THE Hebou PNG Barramundis defeated the New South Wales XI by four wickets on Monday, and the ACT XI in a last ball thriller by three runs in the Prime Minister’s XI curtain raiser on Wednesday afternoon.
Batting first, the NSW XI posted 7/114 off their allotted 20 overs, with Ben Manenti (36) and Scott Copperfield (20*) the main contributors with the bat for the home side.
PNG bowlers were on their game against another strong NSW XI side, with Alei Nao (2/14) and Willie Gavera (2/28) the pick of the bowlers taking two wickets apiece.
In reply, the Barramundis got off to a shaky start, losing Tony Ura (2) and Vani Vagi Morea (2) very early to leave the visitors in trouble at 2/19 after six overs.
Then Lega Siaka (21) and captain Assad Vala (30) steered the HEBOU PNG Barramundis out of trouble, before an unbeaten squash-buckling 20 off just 10 balls from veteran, Mahuru Dai guided the visitors to their first victory on tour with four wickets and two balls remaining.
Match Summary: New South Wales XI 7/114 (20) Ben Manenti 36 (25), Scott Copperfield 20* (25), Jordan Gauci 18 (21), Alei Nao 2/14 (3), Willie Gavera 2/28 (4), Nosiana Pokana 1/7 (3), Chad Soper 1/17 (2) defeated by HEBOU PNG Barramundis 6/116 (19.4) Assad Vala 30 (24), Lega Siaka 21 (22), Mahuru Dai 20* (10), Devin Malone 2/11 (3) by four (4) wickets
In the defeat of the ACT XI- the PNG Barramundis defeated ACT XI in a last ball thriller by three runs in the Prime Minister’s XI curtain raiser.
After losing the toss and being sent in to bat on a warm day in Canberra, the Barramundis got off to a shaky start after being reduced to 3/34 in the sixth over. Then left-handed batsmen, Sese Bau (14) joined his captain, Assad Vala to resurrect the innings to put on 33 runs for the fourth wicket before Bau was dismissed by Ben Taylor to leave the PNG team on wobbly grounds at 4/67 in the 11th over.
Dogodo Bau was then dismissed in the next over before veteran all-rounder, Mahuru Dai came in and with the assistance of Vala took the score to a very respectable 9/156 off their allotted 20 overs.
Vala was dismissed in the second last over for a very classy half century. Vala’s 59 run innings came off just 45 balls which included four boundaries and two massive sixes.
Dai on the other hand hit a whirlwind 34 off just 21 balls which included five crafty boundaries. For the home ACT XI, Charles Morris (3/33) and Joe Slater (3/25) were the pick of the bowlers.
In reply, the visiting team got off to the perfect start with Chad Soper picking up Aiden Blizzard off the first ball of the innings. Then Jono Dean (52) and John Rogers (40) took the game away from the visitors, putting on 95 runs for the second wicket.
Despite the dominant efforts by ACT XI, the PNG Barramundis kept fighting despite a sub-standard fielding performance, with Soper eventfully dismissing both Dean and Rogers.
The Barramundis took the game to the last over with ACT requiring 9 runs off the last over. Enter “Mr Reliable”, John Boge Reva who bowled a superb last over to restrict the home team to only 5 runs and help the PNG Barramundis to a historic victory.
The Hebou PNG Barramundis flew back to Port Moresby on Thursday morning, before turning their attention to the UAE Tour in March.
Match Summary: HEBOU PNG Barramundis 9/156 (20) Assad Vala 59 (45), Mahuru Dai 34 (21), John Boge Reva 13 (6), Charles Morris (3/33), Joe Slater (3/25) defeated ACT XI 7/153 (20) Jono Dean 52 (37), Charles Rogers 40 (39), Chad Soper 3/36 (4), Willie Gavera 1/31 (4) by 3 runs.