Singi a highlight for U19s


GARAMUT Katenalaki Singi took four wickets in a dream debut but it was not enough as Papua New Guinea suffered a 135-run Under-19 Cricket World Cup loss to Afghanistan on Tuesday.
In PNG’s second match at Diego Martin Sporting Complex in the West Indies, the Milne Bay native’s 4/18 off five overs helped bowl Afghanistan out for 200 in 38.2 overs.
The Garamuts, however, were less than impressive at the crease with coach Rodney Maha’s men all bowled out for 65 runs off 20.5 overs.
Maha told The National yesterday that despite the loss, he was impressed with the team’s improvement in their fielding.
“We played a dangerous side (on Tuesday) and made big inroads,” he said.
“Our innings started disastrously with Peter Karoho bowled out in the first ball of the innings.
“Unfortunately, we were never able to get in the game with regular wickets falling to the quality bowling of Afghanistan.
“We dropped only one catch and that could’ve been a different story on the final total, but wasn’t meant to be.
“But definitely, the boys put more pressure on our opposition (compared with our opening match).
“Our batsman faced a quicker bowling attack.
“But I think it was a better performance compared with those of the games we played previously.
“Unfortunately, this is the World Cup and we will have to lift our game to compete.”
Maha commended Singi for halting a 105-run partnership between Afghanistan captain Suliman Safi and Ijaz Ahmadzai.
“Singi still couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“I’m proud of his achievement as he is a player we had identified from Milne Bay.
“He played his first one-day international match and got four wickets. I think he has a big future in cricket.”
Singi said he was nervous and bowled four wides to start.
“I settled down with support from the team and that gave me the drive to take four wickets,” the 18-year-old said. “I want to thank Alotau’s Amoiha Cricket Club, my family, Milne Bay and all of PNG for your support.”
Garamuts captain Barnabas Maha praised Singi for PNG’s man-of-the-match performance.
“I was really happy about the bowling and fielding, where we put a lot of pressure on Afghanistan,” he said.
“Special mention goes to Singi for taking four wickets today.
“Afghanistan had the best bowling attack we had faced so far.
“They have faster bowlers who can move the ball both ways.
“It was a good experience for us to learn from. I believe we are on the right track to improve and learn from this tour.”
The Garamuts will play their last pool match against Pakistan on Saturday.