THE Papua New Guinea Garamuts have bowed out of the ICC U19 World Cup with a two-wicket loss against Canada in the Plate runners-up final yesterday.
In a contest befitting a final and the even match-up of closely ranked teams, the match was played in outstanding spirit and a true contest right to the end.
The Garamuts are now officially ranked 12th in the world and will hold this ranking till the next Under 19 World Cup in Canada in 2012.
The Garamuts got off to a great start in their innings with Lega Tau (30) and Heni Siaka putting on an opening partnership of 55 in 20.3 overs.
Although a little slow it was a strong foundation for the team to post a strong score and Heni Siaka and Charles Amini (1) pushed the total to 2/80 before Amini was dismissed and disaster struck with the Garamuts being reduced to 6/97 in the space of five overs.
The next wicket then fell at the 34th over mark with Tony Ura (15) out for a leg before wicket and the Garamuts needed the tail to wag.
Steven Eno (9) and Johnathan Diho (17) steadied the ship a bit and the Garamuts limped to 10/145 off 47 overs.
Canada bowled six spinners for 37 of the 47 overs on a turning wicket and it was obvious that they had scouted the Garamuts obvious weakness against spin bowling.
With six overs to be bowled before lunch the Garamuts struck in the first and third over, both times through Raymond Haoda Jnr to have Canada under pressure at 2/10 at lunch.
After the restart the Garamuts continued to fight hard and had Canada 3/26, then 4/51 off 15.
Canada then staged a mini fight back through a partnership of 40 off 11 overs to start taking control which saw the Garamuts make a final assault however dropped catches and missed run-outs had some impact. Canada was pulled back to 8/138 needing 8 to win off 17 balls.
The Garamuts then restricted Canada to four runs off 11 balls through Siaka and Timothy Mou leaving Canada four to win off one over.
Unfortunately this was achieved when their eight batsman skied a ball right out to the boundary and another dropped catch resulted in the winning runs being scored.
A gut wrenching way to end it for the Garamuts and the tale of the match was bat out your overs and hold your catches, the two things that would have seen them victorious.