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USA’s first One Day International in 15 years has ended in defeat as Papua New Guinea bagged third place with an impressive five-wicket victory.

Bowling first after winning the toss, PNG made early inroads with opening bowler Nosaina Pokana taking the early wickets of Xavier Marshall (11) and Steven Taylor, the latter trapped LBW first ball.

Team USA’s middle order struggled as Norman Vanua (4/37) took charge, though Monank Patel and Hayden Walsh steadied the ship before Timil Patel (50 not out), who made USA’s first-ever half-century in a ODI, helped the United States to 164 all out from 43.4 overs.

There were early wickets from Ali Khan, who ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker, as well as Saurabh Netravalkar before Timil Patel got in on the act and there was also a maiden ODI wicket in a fiery spell from Jessy Singh.

But despite these wickets, the PNG chase was in good shape when PNG took drinks at 144 for five, with Lega Siaka (62) top-scoring thanks to an innings that featured nine fours and a six.

Solid USA bowling had PNG on the back foot with wickets shared around but a 12-ball 28 from Vanua wrapped up the game, striking three sixes in the 33rd over to seal the five-wicket win.

PNG Head Coach, Joe Dawes said: “It is nice to finish third, which probably after a couple games we didn’t think we would do. We came here to get our ODI status back and we achieved that, at the end of the day it has been very successful and we have really enjoyed it. There is going to be stability for all the teams in League 2, we are going to have regular cricket for the next two and half years and we are looking forward to having that.”

USA Head Coach, Pubudu Dassanayake said: “We worked very hard to get this ODI status and we are all very happy we have got it. As a first time coming into this level, it is hard to keep consistency, but we had enough, disappointed we couldn’t win the last game, but overall we are happy. It will be great to have two and half years of high quality cricket and we can improve our structures, as well as the younger and these national players getting to the next level.”

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