Barras set for allcomers


PAPUA New Guinea Barramundis head coach Dipak Patel says his side are ready to take on the Eastern Edge and Western Grit in 50-over matches of the South Australia Cricket Association Premier League competition in Darwin, Northern Territory.
The Hebou-sponsored Barramundis face the Edge tomorrow, and the Grit the following day.
PNG got off to an excellent start, winning their first match against the Southern Force last Saturday, while their second match against the Northern Mavericks was washed out after only 25-overs were bowled.
“The guys are fit and ready to play this weekend,” Patel said.
“They’ve had a good rest with the week off and can’t wait to get back out on the pitch.
“They’d rather be playing than training, to be honest.”
Led by in-form captain Assad Vala, who scored an unbeaten 113 against the Force, Patel said his side were a tough league and would focus on playing good, consistent cricket over the weekend and beyond.
“This batting performance reflects what we should have done against WA in Maroochydore —winning with overs to spare,” Patel said.
“We’ve got Assad, who’s in great form and but he’s not the only one who’s looking good.
“Batsmen Vani Vagi Morea, Tony Ura, who’s just returned from a long stint out, and Lega Siaka are guys we expect to score runs for us.
“It’s all about consistency.”
Before the SACA Premier League, the Barramundis travelled to Maroochydore, Queensland, where they played three Australian state teams in three 50-over matches.
This year’s SACA campaign will see PNG play six 50-over games and a couple of two-day matches over the next three weeks in Darwin and Adelaide, South Australia.
“The squad is travelling well and have trained hard in our preparation for one day cricket.
“Off the field, being away from home and living together we’ve kept ourselves busy. The players like to cook, spend time in the hotel pool, shopping and more importantly, enjoying each other’s company.”
In his first game back for the side, fast bowler Willie Gavera picked up four for 34 off nine overs.
“Having Willie back has been a big boost for the Barras. His presence and experience is vital moving forward,” Patel said.
Fixtures: Sat, Sept 24 –PNG v Eastern Edge; Sun, Sept 25 – PNG v Western Grit; Sun, Oct 2 – PNG v Eastern Edge; Mon, Oct 3 – PNG v Northern Territory; Wed, Oct 5 – PNG v Northern Territory; Sat, Oct 8 – PNG v Western Grit.
PNG Barramundis squad: Assad Vala (c), Vani Vagi Morea, Kiplin Doriga, Lega Siaka, Sese Bau, Mahuru Dai, Dogodo Bau, John Boge Reva, Norman Vanua, Chad Soper, Nosiana Pokana, Jason Kila, Hiri Hiri, Alei Nao.

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