National cup challenge kicks off


CRICKET Papua New Guinea kicked off the Isuzu National Cup, the country’s premier 50-over tournament, at Amini Park in Port Moresby on Friday.
The tournament is aimed at giving prospective players an opportunity to push for selection into the PNG Barramundis squad.
Team Black, led by Barramundis skipper Assad Vala, defeated Team Red by nine runs after recording 256 in the first innings.
Team Red, under the guidance of Charles Amini Jr and Damien Ravu, were all out for 247 runs in the 49th over.
Saturday’s match saw Team Yellow’s Riley Hekure (58 runs) and Kipling Doringa (56) help record a score of 276 off their 50 overs to defeat Team Black (all out for 157) by 119 runs.
CPNG domestic cricket manager Lakani Oala said: “Most of the guys haven’t been playing cricket for some months and you can see that they’re a bit rusty but everyone is happy to be back.
“The tournament will go on for three weekends so that each team can play each other three times to decide the champions.
“There will be no finals but whoever is in front with most points at the end of the three weeks will be named champions.”
PNG will be competing in the one-day international World Cup qualifying series next year.