Papua New Guinea © Getty Images
Papua New Guinea won their second ODI against Hong Kong by three wickets with four balls to spare © Getty Images

Several eyebrows were raised when Papua New Guinea (PNG) were inducted into the world of One-Day Internationals (ODIs). They shocked the world by winning their first two ODIs — an unprecedented history. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at how the other teams had done in their first two matches.

Everyone thought that PNG would be a pushover for Hong Kong — who had managed to go past Bangladesh in the ICC World T20 earlier this year. As Geraint Jones resumed his career (after a decent stint for England) the internet was suddenly flooded with players who have represented two countries in ODIs.

To their credit PNG pulled off a great start to their journey at Townsville, Queensland. After bowling out Hong Kong for 202 they won the match comfortably by four wickets with 66 balls to spare. Leading the way was Charles Amini with a 67-ball 61 not out and figures of 9-0-38-1.

Charles, of course, comes from PNG’s famous Amini clan. Chris Amini, eight years older to Charles and the PNG, also made his debut in the same match. Colin, four years younger to Chris and four years older to Charles, had played for PNG Under-19s. Their father, also called Charles, had played for PNG in the ICC Trophy; and their mother Kune had played for PNG Women, as had their aunt Cheryl (sister of Charles sr).

Hong Kong put up a better show in the second match. Though they were bowled out in the last over, they managed to reach a formidable 261, thanks to Babar Hayat’s 54-ball 55 and an outrageous 20-ball 42 from Haseeb Amjad. This time Lega Siaka scored a 114-ball 109 to set up the chase, which was finished off by Vani Morea (65 not out from 68 balls). Once again PNG won — this time by three wickets with four balls to spare.

In the process PNG became the first team to win their first two ODIs. Australia had won the first ever ODI; New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Bermuda, and Afghanistan had also won their first ODIs; England, Pakistan, West Indies, and Ireland had lost their first ODI, but had bounced back with the second.

India were the first nation to lose both their first two ODIs — a trend usually followed by other countries (East Africa, Sri Lanka, Canada, Bangladesh, South Africa, UAE, Netherlands, Kenya, Scotland, Namibia, Hong Kong, and USA). Below is a complete list — one that features very few victories:

Team

Against

Date

At

Result

Australia

England

5/1/1971

MCG

Won

England

24/8/1972

Old Trafford

Lost

England

Australia

5/1/1971

MCG

Lost

Australia

24/8/1972

Old Trafford

Won

New Zealand

Pakistan

11/2/1973

Christchurch

Won

England

18/7/1973

Swansea

Lost

Pakistan

New Zealand

11/2/1973

Christchurch

Lost

England

31/8/1974

Trent Bridge

Won

West Indies

England

5/9/1973

Headingley

Lost

England

7/9/1973

The Oval

Won

India

England

13/7/1974

Headingley

Lost

England

15/7/1974

The Oval

Lost

East Africa

New Zealand

7/6/1975

Edgbaston

Lost

India

11/6/1975

Headingley

Lost

Sri Lanka

West Indies

7/6/1975

Old Trafford

Lost

Australia

11/6/1975

The Oval

Lost

Canada

Pakistan

9/6/1979

Headingley

Lost

England

13/6/1979

Old Trafford

Lost

Zimbabwe

Australia

9/6/1983

Trent Bridge

Won

India

11/6/1983

Grace Road

Lost

Bangladesh

Pakistan

31/3/1986

Moratuwa

Lost

Sri Lanka

2/4/1986

Kandy

Lost

South Africa

India

10/11/1991

Eden Gardens

Lost

India

12/11/1991

Gwalior

Lost

UAE

India

13/4/1994

Sharjah

Lost

Pakistan

17/4/1994

Sharjah

Lost

Netherlands

New Zealand

17/2/1996

Vadodara

Lost

England

22/2/1996

Peshawar

Lost

Kenya

India

18/2/1996

Cuttack

Lost

Australia

23/2/1996

Visakhapatnam

Lost

Scotland

Australia

16/5/1999

New Road

Lost

Pakistan

20/5/1999

Chester-le-Street

Lost

Namibia

Zimbabwe

10/2/2003

Harare

Lost

Pakistan

16/2/2003

Kimberley

Lost

Hong Kong

Bangladesh

16/7/2004

SSC

Lost

Pakistan

18/7/2004

SSC

Lost

USA

New Zealand

10/9/2004

The Oval

Lost

Australia

13/9/2004

Rose Bowl

Lost

Bermuda

Canada

17/5/2006

Queen’s Park Oval

Won

Zimbabwe

18/5/2006

Queen’s Park Oval

Lost

Ireland

England

13/6/2006

Belfast

Lost

Scotland

5/8/2006

Ayr

Won

Afghanistan

Scotland

19/4/2009

Benoni

Won

Netherlands

30/8/2009

Amstelveen

Lost

Papua New Guinea

Hong Kong

8/11/2014

Townsville

Won

Hong Kong

9/11/2014

Townsville

Won

Thanks to some experiments (and much to the dismay of puritans and statisticians) several other matches have been given ODI status in the past decade. It had started with the solitary Tsunami Appeal match; other inclusions have been six Afro-Asia Cup encounters and the three-match Super Series between Australia and ICC World XI. However, PNG’s record remains untouched:

Team

Against

Date

At

Result

ICC World XI

Asia XI

10/1/2005

MCG

Won

Australia

5/10/2005

Telstra Dome

Lost

Asia XI

ICC World XI

10/1/2005

MCG

Lost

Africa XI

17/8/2005

Centurion

Won

Africa XI

Asia XI

17/8/2005

Centurion

Won

Asia XI

20/8/2005

Durban

Lost

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)