Lewas’ six help seal title


PAPUA New Guinea Lewas’ Tania Ruma, Sibona Jimmy, captain Kaia Arua, Brenda Tau, Vicky Ara’a and Natasha Ambo helped East Asia-Pacific (EAP) beat South Australia to claim the Australian Country Cricket Championship.
This is the second time both teams have faced off (the first being in 2016) and on both occasions, EAP have bowled out South Australia as reigning champions.
A regional representation of Japan, Indonesia, Vanuatu and PNG, EAP were boosted with the inclusion of the six.
The team’s dominance had them on the top of the ladder throughout the tournament, only suffering two loses both to Victoria in the fifth and seventh rounds out of their eight pool matches.
After defeating Queensland by seven runs in the semifinal, EAP faced South Australia in the final.
Winning the toss, EAP elected to field with Ambo opening the bowling.
With outstanding control, Jimmy (0/15), Ara’a (1/10) and Arua (1/12) strangled the South Australians in their four-over spells.
The Lewas were also sharp on the field, effecting two run-outs.
South Australia could only manage 7/72 off their 20 overs.
EAP started their chase poorly, loosing Jimmy (lbw) on the last ball of the first over at one for four.
The second and third wickets included Vanuatu’s Valenta Langiatu for 14 runs and Japan’s Akari Kitayama for five.
Ruma steadied the innings, scoring 19 runs off 34 balls and Arua managed five before being stumped out.
Needing only 23 runs, Tau led the team home to victory with 1.3 overs to spare at six for 73.
After the final, EAP assistant coach Mahuru Dai said: “ We are proud of what the girls have achieve. They played well all week.”
Jimmy and Ruma were named in the team of the tournament.
Ruma was also crowned player of the tournament.

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