Papua New Guinea 201 (Vala 70, Bau 40, Nadeem 4-50) beat Hong Kong 187 (Wasif 45, Soper 6-41) by 14 runs
In a low-scoring match dominated by the opening bowler from both sides, Chad Soper's career-best 6 for 41 trumped Nadeem Ahmed's 4 for 50 as Papua New Guinea edged past Hong Kong by 14 runs in the second ODI and levelled the three-match series.
PNG opted to bat first at the Mission Road Ground in Mong Kok and were dismissed for 201 in 45.5 overs after left-arm spinner Nadeem scythed through their top-order. Like Nadeem, Soper, too, dismissed the top-three, before adding three more to his tally to bowl Hong Kong out for 187 in 48.1 overs.
PNG's innings was built on two partnerships. First, Assad Vala, their captain, who top scored with 70, added 78 for the fourth wicket with Sese Bau to lift them from 39 for 3. Vala then shared a 43-run sixth-wicket partnership with Mahuru Dai. The association ended with Vala being stumped off Anshuman Rath, the left-arm spinner. He had faced 87 balls and pinged nine fours and two sixes. PNG's innings lasted a further 67 balls after Vala's dismissal, but they could only score 30 runs more.
Rath finished with 3 for 28 in 10 overs. Aizaz Khan took two wickets and Ehsan Khan accounted for last man out Soper.
Hong Kong had a few solid contributions from the middle order, but none of them could stay on to see the team through. Like PNG, Hong Kong could also string together only two partnerships of note. Nizakat Khan (33) and Rath (21) pulled them from 31 for 3 to 80 for 4. Shahid Wasif (45) and Ehsan Khan (27 not out) then joined hands for a 56-run sixth-wicket stand. The chase ended with the dismissal of Nadeem, who was bowled by John Reva, the right-arm medium pacer, for 1.
Vala followed up his 70 with economical figures of 1 for 33 in 10 overs. Dai finished his quota with 2 for 42.
The deciding ODI will take place on Tuesday at the same venue.