The National, Friday July 20th, 2012
AN economical spell of left arm orthodox bowling by PNG’s Jason Kila (3-20 off 9 overs) complemented by a blistering half century from opener Tony Ura (52 off 40 balls) gave the Hebou Barramundis (113-3) the perfect start to the Air Niugini Cricket Supa Series yesterday at Amini Park in Port Moresby.
Played in overcast weather, PNG bowlers made the most of the conditions with their pacemen and slower bowlers dominating Hong Kong in the first 50-over match.
The visitors were bowled out for 109 in 49 overs with opener Warkar Barkat top-scoring with a steady 31.
After Barkat’s dismissal by Kila in the 17th over, the wheels fell off. The next best was Barbar Hayat’s 16 and a useful 14 by No. 11 Karan Shar.
Barramundis top order wasted little time after the break.
Assad Vala hit an unbeaten, if not sedate, 45 while partner Ura sent nine deliveries to the boundary. The pair put on 87 runs for the first wicket which all but sealed Hong Kong’s fate.
First change bowler Afzal Tanwir was the most effective of the visitors’ attack, snaring 3 for 16.
Barramundis middle order faltered with skipper Chris Amini (2) and Chris Kent (3) dismissed cheaply.
Hard-hitting Mahuru Dai (7), who had an impressive day with the ball in the first innings picking up three for 11, scored the winning runs in the 20th over with a six for PNG’s seven-wicket win.
In the other match at the adjacent Colts oval, the Gold Coast XI mirrored PNG’s performance, restricting Singapore to 129 in 42 overs and getting the required 130 runs for the loss of seven wickets.
Gold Coast opener Anderson Robinson hit the highest score of the day with 71 runs coming off 11 boundaries and two 6s.
Teammate Shane Connors’ 31 at No. 8 got the Australians home while Abhiraj Singh took 4-12 off 9 overs for the Singaporeans.
Singapore’s batting card made for interesting reading with five ducks recorded mostly from the top and middle orders.
Pacemen Michael Nesser was responsible for the carnage early on, claiming four wickets for 14 runs.
It was then up to lower order batsman Irfan Nasir (45) and first innings star with the ball Singh (30) to rescue their side from disaster.
Today will see the last limited overs matches before the Twenty/20 tournament begins tomorrow with the finals on Sunday.
PNG face Gold Coast and Hong Kong take on Singapore.
Brief scores: PNG 113-3 (T Ura 52, A Vala 45; A Tanwir 3-16) bt Hong Kong 109 (W Barkat 31; J Kila 3-20, M Dai 3-11). Gold Coast 130-7 (A Robinson 71, S Connors 31; A Singh 4-12) bt Singapore 129 (I Nasir 45, A Singh 30; M Nesser 4-14).