Playing the PNG way

The spirit that Papua New Guinea showed was refreshing and lit up the 2021 T20 World Cup. Papua New Guinea were never expected to win even a single match in the qualifying round of the T20 world cup. The spirit stands out In fact, it was a pleasant surprise for the cricket lovers that the team managed to qualify for the showpiece event alongside the likes of Scotland, Bangladesh, Oman, Sri Lanka, Namibia, Ireland and Netherlands who with due respect are better teams then Papua New Guinea. As expected, the team suffered defeats in all the three matches of the competition, losing to Scotland, Bangladesh and Oman by big margins. However, the spirit and the competitiveness with which they played their cricket touched one and all. A bumpy start PNG captain Assad Vala said this after the team lost their first match to Oman by 10 wickets: "It wasn't a good start, and losing two wickets for no runs wasn't great. It was disappointing to collapse after the partnership and we couldn't pick up wickets either, so they deserved the win. 160 was par and it would have given us a chance to win. The middle order could have given us a good chance but we didn't do well, and they picked up crucial wickets at the time." PNG bowed out of the tournament following two more defeats after that. PNG lost to Oman and also lost their fixture against Scotland by 17 runs and against Bangladesh by 84 runs. Failed to open account This is what a very disappointed captain Assad Vala had to say after the team was knocked out of the tournament, failing to win even one of the three matches in the qualifying stage of the 2021 T20 World Cup. "They got some real momentum towards the end and that was crucial. We did well until then but losing so many wickets in the powerplay wasn't great either, we didn't find a way to play those situations, probably goes to show the need for confidence - but we'll learn from this and will get better in the future. We have learnt a lot from this tournament, executing under pressure against quality teams is one takeaway, we haven't been good enough there. We haven't played at this level, but the good thing is we'll go back from this and try and get better in the future."