Lewas out to make up for Pacific Games silver

The National, Thursday July 7th, 2016

THE Papua New Guinea Lewas are using the memory of their silver medal at last year’s Pacific Games as motivation for the upcoming 2016 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier – East Asia-Pacific.
They were unable to back up their 2014 victory over Japan at the ICC EAP Women’s Trophy with a Pacific Games gold medal in 2015, going down to this year’s tournament hosts Samoa in the final. Adding to the pain is the memory of that loss being in front of a vocal home crowd. Pauke Siaka, pictured, returns to the captaincy of a squad that for the first time will feature players from four provinces in PNG.
There are several new faces in the team including Geathie Kilapat from Oro and Daniella Luwenica Saiwa Ila from Morobe.
They will be joined by Lewas stalwarts in Siaka, Helen Buruka (vice-captain) and Ravini Oa (vice-captain) all of whom were part of the winning EAP side at the inaugural women’s Australian Country Cricket Championships.
The team has been in training for most of the year, making use of the PNG Sports Federation’s High Performance Centre, and playing several intra-squad practice matches.
Cricket PNG’s high performance manager, Rarua Dikana believes that. “The Lewas have been very focused during training for the past four months and we’re confident with their progress,” Dikana said.
Coach Rodney Maha, who will be assisted by former Australian women’s coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick, said the team were excited about the opportunity to reclaim the number one ranking in the region.
The 2016 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier (EAP) begins in Apia, Samoa, on July 15 and will feature teams from Samoa, PNG and Japan. The tournament is a double round robin with the team who finishes on top of the table progressing to the Global Qualifier for the World Cup next year.