Papua New Guinea 127 for 5 (Vala 37, Bau 34*, van der Merwe 2-27) beat Netherlands 126 for 7 (van der Gugten 40*, Amini 2-34) by five wickets
It was classic Papua New Guinea cricket: Field the daylights out and run like demons between the wickets to outwork a more celebrated opponent. These staples became all the more impressive in the oppressive desert heat as they knocked off the previously undefeated Netherlands by five wickets chasing a target of 127 with an over to spare.
The Dutch top-order struggled to produce runs for the second match in a row, dismantled by the disciplined medium pace and spin bowling from PNG backed up by relentless fielding. Tobias Visee fell in the third over, skying a slower ball to mid-on off Nosaina Pokana for 12. His opening partner Max O'Dowd also failed to clear mid-on in the fifth, caught on the ring for 13.
Hard to judge from a distance. But from @PeterDellaPenna tweets it seems Holland were out cricketed today. PNG do all the basics so well, on paper Holland should win, but it just shows what energy, discipline, simple plans, good fielding and running between the wickets can do.— Peter Borren (@dutchiepdb) October 24, 2019
Man of the Match Sese Bau got his day rolling early inducing a soft chip back from Ben Cooper on the last ball of the Powerplay to make it 37 for 3. But Bau had an even bigger moment three overs later when he ran out Ryan ten Doeschate, who scratched around for 3 off 8 balls and tried to get off strike nudging to backward point only for Bau to pounce and send him back with an underhand flick direct hit after Colin Ackermann turned down the run from the non-striker's end.
Ackermann skied a flick off Riley Hekure's medium pace to short third man for the fifth wicket before Lega Siaka took an outstanding tumbling catch charging in from deep midwicket to give Charles Amini his first, claiming Roelof van der Merwe. Amini struck again in his next over when Scott Edwards succumbed to a top-edged sweep that caromed off his arm and lobbed up for an easy catch by Kiplin Doriga moving from behind the stumps to forward short leg.
At 74 for 7, Netherlands produced a stirring late rally from Timm van der Gugten. The new father struck three sixes in the last three overs over long-off, deep midwicket and long-on in a brisk 40 not out off 21 balls, doing the bulk of the work in a 52-run partnership with captain Pieter Seelaar to end the innings.
But PNG's opening stand showed how far below par the total was. Assad Vala and Tony Ura added 47, aided by some atrocious Netherlands fielding which carried on all the way through the chase. Ura was dropped on 14 in the fifth over hooking Paul van Meekeren to deep backward square where ten Doeschate put down a chance on the run. Ura finally fell for 23 in the eighth, skying a drive off Ackermann to van der Gugten at long-off. Siaka fell for a golden duck next over to make it 50 for 2 prodding down the wrong line of an arm ball from van der Merwe.
But Amini and Vala continued to forge ahead, showing no mercy as they milked singles and twos at will on Dutch fielders who were always a step slow. Van der Gugten kept Netherlands in it striking on his first ball of a new spell in the 13th to get Vala for 38. Bau replaced him and ran even harder between the wickets with Amini as the pair triggered more misfields along the ground. Van der Merwe came up with the last good bit of Dutch fielding with a direct hit at the non-striker's end from midwicket to nail Amini for 17.
Bau started to put the final nails in the coffin in the 18th by slicing Brandon Glover to third man where Visee misfielded to turn a single into four, then drove down the ground for another boundary. A pull in the 19th to deep square leg was spilled into the boundary by Ackermann to level the scores before the match appropriately ended on another misfield by van Meekeren at mid-off for the winning single. PNG now top Group A, equal on points with Netherlands but with a massive net run-rate advantage.