The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers threw up yet another upset as Papua New Guinea (PNG) cantered to a 10-wicket win over Bermuda in their opening game of the tournament.
The star of the show was right-arm pacer Norman Vanua who picked up a hat-trick in his first over of the match.
Bermuda, put into bat, were in trouble early, losing two wickets in the first two overs. It only got worse from there when the 25-year-old fast bowler picked up three wickets off the final three deliveries of the third over to have them tottering at 11/5.
Skipper Dion Stovell was the first of Vanua’s three victims as he was castled by a pinpoint yorker. Southpaw Kamau Leverock was the next to go, nicking a short delivery through to the keeper.
Deunte Darrell walked out without a helmet to face the fast bowler’s hat-trick ball. PNG skipper Assad Vala saw an opportunity for a double bluff and set the field for a bouncer by putting a fielder at deep square leg. He then signaled for Vanua to bowl a yorker, who delivered the perfect toe crusher to trap the batsman plumb in front of the stumps.
This is the fifth T20I hat-trick in 2019 with Rashid Khan, Lasith Malinga, Mohammad Hasnain and Khawar Ali bagging hat-tricks in the shortest format, earlier this year.
11/2 ➡️ 11/5— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) October 19, 2019
A stunning hat-trick from Norman Vanua laid the platform for a convincing 10 wicket victory for PNG earlier in the day.
How good was that last yorker?! #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Wn0rxLRD7P
Vanua finished with figures of 2.2-1-14-3.
Bermuda were bowled out for 89 in the 18th over and PNG chased the target down in style with 58 deliveries and 10 wickets to spare. Vala was the top scorer for the victors, helping himself to an unbeaten half-century in an easy victory.
Know more about Sport360 Application
India’s ace fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah will remain unavailable for the upcoming T20Is and Tests against Bangladesh in November, due to his treatment for the minor stress fracture in his lower back he suffered in September.
Along with the ongoing Test series against South Africa, the quick bowler will miss the three T20Is and two Tests to be played against Bangladesh and the three ODIs, three T20Is and one Test match to be played against the West Indies.
The Indian team management is being cautious with their prized asset and want to ensure that Bumrah gets adequate rest to be ready for the upcoming tours. India is set to go to New Zealand in February-March for a full-fledged tour before the Indian Premier League starts in March.
The 25-year-old, who is presently undergoing a rehabilitation process, is expected to make his competitive return to international cricket in the ODI series against Australia`that begins on January 14, 2020.
Bumrah has played all the 12 Tests of his fledgling career away from home, picking up 62 wickets at an average of 19.24.
His absence will also provide an opportunity for the fast bowlers on the fringes of the national set-up, ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
India have many promising fast bowlers in the reserve with the likes of Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammad Siraj looking to sneak into the team ahead of senior bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.
Caribbean all-rounder Andre Russell is one of the hottest property in the shorter formats of the game with his ability to change a game with both bat and ball. The West Indies man will be in action in the 2019 edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 League and he believes that the 10-over format could help cricket become part of the Olympics.
“It would be brilliant for cricket to become an Olympic sport and I know all players would love the opportunity of representing their country at an Olympic event,” said the 31-year-old.
Russell has been picked in the Northern Warriors squad in the third season of the Abu Dhabi T10 which will take place in the UAE capital between November 14 and 24.
He observed that the challenge in the T10 format is that a batsman has no time to get his eye in and needs to have a plan against every bowler in the opposition ranks.
“The T10 format is obviously shorter than T20 and batsmen have very less time to get themselves in. You have to really attack and go after the bowling from ball one, ” the Jamaican said.
“As a bowler and a fielding team, you have to really be on your game and plan well as you know the batsmen are looking to take you down every delivery.”
The World T20 winner also expects the Abu Dhabi T10 to gain prominence in the coming years.
“I am sure it will be a box office event. Abu Dhabi is a brilliant place to host the T10. It is a great place to tour as a player with a lot to do away from cricket culturally and the Zayed Sports City Stadium is an excellent stadium with brilliant facilities,” he said.
“Abu Dhabi seems to be attracting a lot of high profile cricket events and I am looking forward to getting over there.”
The eight team T10 League is the first ever internationally approved ten-over league. Kerala Kings are the current defending champions.