Collins Obuya's ton goes in vain as PNG rides on 154-run stand between Lega Siaka and Assad Valla
Papua New Guinea pulled off a convincing 8-wicket victory over Kenya in its Group B clash of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth on Monday (January 13). Chasing a formidable total of 250, Lega Siaka and Assad Vala helped PNG register its first win of the tournament with a gritty 154-run second wicket stand.Siaka smashed 103 off 83 balls, hitting 11 fours and four sixes, while Vala's unbeaten 105 came off 109 balls, studded with eight fours and six sixes. The duo took over after the dismissal of opener Tony Ura for a duck off the fourth ball of the innings, seeing the PNG innings through till the 23rd over when Shem Ngoche finally got Kenya a breakthrough to dismiss Siaka, caught by captain Rakep Patel. Vala continued to bat on as Chris Amini provided him with solid support from the other end with a patient 63-ball 28. With 7.1 overs remaining in the chase, PNG achieved its target for the loss of just two wickets.
Earlier, Collins Obuya struck a century for Kenya in spite of the regular fall of wickets at the other end, adding 106 off 120 balls to the total, with six fours and two sixes. Thomas Odoyo complimented with an unbeaten 42 as the remaining batsmen failed to negotiate PNG’s bowlers, who picked up nine wickets to restrict Kenya to 249 in its 50 overs.
Medium-pacer Raymond Haoda bagged four wickets for 50 runs while Pipi Raho took 2 for 47 in his 10 overs. Amini, Willie Gavera and Mahuru Dai picked up one wicket each.
PNG will now look to build on the good start to the tournament as they play Uganda in their next match in New Plymouth on Thursday, while Kenya will be determined to put up a better show in its Group B clash against Namibia on Friday.