THE PNG Under-19 cricket team – the Garamuts – made a winning start at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup qualifiers on Monday, in Toronto, Canada, with an impressive four-wicket victory over Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s mainstay Irfan Ahmed rattled off a scintillating 88 runs and virtually held the Hong Kong innings together as they ran aground to be 160 all out in the first innings with only two players making double figures.
Garamuts’ paceman Raymond Haoda Junior took 5-24 in a commanding display.
Tony Ura’s 65 was then instrumental in guiding PNG to a comfortable victory as they reached their target with 9.4 overs to spare.
In other matches, Paul Stirling smashed a magnificent century to inspire Ireland to an opening day victory against The Netherlands.
Stirling hit 102 off 117 balls as Ireland reached an impressive 254 runs for five wickets, before they put in an excellent performance to reduce The Netherlands to 179-9 off 50 overs, with Philip van den Brandeler scoring 85.
Hosts Canada survived an early scare when it crumbled to 106 all out against Uganda, before they responded by bowling out the opposition for 62 all out to record a 44-run victory.
In the other game of the day, the USA (168) defeated Vanuatu (121) by 47 runs.