The Barramundis romped to a six wicket win in their first ever 50-over international match on home soil at the weekend but faced a much sterner examination yesterday at Amini Park.
The home side lost Lega Siaka and Asad Vala cheaply but opener Vani Morea batted through the innings for an unbeaten 102 as PNG made 249 for 6.
PNG opener Vani Morea reaches his century against Kenya. Photo: ICC
Kenya then collapsed from 210 for 3 to be all out for 228, losing seven wickets in the space of 22 deliveries.
John Reva starred in the field, taking 4 for 31 with the ball, including the vital wicket of Rushab Patel for 95, executing a run-out and adding two catches.
Cricket PNG General Manager Greg Campbell said the players dug deep in the final ten overs.
“They were under pressure, Kenya batting well – the way the boys fielded and bowled at the end was (a reflection of) the true professionals they’re growing into. All the hard work paid off today. That’s what cricket is about…it’s the one’s where you’re behind the eight ball and you’ve got to fight and they showed a lot of character today.”
Kenya celebrate a wicket against PNG. Photo: Cricket PNG
The two matches marked the first time Papua New Guinea had hosted international 50-over games on home soil.
The games were shown live on local TV and the General Manager of Cricket PNG, Greg Campbell, was in no doubt that the home fans at Amini Park helped push the Barramundis to victory.
“The ground, we probably only had two or three thousand people but even Mick Martell the umpire and everyone like that said what an atmosphere it was. They were singing the PNG song and they were going off so that’s what the whole scenario for me, the pleasing part, is that to get the crowd involved with the PNG community….just to showcase the boys.”
Local fans get up close with the Barramundis players. Photo: Cricket PNG
PNG moved up to third in the World Cricket League standings, behind the Netherlands and Hong Kong, with four wins from six matches.
Their next major competition is the South Australian Premier League before hosting Namibia in 50-over and four-day matches in October.