Garamuts remain focused despite huge loss in warm-up


THE national men’s Under-19 cricket squad remains upbeat despite losing its first warm-up match on Tuesday to United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 249 runs.
Head coach Rodney Maha said a lot of runs were given away to UAE (321/5) in the first 20 overs which they built on to win by a huge margin after bowling Papua New Guinea out for 72. “We are aware that there will be tougher opposition than UAE but our boys have been told to enjoy the experience, learn as much as possible and create chances to play well,” Maha told The National yesterday.
“In the first match, we gave too many runs early with wayward bowling and the UAE batsmen made us pay,” he said of the Emirates’ 300-plus total which was capped off by a brilliant 119 by opener Kai Smith.
“They bat with discipline and patience and worked the ball into the gaps with less risk.
“It was a good first hit out to learn a lot and our boys found out what level of cricket is needed in the World Cup to compete and where we are in our game.
“Our bowlers bowled well in patches but inconsistent lines and lengths gave the opponents easy runs and they executed well.
“In the batting, our boys couldn’t contain the spinners (spin bowlers) as we were not patient enough.
“Batsman Christopher Kilapat did himself proud with our highest individual score,” Maha said of the youngster’s 27 runs off 40 balls.
“His batting was sensible in hitting the ball into gaps very well.
“Kilapat created a good partnership with captain Barnabas Maha but once the skipper left our tail fell very quickly.
“But despite that, we are looking forward to our main fixtures.”
Meanwhile, Garamuts skipper Barnabas Maha told the International Cricket Council media that he was hopeful his side would be better for the experience.
“We were a bit rusty after travelling but we are here to learn and compete,” Maha said.