Papua New Guinea completed a clean sweep of the two match ODI series against Hong Kong
Papua New Guinea completed a clean sweep of the two match Digicel ODI series against Hong Kong, with a nail biting 3 wicket victory with just 4 balls remaining at Townsville’s Tony Ireland Stadium.
20-year-old pocket rocket Lega Siaka was the hero for PNG, becoming the first man from his country to make an ODI century.
Speaking after the match Siaka described the win as one of the proudest moments of his life.
“I just feel so happy, to see all the boys so happy and the coach so happy just makes me feel so special,” said Siaka. “To score the first ODI ton for PNG is something I will never forget.”
Vani Vagi Morea was also instrumental in the win backing up his half century from the first ODI with a clutch 65 not out. Another young gun at just 19 years of age, Norman Vanua was the pick of the PNG bowlers with 4 wickets, including the crucial breakthroughs of both Irfan Ahmed and Jamie Atkinson.
“I don’t know what to say, I am speechless at the moment, it has been a great two days, and all the work is worth it,” said Vanua. “My parents flew in on Friday and this is the first time my mum has watched me play an international match and that has really touched me.”
After winning the toss and batting Hong Kong lost opener Ahmed for just 1, before a 60 run partnership between Waqas Barkat and Anshuman Rath got their innings back on track.
Rath went on to make a half century as did Babar Hayat, and Hong Kong looked on the verge of a big total at 6-257 with two overs still to be bowled.
However PNG paceman Willie Gavera took 3 wickets in 4 balls and eventually Hong Kong were dismissed for 261 in 49.3 overs.
In reply PNG lost both openers Tony Ura and Assad Vala cheaply. But a 65 run partnership between Geraint Jones and Lega Siaka kept the Barramundis in the game.
When Jones departed for a handy 25 trapped in front by Haseeb Amjad, Vani Vagi Morea joined Siaka at the crease and the pair blasted a 79 run match winning partnership.
Siaka eventually departed for 109 and it triggered a mini collapse with PNG losing 3 wickets for 9 runs. Still needing 25 of 21 balls, Morea kept his cool and with the assistance of captain Chris Amini and guided his side to a famous victory.
Scores in Brief
At Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville: ODI 2 PNG v Hong Kong
Hong Kong 261 all out, 49.3 overs (B Hayat 55, A Rath 51; N Vanua 4-60, W Gavera 3-45)
Papua New Guinea 264-7, 49.2 overs (L Siaka 109, V Morea 65*; N Ahmed 2-38)
Papua New Guinea won by 3 wickets