Papua New Guinea has all but exited the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup even after a late-order flurry that just fell short of Scotland’s challenging target on Tuesday night.
Cricket’s underdogs had to both reach and/or clear boundaries from the match’s final four deliveries to win until Chad Soper, who had already hit a four and another six off his 11-ball innings of 16 runs, nicked one through to the keeper.
Scotland were restricted to 9-165 off its 20 overs on the back of left-armer Kabua Morea claiming 4-31 and Soper picking off 3-24.
PNG collapsed to 5-35 in reply inside the first six overs and after the Barramundis had submitted to Oman in the tournament opener for both teams, their next game looked as good as over as the first.
But Norman Vanua stepped to the crease and rescued the innings amid a courageous 47 from 37 balls to get PNG to 8-128.
The desperate Barramundis playing for world-cup survival hit 20 off the next nine deliveries before Soper’s game-closing dismissal handed out their second defeat in Muscat.
PNG could mathematically advance to the Super 12 stage should it thump Test nation Bangladesh and either one of Scotland or Oman are thrashed by the other in its final pool clash.