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Ireland noses ahead despite Vala ton

Papua New Guinea finishes day two on 166 for 7 after Vanua’s 5 for 59 restricts Irish to 289

Ireland noses ahead despite Vala ton
 - Cricket News
Ireland fought back despite a steady century from Assad Vala to nose ahead at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
Norman Vanua scalped five wickets to give Papua New Guinea the advantage at the start of the second day of its ICC Intercontinental Cup clash against Ireland on Monday (February 1), but Ireland fought back despite a steady century from Assad Vala to nose ahead at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville.
Having played a crucial role in reducing Ireland to 232 for 5 by the end of the opening day with figures of 2 for 47, Vanua was back in the hunt on the second day of the four-day contest and finished with 5 for 59 from  18.4 overs. The 22-year-old medium-pacer’s effort ensured Ireland was bowled out for 289 from 104.4 overs after being put in by Jack Vare, the Papua New Guinea skipper.
Papua New Guinea’s response got off to an inauspicious start as it lost Vani Morea, the opener, for nought. Vala, who came in at No. 3, was the dominant partner in a stand of 41 for the second wicket with Lega Siaka, but no other batsman offered any significant resistance as Papua New Guinea ended the day on 166 for 7, still trailing by 123 runs.

Vala was unbeaten on 104 from 205 deliveries with seven fours, having put on 55 for the sixth wicket with Vare, who eventually became Tim Murtagh’s third victim. Ireland kept striking through its pacers with Murtagh (3/30) in the forefront, and Boyd Rankin (2/16) and Craig Young (2/36) playing excellent supporting roles.
Earlier, Vanua got Papua New Guinea off to the perfect start by dismissing Kevin O’Brien in the third over of the day without allowing the all-rounder to add to his overnight score of 19. Ireland was in dire need of runs when Andy McBrine and George Dockrell came to its rescue. The duo added 41 for the seventh wicket with McBrine making 23 and Dockrell 24 runs. However, when John Reva accounted for McBrine, the bottom fell out of the Irish batting as the last four wickets fell for just nine runs.

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