Hino Cassowaries win 2020 Curtain Brothers CPNG Women’s T20 Smash

Isaac Lockett reports on the final of the Curtain Brothers CPNG Women’s T20 Smash

The Hino Cassowaries won the 2020 edition of the Curtain Brothers CPNG Women’s T20 Smash to make it back to back titles for the team. The final took place at PNG’s national stadium Amini Park and saw the Cassowaries come up against the TrakPro MudWomen. 

The 2020 Curtain Brothers CPNG Women’s T20 Smash Champions

The Hino Cassowaries batted first and a number of important contributions saw the team post 115-3 from their 20 overs. Boio Ditto (28); and Tanya Frank (23) opened the batting for the defending champions and set to work giving the team a solid platform from which they could expand on later in the innings. The pair displayed a fantastic ability to rotate the strike and run hard between the wickets whilst being to pick up the occasional boundary. The partnership reached 43-0 after 10 overs but then was broken thanks to a brilliant stumping off the bowling of Puana Siaka (1-26). The partnership put the team in a position and PNG Women’s skipper Kaia Arua came to the crease looking to build on the teams good position. Ditto and Arua (13) came together for a 34 run partnership before a potentially crucial over from Pauke Siaka (2-30) gave the MudWomen a chance to build some momentum of their own. But any chance of the MudWomen changing the course of the precedent set by the Cassowaries was fizzled out by an unbeaten partnership between Konio Oala (28*) and Isabel Toua (13*). The partnership of Oala and Toua accelerated the innings to take the team past 100 to finish on their total of 115. 

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The MudWomen came to the crease needing 116 to win, however, did not get off to the best start as the team lost two early wickets. Following on from their batting performances, Oala and Arua both claimed a wicket to help the Cassowaries into a good position. A 19-run partnership between Pauke and Puana Siaka ensured that the MudWomen were able to stem the early flow of wickets and give the team a base. The partnership ended as Esmie Igo took the wicket of Pauke for a well made 11. But the MudWomen were once again able to start the process of building another partnership between Brenda Elly and Puana to ensure that the target never became out of reach. However, the wicket of Puana for 16 was a really significant event in the match as Igo claimed another wicket. After 10 overs, the MudWomen required a further 73 runs from their final 10 overs, which meant that there had to be a concerted effort to increase the scoring rate. Despite an innings from Mairi Tom who batted well to finish on 21*, the MudWomen lost frequent wickets and in the end finished on 83-9 off their 20 overs, meaning the Cassowaries won by 32 runs.  

CPNG Secretary Michael Harrison and Hino Cassowaries Captain Kaia Arau with the Curtain Brothers Women’s T20 Smash Trophy

When speaking about the tournament, Cricket PNG CEO Greg Campbell said ‘Finals Day was a great success after all the scheduling difficulties over the two weeks. All the staff have done a great job to get grounds ready, score and prepare the players for the six games that were played through the week… We would like to thank Curtain Brothers for supporting the women’s game. We are continuing to develop women’s cricket, and their support for the T20 Smash speaks to their commitment to providing cricket to all women in Papua New Guinea’. 

Men’s national team coach Joe Dawes was impressed with what he saw over the course of the Curtain Brothers CPNG Women’s T20 Smash. ‘The T20 Smash is a great tournament to grow the women’s game and for player development. This tournament has not been without its difficulties but the women have responded really well. We have seen some great batting and bowling this tournament, and that should set the women up well for their ICC Qualifiers next year … Finals Day was brilliant with Konio Oala making 28 runs and taking 2 wickets showing her all-round ability with bat and ball. The Hino Cassowaries have been fantastic all tournament and are deserving champions for 2020’.

The men’s domestic T20 league is next on the PNG domestic cricket calendar and promises to provide the same kind of exciting action.

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