PNG Lewas looking to maintain regional dominance

Pauke Siaka batting against Samoa in 2016
Having finished the last regional qualifier undefeated, the Papua New Guinea Lewas will be looking to continue that winning form at the 2018 ICC Women’s Twenty20 – East Asia-Pacific Qualifier 2017.

Entering the tournament in Sano, Japan having won two of the previous three regional qualifiers, the Lewas are undoubtedly the team to beat.

The team has been training very hard for the qualifier, focusing particularly on skill refinement.

Assistant Coach Arua Dikana believes that “the group is exciting as we have some match winners in both the batting and bowling categories”.

New faces for Papua New Guinea include Natasha Maze Ambo and Geua Pauke Tom, both looking to make an impact in their first international outing.

The side has been bolstered by the return of key players Tanya Ruma and Kaia Arua, who were both unavailable for the previous regional qualifier in Samoa.

Returning to lead the side is Pauke Siaka, a talented all-rounder, who is in excellent form having taken 6 for 19 against Scotland at the recent ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier.

Siaka is excited about the playing group under her leadership.

“I can’t wait for the opportunity to qualify for the next stage and defend our crown as the best squad in the region”, said Siaka.

Winning the tournament would bring the PNG Lewas one step closer to being the first PNG team to qualify for a global cricket tournament, having missed out at the previous global qualifiers in Thailand (2015) and Sri Lanka (2017).

Both the men’s and women’s PNG teams have come agonizing close to qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 events in the last few years as cricket continues to grow across the country.

The 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 – East Asia-Pacific Qualifier 2017 begins in Sano, Japan on April 28 and will feature teams from Japan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu.

The top team will qualify for the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier to be held in later 2017 or early 2018.

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