Sport: Ura century not enough for PNG

1:55 pm on 7 March 2018

Papua New Guinea's opener Tony Ura has all but carried his side to victory in scoring 151 against Ireland at the World Cup Cricket Qualifiers in Zimbabwe

Ura's innings wasn't quite enough though as the Irish secured the winning runs in the last over of the match to take it by four wickets.

Tony Ura nearly carried his bat, scoring 151 before being dismissed in the 50th over

Tony Ura nearly carried his bat, scoring 151 before being dismissed in the 50th over Photo: PNG Cricket

PNG assistant coach John Ovia said Ura's performance was just about concentrating on the basics well.

"The plan was just to play simple cricket. To hit the ball into the gaps and it has worked out for him," he said.

Earlier Ireland had won the toss and chose to bowl, dismantling PNG early from one end, reducing them to 116 for 7.

But Ura hung tough, not being dismissed until the third ball of the 50th over.

John Ovia said the opener showed great fighting spirit.

"The way he was batting, it is about hitting the balls and digging deep and staying long until the 50th over," Ovia said.

"What he has done is like a miracle for us. Fighting is what we we want to see from the players."

Ura's innings made up more than 64 percent of his side's 235 total.

Ovia said if Ura had more support than PNG could have won.

"Our score, we were looking at 260-270, if some of the batters like Tony, apart from this guy, if they scored 30 or 40 then we should be like 270.

"Because we have the guys who can fight and who can bowl according to plans and all this stuff," Ovia said.

Ireland's successful chase was built around a century from captain William Porterfield and a half-century from Ed Joyce.

PNG captain Assad Vala was the pick of his team's bowlers, bagging two wickets for 39 runs off his ten overs.

PNG's next game is tomorrow night against the West Indies.

Ireland defeated PNG by 4 wickets despite a Tony Ura 151

Ireland defeated PNG by 4 wickets despite a Tony Ura 151 Photo: icc cricket

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