PNG Domestic Wrap: Women’s T20 Smash back, Men’s National Cup concludes

Isaac Lockett rounds up the latest domestic action from PNG

Papua New Guinea

Women’s T20 Smash back underway

The PNG Curtain Brothers CPNG Women’s T20 Smash restarted on Tuesday, August 26 following a missed round of fixtures which has led to a change in the tournament’s format, including the need for a readjustment of the figures.

In the morning match, Amini Park saw the TrakPro MudWomen cruise to a 9-wicket win over the Hastings Deering Black Bass led by an undefeated 45 from Paula Siaka.

Electing to bowl first, the MudWomen took an early wicket to set the tone for the match. Tanya Ruma batted admirably to score 38 not out pushing the Black Bass to 6-91 after their 20 overs. In reply, an early runout did nothing to slow the MudWomen who won thanks to an unbeaten 83-run partnership between Brenda Tau (25 not out) and Pauke Siaka (45 not out) to finish 1-95 after 15.5 overs.

The afternoon fixture was a match between the Hino Cassowaries and the ODG Electrical Mariners. The Cassowaries successfully defended 91 led by three wickets from Buruka Vicky.

Batting first the Cassowaries started poorly losing two early wickets. The Cassowaries took regular wickets to restrict the Mariners to 8-91 after their 20 overs. Kaia Arua top scored with 23 and Isabel Toua batted well for 18. The Mariners chased well with a 38 run opening partnership but quick wickets soon had them 3-59. Inspired, the Cassowaries bowlers then took 7 wickets for 13 runs to have the Mariners all out for 72. Sibona Jimmy batted well to score 29 runs.

The teams then have a one day rest on the 26th as it is National Repentance Day in Papua New Guinea, a day for prayer ceremonies across the country, before the final round of group stage games on the 27th.

Reflecting on the day’s action Men’s national head coach Joe Dawes said: ‘We saw some really good bowling and batting in today’s matches. In the morning, the MudWomen did very well to keep the Black Bass to under 100. Pauke Siaka and Brenda Tau then batted extremely well to both finish not out on 45 and 25. In the afternoon, it was pleasing to see the Cassowaries defend their score. Buruka Vicky was the standout but they bowled well as a unit to keep the Mariners to 72’.

Men’s Isuzu National Cup round-up

The change of schedule has not affected the men’s Isuzu National Cup with the exciting action continuing. The round of fixtures started on Friday the 21st August 2020 with action between the Isuzu PNG Black team and Isuzu PNG Yellow. PNG Black won the game by 15 runs with a fantastic all-round contribution from John Boge Reva gaining much attention. Isuzu Black batted first and scored 119 with Reva scoring a crucial 20 runs to help his team post a competitive score. The entire weekend’s action was played under bowler-friendly conditions and the PNG Black bowling performance during the first game took full advantage of these. After his performance with the bat, Reva picked up figures of 4-23 (10) in what was a truly fantastic display of talent. During PNG Black’s bowling performance, national captain Assad Vala completed the rare feat of a hat trick to finish with figures of 3-27 (10). In the end, despite a good inning from Norman Vanua who scored a defiant 25 runs PNG Yellow were bowled out for 109 after 29 overs.

Match two of the round, which took place on Saturday, saw the PNG Yellow back in action against PNG Red. Hoping for an immediate response following their defeat against PNG Black a day earlier, the Yellows had a much-improved performance with both bat and ball during the game and scored 268-9 from their 50 over-allotment. Fantastic contributions from Jason Kila who top-scored with 52, while Alei Nao and Norman Vanua both scoring 38 runs helped PNG Yellow to a much-improved score of 268.

In reply, a fantastic unbeaten 103 from Hiri Hiri took his team close to victory, however, a fine bowling display from PNG Yellow, who were able to pick up 5 quick wickets, bowled the Reds out for 237 in 43 overs. 

The final game of the weekend took place on Sunday and saw PNG Black go down to the Reds by 90 runs in a low scoring affair on a used pitch. The Reds batted first and scored 160 as opposition bowler Michael Charli finished with figures of 3- 34 (10). The chasing side were unable to get any momentum going as Kabua Vagi took a brilliant five-wicket haul to help bowl out PNG Black for a paltry 70 in 20 overs meaning that each team won a game over the course of the final round of the Isuzu National Cup.

When talking about the weekend’s action, Campbell said ‘It was a really exciting final round of the National Cup this weekend. Each day, the wicket offered something different, and that is there for all to see in the results. With the current situation, it has been a big effort for the staff, players and officials to get these games played. Everyone has played their part from scheduling these fixtures to getting the grounds ready … We would like to thank our sponsor, Boroko Motors. With their continued support and enthusiasm for cricket, they helped us through the lockdown period, allowing us to focus on and complete the final fixtures of the National Cup.’

Dawes, who watched the action from an analytical perspective as Men’s national coach stated that ‘All three games were really good to watch over this weekend, where each side secured a win. It was quite difficult in bowler-friendly conditions for the batters who really applied themselves. We saw Hiri hit a hundred. I was pleased with the bowlers who really had to adapt as well with the ball getting plenty of swing and a lot of movement off the seam, two four-wicket hauls and one five-for is a good effort .. We attempted something different with this tournament this year, and I can say the ISUZU National Cup was a great success that we can use to build on for next year.’

There will be upcoming updates surrounding the progress of The PNG Curtain Brothers CPNG Women’s T20 but the exciting action has continued in PNG and there promises to be plenty more. 

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