Barras drop last two but qualify

Normal, Sports

The National – Monday, January 31, 2011

THE Barramundis hopes of finishing the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament undefeated and with the winners’ trophy were dashed by Hong Kong with the home team scoring two consecutive wins over the PNG side.
Even though PNG have qualified for the second divsion, and will play in a tournament in April in the United Arab Emirates, concerns about the Barramundis batting will haunt them until they can put in a complete performance on a consistent basis.
Hong Kong (221) scored a 93-run victory over PNG (128) last Friday in the final round of matches before the finals.
Hong Kong’s 221, led by a solid 68 from No. 3  Hussain Butt, proved too much for the Barramundis batting card with Kila Pala (22) and Tony Ura (21) the top scorers in a dismal team effort with the willow.
Rarua Dikana (3-43) and Hitolo Areni (3-29) continued their good form with the ball but it was with the bat the the Barras really struggled.
In other round five results Oman (6-182) beat Denmark (181) by four wickets while Italy  (6-225) added more misery to an unlucky USA (8-222) also winning by four wickets and ensuring that the Americans finished second last.
The final standings after the regular round matches saw PNG (8) on top followed by Hong Kong (6), Oman (6), Italy (4), USA (4) and Denmark (2).
In the finals on Saturday PNG posted an unconvincing 202 for nine wickets with Ura (51) and Jack Vare (48) providing a great foundation in a 77-run first wicket partnership.
Vare continued the innings-building effort with Chris Amini (60) who all too regularly ran out of partners after he and Vare combined for a 56-run stand for the third wicket.
It went downhill from there with the rest of the middle order failing and  bowler Areni (18) the only other double figure score.
Set a par score Hong Kong (6-207) through 16-year-old Mark Chapman, the star of the run-chase, led his side with an unbeaten 70 to steer the city state to a four-wicket victory over the Barramundis.
Rarua Dikana took 3-40 in another great spell.
In other finals matches, Oman (2-255) secured third spot with a strong batting performance which included an unbeaten 120 from Adnan Ilyas and a chanceless 87 from Vaibhav Wategoankar sewing up an eight-wicket win over Italy (7-251) and Denmark (6-240) scored an 84-run win over a disappointing USA (156).