Papua New Guinea
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Man of the match steers PNG Barras

A three-wicket haul by PNG Barramundis all-rounder Norman Vanua was the decisive fielding win factor against the winless Vanuatu side yesterday in Day four of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup East Asia Pacific Final.

The perfect warm sunny morning weather over Amini Park set out the tempo for cricket action as PNG Barras skipper Assad Vala won the toss and elected to bat first giving opening batsmen Tony Ura and Kiplin Doriga to start.

It did not take long for Vanuatu to make their presence felt when Doriga was dismissed on LBW (leg before wicket) by the right-arm medium fast bowling of Nalin Nipiko towards the end of the third over.

Vala stepped onto the crease with expectations from vocal home crowd on him but he remained composed and paired up really well with Ura. His (Vala) presence was more of a confidence boost for Ura who capitalize on two deliveries by Vanuatu’ Darren Wotu and belted away two back-to-back six over the boundary in the fifth over.

Ura could not continue his strong opening batting dominance after he was bowled out by the bowling of Nipiko which was caught by skipper Patrick Matuataava at the end of the power play.

The fall of two wickets in the power play was a real mental test for Barras with the two skippers, Vala and Lega Siaka (vice-captain) held the batting fortress from the eighth over till the 11th over.

The two PNG Barras skippers could not continue their partnership after Siaka who stepped out in an attempt for a high flyer was caught out by Vanuatu’s wicket keeper Jarryd Allan off the bowling of Wotu.

Coming in at fifth batting order for Barras was Sese Bau and him too could not stay for long as he was caught out by Williamsing Nalisa after Simpson Obed adjusted his second delivery just towards mid-off.

The next two overs saw skipper Vala belting away two sixes off the deliveries of Wotu and Obed.

Pairing up with him (Vala) was Hiri Hiri and they both paired up to share the boundaries scoring two fours at the end of the 16th over.

It was a shocker for Hiri as he was out on duck by the bowling of Matautaava and caught by Obed.

Vala was just seven runs away from reaching a half century as he was bowled by Matautaava with the catching assistance of Ronald Tari.

Vanua’s turn to shine on the batting department came in the 17th over and his tenure on the crease saw him scoring 23 runs off 14 balls which included three fours before Charles Amini and John Kariko finish off the innings.

Vanuatu’s batting inning had to withstand few strong deliveries from the left-arm orthodox bowling of John Kariko as well as Semo Kamea.

Kariko claimed the first wicket as he dismissed Nipiko with the help of Vanua who timely caught the hit.

Closing off the power play was Vanua and he too restricted the Vanuatu batsman to score more runs. Barras continue their fielding dominance which saw Vanua claiming wickets (3-34), Kariko 2-18, Kamea 2-14 and Charles Amini Jr 2-12.

Vanuatu did produce some impressive batting and gave the home team a good run for the money till the last over.