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Mahuru Dai, Assad Vala take PNG into the lead

PNG ends first day on 205 for 6 after Norman Vanua's four-wicket haul keeps Afghanistan to 144

Mahuru Dai, Assad Vala take PNG into the lead - Cricket News
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 23: Norman Vanua of Papua New Guinea appeals for an out during an ICC World Cup qualifying match between Papua New Guinea and Namibia on January 23, 2014 in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. (Photo by Joel Ford-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
Norman Vanua’s four-wicket haul helped Papua New Guinea bowl Afghanistan out for 144 in 39.4 overs on the first day of the two sides’ Intercontinental Cup match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday (November 21).
At stumps, PNG had reached 205 for 6, taking its lead to 61 runs, with Mahuru Dai unbeaten on 67 and John Reva yet to open his account.
Having chosen to bat first, Afghanistan lost Shabir Noori in the first ball of the fourth over when he went on the backfoot to a good length delivery from Chad Soper and was hit on his pads. Not long after that Soper picked up his second wicket when Noor Ali Zadran, the other opener, cut a short delivery into the hands of Tony Ura at point.

Vanua was introduced into the attack in 17th over and he struck with his first ball when Mohammad Shahzad was trapped in front for 29, the highest score in the innings.
Afghanistan could not build partnerships as wickets fell at regular intervals. Vanua picked up his second wicket in his fourth over when Asghar Stanikzai could not execute a cut shot properly and edged the ball to Assad Vala at point.
Vanua also accounted for Samiullah Shenwari and Sharafuddin Ashraf to finish with figures of 7-2-36-4.
That Afghanistan managed to get close to 150 was because of Ashraf’s 24-ball 25, which included three fours and the only six of the innings.
PNG lost three wickets early in its innings, as Yamin Ahmadzai bowled Ura and trapped Lega Siaka lbw off consecutive deliveries in the seventh over, and then had Vani Morea caught at mid-off in the ninth over.
With the scorecard reading 41 for 3, Vala and Sese Bau resurrected the innings with a 55-run stand in 12.1 overs. Bau could not capitalise on his start as Shenwari had him lbw for 34.
PNG, however, had a solid platform by then, and Vala and Dai strengthened it further with a 105-run association in 25 overs.
During the partnership, the pair hit eight fours and three sixes, and focussed on rotating the strike.
Zahir Khan had Vala stumped for a 110-ball 62 in the last ball of the 46th over. An over later, Jack Vare, PNG's captain, became the sixth batsman to be lbw in the day. But Dai and Reva denied Afghanistan any more inroads. 
Afghanistan had drawn its first game against Scotland, while PNG had beaten Netherlands by five wickets.
PNG currently sits at the fifth spot on the eight-team points table, while Afghanistan is seventh.

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