USA eliminated despite 18-run win

Unites States of America 147-6 (Standford 40*, Dodson 38, Amini 2-20) beat Papua New Guinea 129-9 (Bau 26, Ghous 2-27) by 18 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Fahad Babar and Akeem Dodson's 65-run opening stand in 48 balls - their best partnership of the tournament - followed by an unbeaten 40 by Nicholas Standford knocked off Papua New Guinea by 18 runs in the last Group A match at Malahide. PNG's second straight loss denied them an automatic berth reserved for the first-placed team in the group and they slipped down to fourth after Hong Kong's victory over Namibia, while Ireland secured their spot in the 2016 World T20.

PNG captain Jack Vare sent USA in to bat, but a tired bowling attack - playing their third match in as many days - did not respond to the decision, and USA reached 56 in the Powerplay, setting a platform for their score of 147. Babar crunched three boundaries off Norman Vanua in the fifth over and Dodson pulled two boundaries past fine leg and a six over square leg in the sixth, bowled by Willie Gavera.

Playing just his second match of the tournament, Chad Soper finally broke the stand in the eighth over, getting Babar to spoon a catch to Assad Vala at cover for 30. Dodson was lbw for 38 three overs later playing down the wrong line to Mahuru Dai's offspin.

The innings slowed down as PNG's spinners tied down Alex Amsterdam. With pressure building, Japen Patel tried to increase the run rate but was bowled by Charles Amini for 20. Adil Bhatti, promoted ahead of Standford, was dismissed for 1, leaving USA at 102 for 4 in the 17th over.

Standford - who was awarded Man of the Match against Hong Kong on Saturday for an unbeaten 40 - faced 17 of the 23 deliveries left in the innings but was fortunate to survive two chances in a chaotic 18th over. A skied chance on 11 was spilled by a diving Vala running from cover to mid-off. Amsterdam fell on the next ball for 13 caught at short third man after slicing a drive.

The following delivery, Standford got a waist high full toss from the legspinner Amini which he pulled to long-on for an easy catch but a no-ball was signaled for height. Standford blasted the free-hit over extra cover, then followed it up with two more fours over square leg and point to end an 18-run over.

Naseer Jamali sacrificed himself after a calamitous mix-up at the end of the 19th over, allowing Standford to remain at the crease for the final over. He struck two more fours, a thin edge past the keeper and a scoop over fine-leg, to take USA to a defendable total.

During the innings break, the public address announcer at Malahide had announced that Hong Kong made 197 at Clontarf against Namibia, effectively killing any hopes USA had of going through to the knockout stage. Despite this information, USA produced a spirited effort in the field. Jamali struck the first blow, getting Tony Ura to slash to Hammad Shahid at third man.

USA captain Muhammad Ghous produced his best bowling performance of the tournament, beating Lega Siaka in flight off his second delivery. Two overs later, he had Vala splicing a tame drive to Timil Patel at cover to leave PNG struggling at 21 for 3 in the fourth over. Shahid continued to apply pressure and snared Vare with a yorker to leave PNG at 42 for 4.

Bhatti had Sese Bau caught at long-off in the 12th over before Timil claimed the next two wickets. Kila Pala was bowled attempting a heave while Dai picked out Shahid at long-on to make it 115 for 7 after 17.

Two run outs accounted for wickets eight and nine and PNG went into the last over needing 27. Shahid gave away only eight runs, clinching the win for his side.

Timil finished the group stage as USA's leading wicket-taker and tied for third overall with 10 wickets. USA's back-to-back wins against a pair of top-six ODI Associate nations showed the abundance of talent available in the country but unfortunately, it was too little too late.