Barras start SACA tour


THE Hebou Papua New Guinea Barramundis arrived in Darwin, Australia last Wednesday ahead of their South Australian Premier League campaign.
Following a disappointing Maroochydore tour earlier this month where they lost 50-over matches against three Australian State teams — Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland — PNG are hoping to improve their performance in the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) League campaign.
Cricket PNG high performance manager and former captain for the Barramundis, Rarua Dikana, commented on the busy schedule for the national men’s cricket team,
“The Maroochydore tour was the first time we’ve played any state sides and it was a good experience for the boys,” Dikana said.
“Our boys were bowled out cheaply against Tasmania and Queensland but they performed well with the bat and ball when Western Australia posted 322 runs for the boys to chase — the boys almost chased down the target after being bowled out for 307.”
Following a week’s break back home, the Barramundis returned to Australia for the fourth edition of the SACA league, now known as the West End Redbacks League, and will spend the next month playing 50 over and two-day matches.
“The boys will be on the road a lot and are involved in a lot of international and quality cricket.
“It helps the development in the game of cricket and the programmes that we are putting forward for the boys is living the life of true professional cricketers,” Dikana said.
“The SACA League will be a good lead-up for the boys as they prepare to play Namibia next month here on home soil in fourth round of the ICC World Cricket Championship, which is an important fixture for the boys as the World Cricket League and Intercontinental Cup matches are the ranking tournaments,” Dikana added.
He said that the Barramundis were working hard towards improving their stats to maintain their high performance and PNG’s ODI status.
The SACA League will feature four teams from South Australia —the Northern Mavericks, Southern Force, Eastern Edge and Western Grit, including the Barramundis and Northern Territory.
The Barramundis started their SACA campaign on Saturday at the Marara Cricket Ground against South Australia’s Southern Force.
Fixtures: Sat, Sept 17 – PNG v Southern Force; Sun, Sept – PNG v Northern Mavericks; 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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