The National- Wednesday, January 26, 2011
THE PNG Barramundis scored their most impressive win of the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Hong Kong crushing the USA by seven wickets yesterday.
In their third match of the six-team tournament, PNG bowlers had a virtual field day in helpful conditions at the Hong Kong Cricket Club bowling out the Americans for 44 in 21 overs and overhauled the target in just six overs for the loss of three wickets.
In other day three matches, homeside Hong Kong (3-105) won their first match of the competition beating Denmark (102) by seven wickets in another low scoring game while two teams which PNG have already beaten Oman and Italy fought out a thriller with the Omanis (9-244) scoring a one wicket victory over the Azzuri (8-240).
PNG captain Rarua Dikana, who was named man of the match, was at his deceptive best with the ball snaring four wickets for one run off 4.2 overs in a mesmerising display of medium pace.
Cricket PNG chief executive officer Bill Leane had earlier descricbed the pre-match conditions at the HKCC as advantageous to bowlers.
“ The ball is bending like a banana in the climate here when it is new, plus we have batted first in both previous games and at 9.15 am early start there’s a lot of juice in the wicket,” Leane said,“but we have to live with it.”
And live with it they did as PNG quicks Hitolo Areni (2-25) and Loa Nou (2-11) along with part-time spinner Chris Amini (2-2) accounted for the other wickets.
US captain Steve Massiah hit a top score of 18 in the American innings which saw seven ducks registered and a painfully slow 5 runs from 56 balls by all-rounder Orlando Baker.
PNG opener Assad Vala (17) hit three boundariesin a 12-ball stay at the crease before edging a Howard Johnson (2-23) delivery to the wicketkeeper Ritesh Kadu and partner Tony Ura (7) did not last long either.
Barramundis No. 5 Chris Kent blasted two sixes and a four to bring up the wining runs and finished unbeaten on 18 but worryingly for PNG Mahuru Dai failed again with the bat trapped lbw for a duck by America’s opening bowler Kevin Darlington.
The win sees PNG remain at the top of the ladder with a maximum six points and has set them on the way to securing top place and making the final on Saturday.
The ICC World Cricket League points table is PNG (6), Oman (4), Hong Kong (2), Italy (2), Denmark (2) and USA (2).
The Barramundis play Denmark today at Kowloon Cricket Club while Oman and USA face-off and Hong Kong and Italy clash.
Tomorrow is a rest day before the last round on Friday where PNG play Hong Kong, USA take on Italy and Denmark and Oman meet before the finals the following day.
For PNG defeating Denmark will also be a special achievement as the Dutch, who were recently relegated from the ICC’s division two, have played in a one-day Wolrd Cup (2003) and were a pre-tournament favourite.