai in the final round and hope that the Netherlands falters against Namibia.
Irrespective of what transpires in Dubai in December, the Barramundis can take comfort that a spot in the qualifiers against the likes of West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan is assured with the final prize being a spot in England and Ireland for the 2019 world cup.