Australia thrashed Papua New Guinea by 311 runs in their last group game to all but seal their quarterfinal berth in style. PNG’s scorecard looked more like telephone number than a usual scoreboard, as they were folded up for just 59 while chasing an improbable 371.
While the result was never in doubt, PNG would be disappointed after yet another batting debacle saw them ending the group stage with three losses. Australia had all but sealed the fate of the game in their favour by scoring a mammoth 370 for eight with Nathan McSweeney’s brutal 156 leading the charge.
The opening batsman, who was batting for the first time in the tournament, blew away the PNG attack and looked set to eclipse Jakob Bhula’s two-day-old U19 record score of 180. However, shortly after reaching his 150 with another big six, the right-handed batsman ended up playing one in the air which brought an end to his devastating knock which came off just 111 balls. The stunning knock was studded with 18 fours and four sixes.
Australia was off to a poor start after Semo Kamea castled opener Max Bryant for a duck but a mammoth 250-run stand between McSweeney and skipper Jason Sangha, who missed his ton by just 12 runs, set the platform for a big total. Param Uppal then played a quickfire knock of 61 to ensure the three-time champions do not squander the solid platform.
PNG managed to get some quick wickets towards the end, but such was the devastation caused early on that the target always reached out of their hands. And it did not take long for Australia to prove it. After the batsmen’s dazzling show, Jason Ralston’s seven-wicket haul ensured that Australia finish the day on a good note.
PNG never looked in contention to score a decent score let alone getting even close to the total or chasing it down after being reduced to 25 for seven.
A 20-run knock from Leke Morea helped them cross the 50-run mark before they were all out for 59. Ralston finished with stunning figures of seven for 15.
Australia 370 for 8 (McSweeney 156, Sangha 88, James Tau 2-42) beat Papua New Guinea 59 for 10 ( Leke Morea 20, Raltson 7-15) by 311 runs.