PNG beat Samoa, Japan

The National, Monday July 18th, 2016

PAPUA New Guinea continued their perfect start at the 2016 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier  East Asia-Pacific in Samoa with a five-wicket win over Japan on Saturday.
The City Pharmacy Limited-sponsored  Lewas  ran through Japan’s batting lineup, bowling them out for just 67 from 43.1 overs.
Opening bowler Veru Kila Frank did the early damage for the Lewas, taking 3-14 from her 10 overs.
Captain Pauke Siaka (3-8 from 10 overs) and Sibona Jimmy (3-19 from 9.1 overs) picked up three wickets each, with none of the Japanese batters able to get on top of the PNG attack.
Shizuka Miyaji (16) and Miho Kanno (16) stemmed the flow of wickets temporarily, before Japan lost their last seven wickets for just 17 runs.
However, Japan were determined not to let PNG have it all their own way, snaring three early wickets to have PNG 18/3.
Miyaji (2-17) again did the damage, removing Kari Seura (1) and Konio Oala (0) in consecutive balls.
But this just brought the in-form Siaka (20) to the crease, who combined with opener Kopi John (28 not out) for a 36-run partnership to almost see PNG home.
John finished the game with two boundaries to ensure that PNG remain on top of the table after day two.
PNG coach Rodney Maha was pleased with the two wins, but wanted the team not to get complacent.
“We don’t want to be too confident. Everyone is happy with the win,” Maha said.
Play resumes today, with host Samoa taking on Japan.
In the Lewas opening game last Friday, Siaka hit a 53 not-out to help steer her team to a convincing win over hosts Samoa.
Samoa captain Regina Lili’I won the toss and chose to bat first.
Despite losing a couple of early wickets, Lili’I (31) and Matile Uliao (20) looked to steady the innings, before Uliao fell to Veru Kila Frank (1-20).
That wicket triggered a collapse of 44/6, which saw Samoa all out in the last over for 136, with Sibona Jimmy the pick of the PNG bowlers taking 4-24 off her 10 overs.
Samoa’s bowlers responded and had PNG in early trouble at 28/3 and the match looked to be going Samoa’s way when PNG vice-captain Helen Buruka (4 not out) was forced to retire hurt.
But Siaka showed she was ready to lead from the front and ensure that the result of last year’s Pacific Games gold medal match, which saw PNG just go down to Samoa, was not repeated.
“I had to stay there and fight for the team and I know we deserved it,” Siaka said.
She combined first with Konio Oala (12) and then Veru Kila Frank (28 no) to guide the Lewas to victory by six wickets with 15 overs to spare.
Match Summaries: Fri, July 15 – Samoa 136 (50) Regina Lili’I 31, Matile Uliao 20; Sibona Jimmy 4-24, Ravini Oa 2-14 (5.4) defeated by PNG 4/137 (34.5) Pauke Siaka 53*, Veru Kila Frank 28*; Taalili Iosefo 2-30 by six wickets;
Sat – Japan 67/10 (43.1 overs) Shizuka Miyaji 16, Miho Kanno 16; Pauke Siaka 3-8, Veru Kila Frank 3-14, Sibona Jimmy (3-19) defeated by PNG 68/5 (24.4 overs) Kopi John 28*, Pauke Siaka 20, Ayako Nakayama 2-15; Shizuka Miyaji 2-17 by five wickets.