T20 WC: "Gifting four run-outs not acceptable...": PNG skipper Assad after loss to Afghanistan

Tarouba [Trinidad and Tobago], June 14 (ANI): Following his side’s crushing seven-wicket loss to Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea skipper Assad Vala lauded the opponent’s bowling line-up while adding that gifting them with four run-outs was not acceptable.

A magnificent three-wicket haul by pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi and a fine knock by Gulbadin Naib powered Afghanistan to a seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in their ICC T20 World Cup match at Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Assad said, "They are a really good bowling unit but gifting them four runouts was not acceptable. It has been challenging not just for us but for every team (batting on these pitches). We spoke about giving ourselves time and then launching later, something we learned from yesterday’s game but they bowled really well. We have not put enough runs on the board for them to defend. The bowling department has been really good. We created some opportunities but could not hold on to those chances. We do not face this type of bowlers at the associate level and it is a challenge."Coming to the match, Afghanistan won the toss and put PNG to bowl first. PNG kept losing wickets at regular intervals, with Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/16) and Naveen ul Haq (2/4) firing all cylinders in the first half of the innings. Though wicketkeeper-batter Kiplin Doriga (27 in 32 balls, with two fours) played a fighting knock, PNG was restricted to 95 runs in 19.5 overs.

In the run-chase of 96 runs, Afghanistan lost their openers early and was reduced to 22/2. A partnership of 33 runs between Gulbadin Naib (49 in 36 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes) and Azmatullah Omarzai (13 in 18 balls, with a four) and a 46-run partnership between Naib and Mohammed Nabi (16 in 23 balls, with a four) helped Afghanistan reach the winning total in 15.1 overs.

Farooqi took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

With this win, Afghanistan have made it three wins in three matches and reached the Super Eights stage along with West Indies. Also, New Zealand, who have lost to Afghanistan and WI so far, have crashed out from the tournament. (ANI)