PNG in sublime form

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The National – Tuesday, July 5, 2011

THE Hebou Barramundis have started as expected in the citifon ICC East Asia Pacific T20 Championship yesterday.
On a day where a huge upset occurred with Samoa (coming up from Division 2) defeating former Pacific heavyweights Fiji, it was business as usual for the Barras blasting both Vanuatu and then first game winners, Samoa, into submission.
In the morning session in perfect conditions, PNG won the toss and set about inflicting maximum damage by smashing the ball to all parts of the Amini Park in the first few overs.
Openers Tony Ura and Assad Vala put on 90 runs with Assad making 31 and man-of-the-match Tony Ura hitting a match high 73.
Vanuatu fought back but the damage was done early and the Barras cruised to 6-150.
Best for Vanuatu was opening bowler Patrick Matautava with 3-18
The Vanuatu innings never really got going with early wickets lost and relentless pressure exerted.
Vanuatu fought till the end of the 20 overs scoring 8-112 with Joel Tom the pick of the bowlers with 2-15.
Best with the bat were Eddie Mansale (30 not out) and Trevor Langa (24).
The afternoon match saw an almost identical outcome.
Ura again set the place alight with big hitting again to win a second MOTM award. PNG (6-182) cruised to an easy win against Samoa (9-105).
Best with the bat for the Barras were Tony Ura (69) and Assad Vala (61).
In the bowling, Mahuru Dai (2-14), Willie Gavera (2-14) and Jason Kila (2-11) while Samoa’s Uala Kaisara made 29.
Today, PNG face the Fiji after they bounced back by defeating Japan easily in the afternoon game.
Fiji (2-160 had too much firepower for Japan (7-86).
Fiji (6-125) were beaten by Samoa in a cliff hanger off the second last ball of the Samoan innings to score 7-126.
Put in to bat first, Fiji lost their openers cheaply before captain Josefa Rika steadied the innings with 33, but Fiji kept losing wickets at the other end.
The final score of 125 was aided by some wayward bowling from Samoa, who conceded 12 wides in total.
With a modest total to chase, Samoa lost their opener Sean Cotter early, before Geoff Clarke and Benjamin Mailata put on 79 runs for the second wicket.