Match Report – PNG vs UGA 9th Match, Group C, June 05, 2024

Uganda 78 for 7 (Riazat 33, Miyagi 13, Nao 2-16) beat Papua New Guinea 77 (Hiri 15, Nsubuga 2-4, Miyagi 2-10) by three wickets

A hard-fought three-wicket win gave Uganda their maiden win at the T20 World Cup. They beat Papua New Guinea in a low-scoring game in Guyana where both teams vied for their first win in the competition. PNG’s batting crumbled to 77 all out after being put to bat first, before Uganda, themselves in trouble at 26 for 5, reached home in the 19th over.

Riazat Ali Shah, one of Uganda’s rising stars, used a low backlift in his careful 33 off 56, shepherding the Cranes through the tricky chase, falling just before the milestone moment. PNG were left to rue their poor batting, but they also conceded 15 wide runs, which eased Uganda’s chase.

But the story of the evening was Uganda’s bowling in the first innings, set up by the pair of 43-year-old Frank Nsubuga and 21-year old Juma Miyagi.

Both vindicated their inclusion in this game with superb spells. Nsubuga bowled the most economical spell (min. four overs) in T20 World Cup history, with figures of 4-2-4-2. He also became only the second bowler to bowl 20 dot balls in a T20 World Cup game, after Ajantha Mendis in 2012.

Ugandan pace rocks PNG

Alpesh Ramjani gave Uganda a wicket in the second ball the left-handed Assad Vala played back to the left-arm spinner, who angled the ball from around the wicket and on to the stumps. Miyagi and Cosmas Kyewuta then kept PNG on the backfoot with their pace.

Left-handed Sese Bau couldn’t clear Miyagi over mid-off where Roger Mukasa took a tumbling catch going backwards. Kyewuta then got the big one when Tony Ura, PNG’s highest run-scorer in T20Is, also holed out to Mukasa. Lega Siaka was run out for 12 in the seventh over, trying to take a second run as he felt under pressure playing out dots against the two fast bowlers.

Nsubuga on target

When Nsubuga slid one through Charles Amini’s leg stump in the eleventh over, he became the second-oldest bowler to take a wicket in the T20 World Cup. Nsubuga then had Hiri Hiri lbw although on first view it looked like the batter had come too far down the wicket. The review though went in Uganda’s favour.

Ramjani’s second wicket came when he also trapped Kiplin Doriga lbw for 12. Captain Brian Masaba then got into the act with a topspinner that slipped through Chad Soper’s defences. Miyagi and Kyewuta took the last two wickets, as PNG were bowled out with five balls to spare.

Nao hits back

Alei Nao gave PNG an identical start when he removed Mukasa in the first over for a second duck in as many games. Norman Vanua then removed Robinson Obuya, Uganda’s top scorer from the Afghanistan match, then holed out to mid-on where Assad Vala didn’t have to move to complete the catch.

Nao then had Simon Ssesazi lbw in the third over as PNG slipped to a perilous 6 for 3. Ramjani then struck a nice boundary through the offside as he and Riazat tried to get Uganda out of trouble. Soper, though, got the seam-up delivery to scissor through Ramjani in the sixth over. When PNG captain Vala had Dinesh Nakrani caught and bowled, PNG were on the ascendancy.

Riazat’s calmness prevails

When Uganda were 35 for 5, Amini dropped Riazat when he was on eight. It was an simple chance at point after Riazat had played a false shot, but it turned out to be the turning point in Uganda’s chase. Riazat struck his only boundary in the 11th over when he struck a nice cover drive against Vala.

He added 35 runs for the sixth wicket with Miyagi, but the latter was run out after a mix-up in the 14th over. Riazat kept calm despite the dismissal, though PNG also kept helping them. Bau dropped Kenneth Waiswa on four, although Riazat finally fell in the 18th over. John Kariko took a good catch at third-man, though it was a little too late.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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