Barras in 61-run lead after first day

Normal, Sports

The National, Monday November 23rd, 2015

 PAPUA New Guinea (201/4) took 61-run lead after Day 1 of the Inter-Continental Cup Round 2 match against Afghanistan (144) at Sharjah International Stadium yesterday. 

Afghanistan slumped to 97/5 at lunch thanks to a brilliant opening spell by BSP Barramundis fast bowler Chad Soper. 

The mayhem continued after lunch, with Afghanistan losing regular wickets to be eventually bowled out for 144 inside 40 overs. 

Norman Vanua continued his great form taking 4-36, while Soper (2-27) and Loa Nou (2-37) picked up a couple of each. 

Mohammad Shahzad (29), Ashghar Stanikzai (26), Sharafuddin Ashraf (25) were the main contributors with the bat for the Afghans. 

In reply, PNG slumped to 41/3 and were in danger of being dismissed for a low score. 

Sese Bau (34) and Assad Vala then steadied the innings, putting on a 50-run fourth wicket stand before Bau departed, leaving PNG in a precarious position at 96/4 after 21 overs. 

Mahuru Dai then joined Vala  knocking the Afghanistan bowling attack to all parts of the ground, putting on a classy 105-run partnership, to take PNG out of trouble and into a strong position at 201/4. 

Two late wickets, Vala (62) and Jack Vare (1) pegged back the Barramundis dominance, leaving them at 205/6 at stumps, with Dai (67*) and John Boge Reva (0*) at the crease.