Lewas inch closer to cricket World Cup

The National, Wednesday July 20th, 2016

PAPUA New Guinea beat last year’s Pacific Games gold medal winners Samoa for the second time in a gripping match in Apia yesterday.
The three-wicket win means PNG have qualified for the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Global Qualifier to be held later this year.
Samoa needed to win their second round encounter with PNG to stay in the hunt for the one qualifying spot on offer and fought valiantly to the end.
But the undefeated Lewas were too strong, notching their third win from as many matches and cementing their spot on top of the table.
Earlier, Samoa (95) won the toss and chose to bat, which PNG’s accurate opening bowlers took advantage of, taking several early wickets.
Ravini Oa (3-19 off 7 overs) was the main destroyer, picking up the key wickets of in-form batters Regina Lili’I (one) and Matile Uliao (seven), as Samoa crumbled to be 37/5 in the 19th over.
Veteran Perelini Mulitalo (35*) provided credibility to the batting, but ran out of partners as Samoa were bundled out for 95 in the 40th over.
The Samoan women came out firing in the field, determined to make PNG work for every run.
When PNG captain Pauke Siaka (11) fell with the score on 48/3, the game was very much still in the balance and Samoa pounced to put all the pressure back on the batters.
Some poor running between the wickets and a couple of wickets to Matile Uliao (2-11) swung the match back Samoa’s way, with PNG 6-69 in the 25th over.
But Konio Oala, normally renowned for her big hitting, showed good composure and restraint with 15 not out from 41 balls to get PNG over the line in the 39th over.