All-round effort by Dai guides Barras to win


PAPUA New Guinea bounced back in style, beating Scotland by five wickets in the second one-day cricket international at Amini Park, Port Moresby, yesterday.
It was all-rounder Mahuru Dai’s, pictured,  63 off 54 balls which brought PNG home, as the Hebou-sponsored Barramundis chased down the target of 204 with two overs to spare.
PNG captain Assad Vala praised his team for showing character to bounce back from a disappointing performance in the first ODI last Friday, where Scotland claimed a resounding 101-run victory.  Thanks to a brilliant century (154) by Scotland’s Calum McLeod.
“We were disappointed with the way we played on Friday, and to come back and play the way we did today especially with the bowling,” Vala said.
“They still had a good start, but I think that the turning point was when Mahuru (Dai) came on with his bowling. He tied them down, as the rest of the bowling attack took advantage of this and bowled them out for 203.
“Scotland are a quality side, and this is our first win against them after playing them five times previously.”
The Barramundis run chase however almost came undone with only one of the top five batsmen posting a score of more than 25.
Vala himself had taken the score to 130 for 5 before handing the reins over to Dai, who came in during the 31st over, and went on a boundary-hitting spree with his unorthodox batting style.
He struck 10 fours, which accounted for two-thirds of his runs. “When I reached 40 runs with the bat, I thought today is my day to bring PNG home.
I am used to playing my unorthodox shoots, playing both on leg and off side. For me there’s no pressure doing that,” Dai said.
“After the loss in the first ODI game on Friday, the team had a discussion on how we could bounce back from that set back.
“We know that we have the ability and skills, but you always have to do the simple things right” Dai said.
After winning the toss Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer once again elected to bat first on another hot and humid day in Port Moresby.
The Barramundis’ bowlers then pegged back the visitors, taking regular wickets triggering a mini collapse had reduced Scotland to 7/167. Cross continued to frustrate the Barramundis’ bowlers to make a magnificent 91 runs before John Boge Reva dismissed him.
Unfortunately for Scotland, the lower order were unable to accelerate the innings, due to some wonderful reverse-swing bowling from Norman Vanua to be eventually all out for 203 in the final over. Dai was the standout bowler, taking an incredible 2-19 off his allotted ten overs.
Match Summary: Scotland 203 (Matthew Cross 91, Kyle Coetzer 22, George Munsey 22; Mahuru Dau 2-19, John Boge Reva 2-35, Norman Vanua 2-36) defeated by PNG 204/5 (Mahuru Dai 63 not out, Assad Vala 49, Tony Ura 25); Alasdair Evans 2-42 , Mark Watt 1-28, Con De Lange 1-28) by five wickets with 12 balls remaining.

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