Bash brings out rivalry


NATIONAL men’s cricket team members took to Port Moresby’s Amini Park on Tuesday for their double-header in the Isuzu Barramundis Twenty-20 Bash with some slight changes to their team line-ups.
The coaching staff, led by national coach Carl Sandri, altered the team lists to change the game dynamics, a luxury afforded in the in-house competition.
Sandri said the reason for the changes was “to essentially try to manipulate the game so we had more contests between the top-ranked batsmen and the top-ranked bowlers, hopefully creating as much competition as we can between the two skill sets”.
The first game saw Legends bat first with their top-six replicating the Barras’ last international match.
Nosaina Pokana removed Ura early, bowled for one, then Damien Ravu had Siaka caught behind for four.
Charles Amini Jr followed out for five and the Legends were struggling against the quicks at 3/21 before Assad Vala and Sese Bau built a 56-run partnership to steady the innings.
Bau fell for 30 as Vala (47) continued in partnership with Doriga (22) with the score at 6/123 at the end of the innings.
The bowling, led by Ravu (2/15) and Alei Nao (2/16), was sharp while Pokana and Riley Hekure finished with one wicket each.
Board 11 opened with Gaudi Toka and Simon Atai but it was Hiri Hiri, batting at three, who took the game to the Legends with 49 runs off just 36 balls.
He had some help from Ainui Ere (16) and Alei Nao (11) but Board fell just five runs short, bowled out on the second ball of the last over.
Sema Kamea bowled well, finishing with 3/25.
Spinners Bau and Amini got two wickets each. With a close loss in the morning game, Board batted with purpose in the afternoon match, racking up 8/163.
Toka carried his bat through the innings with 50 not-out.
Norman Vanua, batting at six, made 40 in an 81-run stand with Toka and Hiri added 18 runs in quick time.
The Legends bowlers shared the wickets with Bau, Vala and Daure Lohia bagging two wickets each, and Kamea and Amini scooping one apiece.
The Legends chase was off to a disasterous start with Vala, caught behind off Pokana, out for a duck.
Tony Ura was dismissed for 16 then Siaka for nine before Amini and Bau came together and changed the course.
Bau lifted the run rate with 29 off just 19 balls while Amini was building into a big score, their partnership was 38.
Amini then put on another 28 runs with Doriga (10).
Amini was composed, although battling cramp, as he controlled the run chase, hitting a boundary with two balls to spare, sealing a five-wicket victory and finishing on 79 not-out.
Board used six bowlers with five getting a wicket each, Hiri — with 1/24 off his four overs — the best.
Sandri said he was pleased with the day’s play.
“We had two good games, with the bowlers probably just getting the better of the batsmen in the first game while we got a cracking run chase in the second,” he said.
“Amini was obviously very good today with his 79 not-out, as was Toka and Vanua, in the first game, Hiri and Vala batted well.
“The bowlers shared the wickets, Bau bowled well in both games and young Sema will get some confidence out of his performance.
“We moved some players around and got the desired contest, all in all it was a productive day’s cricket.”
The tournament continues tomorrow with national men’s and women’s team members competing. All games are live streamed and can be viewed on