Papua New Guinea
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Amini Jr and Siaka steer PNG Barramundis to victory

BY SIMON KESLEP

Papua New Guinea Barramundis have secured their spot in next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and it was a special moment for all-rounder Charles ‘CJ’ Amini Jr to have the last laugh at the crease alongside Lega Siaka.

The Amini Cricket Ground which holds a special history to CJ as well as the Barras had its spectators stands full to capacity as the home team played their final game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup East Asia Pacific Final against Japan on Saturday.

The six wickets win by PNG Barramundis against Japan (PNG 4/109-11.3 overs, Japan 106/8-20 overs) with 51 balls left had all the vocal crowd cheering especially when Charles Amini Jr and Lega Siaka had the last laugh in the batting innings.

The earlier part of the match saw Norman Vanua claiming four wickets in the Barras fielding in which he was also awarded his second man of the match award.

The perseverance of Barras to maintain dominance throughout the tournament continued when Tony Ura belted away 47 runs off 19 balls which laid the foundation for the duo (Vanua and Siaka) to follow through so as the helping hands of skipper Assad Vala (16 runs off 10 balls).

“It was good in taking on the responsibility as a senior player to finish the game…that is what you always want from your senior players to be there at the end and do it in front of families and friends.”

“I’m proud of the team’s effort and my effort.

“Every time we put on the PNG jersey, we always want to make the families proud and I think I’ve done that so as the team.

“My dad, family and every grateful for all their support…unfortunately, my mum passed away but I’m pretty sure she’ll be proud of this moment,” said Amini.

He said it was all about going back to the basics and playing high percentage shots and not thinking too much of expectations.

“I think it all comes down to experience being in that position before and playing for more than 10 years for PNG Barramundis.

“It is good that we (myself and Lega) had that experience…we’ve done it before so we knew we can do it again.”

“It is a milestone (celebrating in coinciding with Cricket PNG’s 50th anniversary as an ICC member). We’ve come a long way from where we were and it is a proud moment for everyone,” said Amini.

Heading into next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Amini believes it will be a tough preseason.

“It is going to be hard work again, another brutal preseason leading up towards the World Cup.”

“The good thing about it is that we’ve been there before and know what to expect.

“The main thing is that getting ready and preparing ourselves both mentally and physically,” said Amini.