By HUXLEY LOVAI
RATU Maha’s impressive knock of 68 runs off 53 balls, laid the foundation for Swire Shipping Hood’s four-wicket victory over IBS Poreporena in the Port Moresby Cricket Association A grade final on Saturday.
Maha, the opening batsman for Hoods, played a measured and effective innings, which included nine boundaries and three sixes.
Chasing 118 runs for victory, Hoods reached their target with the loss of six wickets in the 16th over.
Poreporena won the toss and elected to bat, posting 117 runs for the loss of nine wickets from their allotted 20 overs.
Poreporena’s veteran cricketer and former national representative John Ovia, who was playing his last club game, top scored with 39 runs, before being caught off the bowling of Sarufa Morata.
Tom Willie did not waste any time posting 23 runs off 22 balls, before being caught and bowled by Rodney Maha, who put a stop to Willie’s promising start.
The batsmen who followed for Poreporena struggled to reach double figures as the Hoods bowling attack, led by Hitolo Areni (3-25), began to chip away at Poreporena’s batting order.
However the tail did wag for Poreporena as Vagi Boko, whose unbeaten 10 runs, managed to drag his team over the century mark to post a defendable total.
Ultimately, it was Poreporena’s inability to contain Maha’s amazing spell at the crease that cost them the game.
Despite restricting Hoods middle order to single figures with excellent bowling and fielding, the damage was already done.
Hitolo Areni cleared the boundary for six, securing a deserved victory for Hoods since 2002.
In the women’s grand final Poreporena defeated Dulux United by 12 runs. Poreporena scored 90 runs from 20 overs with the loss of six wickets.
In replay, United were all out for 78, as the fielding for Poreporena shone through with five catches.
Three of which were made by Varoi Morea. United struggled to find runs as Poreporena’s bowlers Bede Igua, Brenda Tau and Boio Rei all claimed two wickets each in a commanding performance.
By HUXLEY LOVAI