Lewas hope to upset Samoa

The National, Thursday July 14th, 2016

THE PAPUA New Guinea Lewas left for Apia, Samoa on Tuesday for the International Cricket, Council (ICC) East Asia Pacific (EAP) Regional Qualifier 2016.
The City Pharmacy Limited-sponsored team’s head coach Rodney Maha said: “I’m satisfied with the training they’ve gone through so far in the past couple of months.”
“I think we have a good chance here with a good team.”
Asked how the team felt going against Samoa on home soil with the host country having defeated PNG in the 2015 Pacific Games to win the gold medal, a confident Maha replied, “I think we’ve definitely learned a lot, and improved since then”.
“It’s, of course, going to be tough going against them on their home soil but if we maintain our focus on the job ahead of us and the preparations we have worked on so far, PNG will definitely put up a fight.”
The disappointment of their Pacific Games  gold medal playoff loss should spur the Lewas on in Apia although captain and experienced veteran Pauke Siaka, pictured, said the focus was on performance while sharing a glimpse inside the teams’ preparations,
“The girls have definitely bonded over the past couple of months during training sessions,” Siaka, who is a middle order batsman, said.
“We know this is going to require a team effort and my job as captain is to lead them by example and through it the best way I can,” she said.
“We also have three debutants from outer regions and it will be their first time travelling and competing internationally.
“The experienced players have encouraged them and we are excited at representing our country in Samoa,” Maha said.
The ICC in its’ official press release yesterday announced the EAP and European Regional Qualifiers to take place this week.
The Europe qualifier will take place in Essex, England featuring the Netherlands and Scotland going head to head from the July 12-15 while the EAP qualifier from July 15-23 will see Samoa, PNG and Japan fight it out on a double round-robin format.
The winners of these two events will join eight other teams in the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifier in February, 2017, from which four teams will advance to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 to be held in England from June 26 June to July 23.