Papua New Guinea secures first-ever World T20 qualification, Ireland also through

Papua New Guined pipped Netherlands to top Group A of the ICC Mens T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 and qualify for the men's World T20 for the first time.

Papua New Guinea won five of its six group matches of the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers, with its only loss coming against Scotland in Abu Dhabi.   -  T20 World Cup

Papua New Guinea will make its first ever appearance at a World Cup after beating Kenya in Dubai on Sunday to book its place at next year's T20 World Cup.

PNG hammered Kenya by 45 runs at Dubai International Stadium but had to wait for the result of the Netherlands' game against Scotland before it could celebrate its automatic qualification for the tournament in Australia next year.

The Dutch beat Scotland by four wickets but failed to knock off the 131 they needed for victory in 12.3 overs which meant that PNG topped the group with a higher net run rate.

“I am feeling a little emotional,” PNG's Australian coach Joe Dawes told the ICC. “It's been a pretty big two years, for them to achieve this is pretty special.”

The former Queensland fast bowler said planning for the World Cup in Australia next year could wait.

“We'll start thinking about that tomorrow. We are just going to enjoy the moment. For them to achieve this is a great thing for us and for the nation.”

PNG was facing disaster as it slipped to 19-6 in four overs but Norman Vanua led the recovery, clubbing 54 from 48 balls and sharing a seventh wicket partnership of 77 with Ses Bau.

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Kenya needed to reach the target of 118 in 12 overs to have any chance of qualifying for the play-offs but the batsmen were unable to get out of first gear.

Opener Irfan Karim was the only person to hit a boundary and top-scored with 29 as Kenya slid to 73 all out. Nosaina Pokana was the most successful of the PNG bowlers with 3-21.

The six teams finishing highest in the Dubai qualifying tournament will join Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first group stage of the World Cup in October 2020.

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