Dominant PNG progress to knockouts with easy win
Papua New Guinea 99 for 2 (Vala 34, Ura 32) beat Nepal 93 (Vala 2-7) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Another limp batting effort by Nepal has left them teetering on the brink of missing the knockout stage as Papua New Guinea produced another swarming display in a dominant eight-wicket win. PNG secured their place in the playoffs next week with a commanding performance - they inserted Nepal and bowled them out for 93 before reaching the target with 35 balls to spare.
PNG set the tone for what was to come early on with the first of three run-outs to claim the wicket of Sagar Pun. The Nepal batsman was short coming back for a third run to the point boundary when Charles Amini's relay to wicketkeeper Jack Vare beat his dive in the third over.
Nepal continued to stay aggressive as Pradeep Airee took on PNG's seamers, with three pulls off Willie Gavera through the leg side boundary to start off the seventh over. Airee was fortunate to survive the second of those on 17 when Lega Siaka spilled a sitter five yards in from the rope in what was PNG's only blemish of the first innings.
Renewed focus came from PNG with the introduction of Mahuru Dai, who struck with his first ball to kick off the eighth over as Gyanendra Malla's attempted sweep deflected off the bottom of his gloves and onto leg stump to make it 48 for 2. Airee fell to end the ninth for 29, swinging across the line to John Reva as a full length ball just kissed off stump halfway up.
Nepal's hopes rested on captain Paras Khadka but he failed for the third match running. This time he fell for 5, driving loosely to Kila Pala at point who took a low diving catch for Dai's second wicket in a spell of 2 for 11 in four overs. Sharad Vesawkar was the only batsman besides the opening pair to reach double-figures, but was the first of two wickets to fall in the 15th, lofting Norman Vanua to mid-off. Dai reappeared three balls later at midwicket as an underhanded strike from point blank range found Bhandari short to make it 79 for 6.
The last four wickets fell for 11 runs with Rajesh Pulami trying to slog into the wind coming from the south and was easily caught 20 yards in from the midwicket rope by Amini off Assad Vala. Basant Regmi was the third run out victim, setting off from the non-striker's end for a run to cover but Vanua's throw to Vare was swift and accurate.
A low full toss from Reva came off the toe of Sompal Kami's bat and floated to Vala at midwicket, before the innings was ended four balls into the 20th over - a thick edge off Vala carried comfortably to short third man. Vala claimed the most economical figures of the innings with his 2 for 7 in 2.4 overs.
Sompal Kami did his best to help Nepal save face in the field, finding Siaka's outside edge off his second ball. His pace bowling partner Karan KC could not tie down the opposite end though, leaking 16 runs in a punishing third over. Regmi started with two leg side wides but on his first legal delivery beat Ura in flight as Bhandari completed the stumping to make it 53 for 2 in the eighth over.
Vala and Pala saw PNG the rest of the way through with an unbroken 46-run stand. Pala ended 22 not out after hitting Khadka for a six over midwicket and another towering blow over the sightscreen to bring scores level at the end of the 15th. Vala ended the match one ball later with a drive over the rope at long off to end with an unbeaten 34 off 44 balls, clinching the Man of the Match award.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna