Papua New Guinea 203 for 6 (Amini 61*, Morea 54, Irfan 3-51) beat Hong Kong 202 (Atkinson 59, Aizaz 42) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Half-centuries from Charles Amini and Vani Morea revived a flagging Papua New Guinea innings to ensure they won their debut ODI in Townsville. They had been 76 for 5 in the 17th over against Hong Kong, who could not push their advantage any further and the target of 203 was achieved with 10 overs to spare.
Amini was the aggressor and displayed a range of strokes, including a left-handed helicopter shot that skimmed to the long-on boundary and a controlled straight drive to reach his fifty off only 53 balls. Morea was happy to be circumspect at the other end, but he did hit belt a six off Nadeem Ahmed in the 37th over. Their partnership accounted for 91 runs and left a patchy start behind them. Papua New Guinea's top order had been brisk, they had made 67 runs by the 13th over but had lost three wickets in the process. The wobble was furthered with seamer Irfan Ahmed picking up two wickets in two overs.
Jamie Atkinson, the Hong Kong captain, might have envisioned a victory, especially after he had held the batting together with an 79-ball 59. His team had slumped around him to be 98 for 6 before No. 8 Aizaz Khan struck 42 off 62 balls and No. 9 Haseeb Amjad contributed 35 off 38 to help eat up as much of their full quota as possible. Amini, though, would not let them have that consolation as his 2 for 29 helped finish the tail off.
"I'm over the moon, I'm speechless," Amini said. "After Vani got out I told myself I have to pass the score. I'm proud of the achievement so far, that's one out of two. We want to make it two out of two tomorrow."
PNG coach and former New Zealand offspinner Dipak Patel was delighted with his team's effort. "I look back at some of the great victories I've been a part of and it brings back a lot of memories," Patel said. "This is totally different as a coach as you have different emotions but I'm just so pleased for the guys. They've worked particularly hard over the last two or three months and we've changed a lot. At times they've sort of looked at me sideways asking me where I was coming from, but today they summed it up and it was a great team effort."