This was a make or break match for Ireland following the disappointment -v- Denmark. It was simply win or go home. It was, in fact, an easy win with 18 overs to spare. PNG decided to bat, were 28 for three, advanced to 98 for four and collapsed to 146 all out in 45 overs. P.N.G. then dropped three catches, all involving Curry, and their ground fielding was sloppy.
The ground at Ross Lord is picturesque and the pitch was hard and dry and pretty good. The sun shone all day. Ireland left out Mark Patterson, Mooney and Molins. Back came Eagleson, Dwyer and White although the latter neither batted nor bowled.
The last ball of the first over (Eagleson) produced a wicket. Iga lobbed to cover pushing forward. 1-1-0. Eagleson's second over produced four wides and a boundary to Uda off the last ball. McCoubrey was snicked for four by Brazier but bowled him in his next over with a ball that kept low. 17-2-5. Uda and Ovia put on 11 in six overs all in singles. Dwyer replaced Eagleson but it was McCoubrey who took the third wicket in the 12th over. Ovia was caught low at first slip by Curry. 28-3-5.
Dikana joined Uda and the latter seemed to give Curry a low chance to his left at slip off Dwyer. McCoubrey bowled seven overs and had two for 12. Eagleson replaced him for two overs. After 20 overs the score was only 47. McCallan came on and Dikana hit a six over mid-wicket but was caught at the wicket, at the second attempt, four balls later. 59-4-12. Noka joined Uda in the best stand of the innings, 39 in 10 overs. Uda hit Dwyer for a six over long-on but Dwyer bowled his 10 overs for 26 and that included the six and two fours. Curry and Heasley took up the bowling and Heasley, fifteen overs later, was about to have the bowling day of his life. In his second over (32nd) he had Uda lbw pushing forward and it did look a little high. 98-5-43. Uda had played well for his 99 ball innings.
The left handed Maha came in but lost Noka in Heasley's next over, to another lbw. 101-6-23. Newcomer Raka gave Heasley his third wicket in successive overs. He skied a very high catch to Ed Joyce at gully. 105-7-2. Another left hander, Vuivagi, was next. In five overs 18 were put on. Then Curry joined the wicket takers. Vuivagi looped a ball to Heasley at gully while trying to drive. Heasley was taken off after six overs (three for 19), and was replaced by McCoubrey who bowled two overs. In one Maha hit two fours, and Keimelo pulled Curry for six over mid-wicket.
Heasley was restored for the 45th over at the end opposite to that at which he took his three wickets. He finished the innings with the fifth and sixth balls of the over. Keimelo started the over with his second six, this over long-on. Maha faced the fifth ball which he skied towards fine leg. McCoubrey, running hard to his left caught a most brilliant catch two handed. Keimelo hit the next ball straight to Eagleson at long-off.
Heasley had brought off a difficult feat (McCallan had done so once before) of taking five wickets (for 25) in a limited overs match - and he only required seven overs to do so.
All the bowlers did well and only Dwyer, of the six used, did not take a wicket. In fact Dwyer in eight matches in 2001, has only two wickets for 208 runs but his economy rate is only three per over.
Just before 3.00 p.m. Curry and Davy started for Ireland with two medium pacers bowling, Raka, right arm, and Gaudi, left arm. The first ball nearly brought disaster. Curry refused a bad run when Davy had played on the off side. The throw was wild and a run was taken on the overthrow. Curry, when five, was dropped at slip off Raka. Davy did not benefit by his first ball escape. He had a rash drive at a wide ball from Gaudi in the sixth over and was caught at first slip. 19-1-8.
Dom Joyce joined Curry and no more wickets fell. In 26.3 overs 130 were put on to win the match. Joyce started with three fours in his first 17 runs, one a lucky snick along the ground. 50 came up in 12 overs. P.N.G. tried six bowlers, the best being the medium paced Keimelo who bowled six overs for 20. Curry was dropped again in the 29th over at 65. He skied very high to cover who never looked like making the catch. At the time Curry was 31 and had faced 62 balls without hitting a boundary. He actually extended that and hit his first four in over 22 on his 74th ball. This must be a Curry record!
Having hit no boundary in his first 73 balls he now proceeded to hit three sixes and four fours in the remaining 42 balls he faced carrying his score from 43 to 95! Curry's 50 (81 balls) came in over 24. After 20 overs the score was 72 and 100 arrived in over 26. Curry dominated the strike in this stand with Joyce. He faced 96 balls to Joyce's 63. Curry hit a six to long-on in over 28 and a massive straight six in over 31. Next ball he was dropped at long-off the ball going for four.
Finally, with five required in over 33, Curry hit his third six over the sight screen. His 95 was from 115 balls, 3 x 6, 4 x 4. Joyce played second fiddle, but still supported well with 38 off 63 balls, with many very swift singles.
Ireland finished third in the Section behind Denmark and USA, who both carry forward four points by virtue of two wins against the top four teams. Ireland carry forward only two points, beating Bermuda and losing to USA and Denmark. The fourth team, Bermuda had to play off -v-Namibia (top of one Junior Section) and they lost.
Ireland's first ever match in the ICC Trophy was -v- Papua New Guinea in Nairobi in 1994. Curry was Ireland's sole survivor while P Raka and T Gaudi played in that match for Papua New Guinea.