The National- Monday, January 24, 2011
THE Papua New Guinea Barramundis started their ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Hong Kong on the best note, winning their first two matches against Oman and Italy.
In their first match on Saturday against Oman, the Barramundis posted 9-248 batting first with a 140-run partnership for the fifth wicket by middle order batsmen Chris Kent (68) and Kila Pala (77) and defeated Oman (209) by 39 runs.
Kent and Pala started their run fest in the seventh over with PNG teetering at 4-27 and proceeded to build a good total with Pala hitting his 77 at a run a ball, including 10 fours and two sixes.
Kent’s measured innings saw the Brisbane-based youngster score his first half-century for PNG at an overseas tournament.
The Omani bowlers had success picking off PNG’s fragile top order while it had little problem cleaning up the tail with HP Desai (4-50) claiming a four-for.
Amazingly, Omani captain HJ Mehta scored the tournament’s first century belting an unbeaten123 but could not get his team over the line.
Paceman Hitolo Areni (3-32) was the best Barramundi bowler devastating the Omani top order with a hat-trick in his opening spell.
In other day one (Saturday) results USA (3-257) beat hosts Hong Kong (9-256) by seven wickets while Italy (3-228) surprised Denmark (227) by the same margin.
In day two matches yesterday PNG (204) defeated Italy (172) by 32 runs.
All-rounder Jason Kila top scored for the Barramundis with a well-paced 46 while the PNG top order again struggled to make an impact
Exciting openers Assad Vala (12) and Tony Ura (15) got starts but failed to carry on.
Vala’s innings in particular was labourous with the matchwinner using up 34 balls and hitting a solitray boundary.
Chris Amini (13), Mahuru Dai (3), Kent (11) and Pala (20) could not occupy the crease long enough to make a difference.
It was left to Kila and wicketkeeper Jack Vare (28) to prop up the Barramundis’ total while the Italians were also guilty of wayward bowling accounting for 36 runs in sundries.
PNG’s pace trio of Areni (1-34), Loa Nou (2-32) and skipper Rarua Dikana (3-24) along with slow bowlers Amini (1-31) and Kila (2-20) had the Azzuri reeling at 6-132 by the 32nd over before dispatching the remianing Italian resistance in the 44th over.
In other day two results, Denmark (6-193) defeated USA (163) by six wickets while Oman (7-267) scored a three wicket win over Hong Kong (266).
Day three matches begin tomorrow with PNG taking on USA, Hong Kong playing Denmark and Oman clashing with Italy.