Norman Vanua took his second man of the match award in as many games with a swash buckling 28 runs in 10 balls in the final overs of the game to bag the win for PNG.Afterwards, PNG captain Jack Vare resisted the temptation to sing from the rooftops and, instead, was circumspect following what was surely one of the best moments in PNG’s recent cricketing history.“We came here to play another game of cricket. We wanted to go out there and play to the best of our ability. Our plan was to play simple cricket. With the ball we wanted to bowl good lines and lengths and that’s what we did. We always try to learn every time we play, whether it’s in T20, ODI or four-day cricket so today was another great experience that we can learn from going forward” “We’ve got a good batting line-up and today we didn’t really click. But Norman came out and showed what he can do under pressure. He played very well – I can’t speak highly enough of him – and there were other good performances in the team as well. We will take the positives from this game but we will not look too far ahead. We will just go out the next game and try to do our best again.” Vare-Kevere said.Earlier, Ireland won the toss and elected to bat first in perfect conditions and the PNG bowlers came out all guns blazing. Vanua took the prize wicket of Paul Stirling (1) in his first over before Willie Gavera (3/17) struck twice in his first over and left Ireland rattled at 3/20 after 5 overs.Ireland captain William Porterfield (57*) steadied the innings as wickets fell around him but the PNG bowlers were determined to give the Irish no easy runs. Ireland were eventually restricted to a modest 9/123 from their 20 overs. The PNG Barramundis’ run chase got off to a slow start as openers Tony Ura (6) and Lega Siaka (7) both fell before the third over.Vice captain Assad Vala kept the team in the chase with a run a ball 32 but the Irish bowlers kept striking in the middle overs to put PNG on the back foot with Kila Pala (19), Mahuru Dai (7), Charles Amini (6) falling cheaply.The chase seemed to have run out of steam when Tyrone Kane dismissed Jack Vare (5) and John Reva (2) in the 17th over.However, a late cameo from PNG’s number 9 batsman Norman Vanua smashing a match saving 28 of 10 balls helped PNG stun Ireland with a two wicket victory with 7 balls to spare. The win puts PNG comfortably on second place in their pool as they head over to Dublin to play their remaining 3 matches.In Group A, Ireland is still top with six points but PNG is just one point adrift with three teams – Namibia, Nepal and Hong Kong – level on three points and even Jersey and USA not out of contention for a place in the knock-out stages.The PNG Barramundis will face Nepal on Friday night PNG for their fourth match of the tournament. The match will be broadcast live on Digicel’s TV WAN Sports HD at 19.00 PNG time.The official Cricket PNG hashtag on social media will be #gobarras#wt20q
Following last weekend’s big win over PRK Mendi Muruks 28-4 in Lae, Tigers finished on top of the table with 24 points.Second on the ladder of the top eight was TNA Simbu Lions, followed by Agmark Rabaul Gurias, Kemele Hela Wigmen, Muruks, Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles, and Whagi Tumbe.Coach Stanley Tepend said becoming minor premiers was a milestone achieved, especially to do that the second time in a row however the boys still have a big challenge ahead going into the finals. He said the boys will undergo a full week of training to work on weaknesses in certain areas.Tepend commended every player for sticking to the game plan and preventing the opponents from scoring any points in the second half.Captain Sydney Fred was full of praise for the boys for taking control of the game during the bad weather on Sunday.”It was one of the games we had to get over. We have to stay focused and move forward from here,” said Fred.Tigers will take on Agmark Gurias in the first qualifying final this Sunday in Lae.
Despite the hot weather in the nation’s capital, the visitors will not be taking this game lightly here at the National Football Stadium.Blackhawks in their away white, green and black uniforms kicked off and the game got underway.The seats in the stadium are still being filled by rugby fans as well as curious residents. More to come…
Rafael Nadal continued his solid form with a straight-sets win over Pablo Cuevas in the Western and Southern Open second round.The Spaniard, who lost the bronze-medal match at the Olympics on his return from a wrist injury, gained a measure of revenge over Cuevas with a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) victory.Nadal, the 2013 champion in Cincinnati, said the injury was still causing him problems, but his form has nonetheless been decent.The third seed was beaten by Uruguayan Cuevas when they last met – on the Rio clay in February – but won through in one hour and 30 minutes.Nadal only lost four points on his serve in the first set to cruise through it before punishing Cuevas for missed chances in the second.Cuevas had five break points but was unable to take one before being beaten in the tie-break.Next up for Nadal at the rain-hit ATP 1000 event will be a young gun – either Nick Kyrgios or Borna Coric.
Chasing 260 for the win, the Barras got off to a strong start with openers Tony Ura and Vani Vagi Morea putting on an opening partnership of 79 runs.The Barras lost the wickets of Lega Siaka (17) and Assad Vala (1) cheaply but still looked comfortable at 3/107 with Sese Bau and Morea at the crease.Morea was eventually dismissed just after reaching his half century by Timothy Oakley.But middle order bastman and veteran, Mahuru Dai (74) helped guide the Barras safely home to victory.Mahuru was assisted by Bau (22) and Chad Soper who pitched in with 21 runs to his name.The Barras reached the target in the final over for the loss of 8 wickets.
The Barras are currently preparing for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.Adelaide Strikers’ leg-spinner, O’Connor, who was selected for the Big Bash showpiece on Sunday after being on the sideline for the entire Big Bash, took 0/27 off his allotted four overs to help the Adelaide Strikers win their maiden Big Bash title after defeating the Hobart Hurricanes by 25 runs. O’Connor got the opportunity to fly to Port Moresby through the Adelaide Strikers’ assistant coach and newly-appointed Cricket PNG National Coach, Joe Dawes. Although O’Connor had not travelled to PNG previously, he played against the Hebou PNG Barramundis in the Maroochydore a couple of years ago when he was a rookie player for Western Australia.O’Connor and Dawes landed in Port Moresby on Tuesday and went straight to Amini Park for the Hebou PNG Barramundis’ training session.O’Connor believes that the Hebou PNG Barramundis have a chance at the upcoming ICC CWC Qualifier. O’Connor will depart Port Moresby tomorrow with the Hebou PNG Barramundis, where they will be based in Brisbane for a week-long camp, playing a couple of practice matches and trainings before travelling to Zimbabwe for the ICC CWC Qualifier.Liam O’Connor is a 24-year-old leg-spin bowler from Perth, who was previously contracted with Western Australia and currently plays for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League in Australia. (Liam O’Connor helping Mahuru Dai)
4 12 Samoa The Barramundis made their dominance show from the very first game when Tony Ura smashed a century of just 47 balls, to guide PNG past 200 against Samoa.Samoa barely put up a challenge and could only manage 129 in their 20 overs, with Chad Soper picking up 4 wickets – 3 of them coming in one over – for only 10 runs.Hosts Fiji were next as the Hebou PNG Barramundis played back-to-back matches on the first day, this time falling shy of the 200 run mark by 12 runs.Captain Assad Vala top scored with 70, his first half-century of the tournament – while Jason Kila hit a quickfire 36, while also picking up a wicket.The pick of the bowlers was Norman Vanua, who got 3 on the day as Fiji could only muster 113/9 in 20 overs. A great start for the Barras, winning both games by a huge margin.Up next was Vanuatu, who the Barramundis played on a reserve day as rains spoiled the fun last Sunday.Vanuatu found Assad Vala in top form as captain cool smashed a century of 45 balls. Ura and Amini both got half centuries as well as the Hebou PNG Barramundis posted a mammoth 239/2 – their highest at the tournament.In response, Vanuatu went down fighting, becoming the first team to post over 150 against the Barras, but they were bowled out for 158. Chad Soper again impressing with 4 wickets – this time, all of them in the same over. By now, the Barramundis had won all 3 of their games at an average of 80+ runs.The Hebou PNG Barramundis were up against it for the first time, in the next game against Samoa, who batted first against the Barramundis.Opener Dominic Michael – who finished the tournament as the second highest scorer with 218 runs – hit a very impressive 83.The Samoan openers put up a record 139 run partnership for the first wicket and helped Samoa to a challenging 175/4 in their 20 overs.In response, Hebou PNG Barramundis, led once again by Assad Vala with 65, chased the total down with relative ease. After winning the match by 7 wickets, with two overs to spare – the Hebou PNG Barramundis had ensured qualification to the next round of the World T20 Qualifiers.Fiji were up next on the same day and the Barras made short work of them – bowling the hosts out for only 31 runs. CJ Amini bowled an absolute blinder – 3 overs, which produced 17 dot balls and 3 wickets!A changed up batting line up chased the score down in the 4th over as the Hebou PNG Barramundis made it 5 win from 5 games. The hunger to win despite qualifying was great to see.On the last day, with the other qualification spot up for grabs between Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa, the Barramundis were still determined to return home undefeated. And they managed to do that in a tense encounter against Vanuatu.Vanuatu were restricted to 145/9 in their 20 overs – a total that did not seem too challenging at first. But the Barras were made to work hard for their win, losing 8 wickets themselves while chasing the total down with only 8 balls to spare. Assad Vala’s 4 wickets and 40 runs helping the Barras reach their target.Speaking after the last match against Vanuatu, Vala praised his team’s hard working leading into the tournament. “It’s been a tough five months for us, to get the rewards for the work we’ve put in during this week has been really enjoyable. To come into the middle and execute under pressure is the most important thing for me,” Vala concluded, who was the most consistent performer throughout the tournament.After the batting let them down during the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe earlier this year, it was great to see a number of batsmen among the runs.Assad Vala top scored with 294 runs – one century and two 50s in his 5 innings and Ura was not far behind with 215. Amini had two not outs, in 5 innings, scoring 166 while also picking up 6 wickets in the tournament.Batting deep, Jason Kila scored 86 runs in 4 innings, with two not outs and picked up 5 wickets and being very economical throughout the tournament, despite opening the bowling in many games. The pick of the bowlers though was Chad Soper who returned with 10 wickets while bowling (arguably), two of the best overs in the tournament across 2 games.Hebou PNG Barramundis return on Saturday as Champions of the Pacific and continue preparations for the next round of qualifiers in 2019.Points TableTeam 4 PNG 6 4 Vanuatu 4 4 6 4 2 2 Fiji Won 6 Points 6 6 Played Lost 2
But the PNGFA blames Lae FC for failing to submit much needed background information to obtain the duo’s International Transfer Certificate that would have seen them taking part in the NSL as of last weekend following their arrival in the country.According to Lae FC, for almost a month PNGFA sat on their submission requesting the ITC for the two Ecuadorian imports to play in the NSL ahead of their primary recruitment to beef up Lae FC’s OFC championship campaign next month in Vanuatu.It is now heading into the sixth week since 12th December 2019 when the Lae Biscuit sponsored Lae FC submitted a request following due process to the PNGFA to assist with the ITC.PNG Football Association Secretary General, Dimirit Mileng, confirmed at the start of the week that they had received a letter from Lae City FC on 12th December 2019 with the names of the players and their age. However, Mileng said having received some information on the two players from Ecuador, he now realises there are missing vital information that would have assisted them in tracking these players as to where they originate from.Earlier this week, PNGFA indicated seriously undertaking the task with Lae FC support yet the franchise said all the requested information now spelt out by PNGFA were never put forward to them when initially requesting the ITC.(Lae FC in training with one of their new imports – Picture: Frankiy Kapin)
A year ago, the buzz around the Premier League was focused on the arrival in Manchester of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho as managers of City and United.The buzz may have gone but the biggest question before the coming season remains whether two of the highest-profile managers in the world can deliver on all the hype surrounding them.The focus may have been on Manchester last season, but the title went to the capital and the run-in was a battle between two London clubs. Third-place City finished 15 points behind champions Chelsea, with Tottenham Hotspur in second place.Both Guardiola and Mourinho could argue that their first seasons were transitional campaigns. New faces had to settle in and the legacy players had to get used to the methods of their high-profile bosses.But after a close-season in which both managers have invested heavily in new players, United are now Mourinho’s team and City have been created by Guardiola. No excuses will be accepted by success-hungry fans – silverware is now expected.United, without a league title since 2013, certainly appear to have filled important gaps in their squad.Romelu Lukaku looks to be the physical presence with a goal-scoring pedigree needed to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack. Sweden’s Victor Lindelof looks a good partner for Eric Bailly in the centre of defence and Nemanja Matic is a proven asset on the defensive side of midfield duties.£89 million man Paul Pogba will be expected to finally deliver on his undoubted potential in a more attacking role, while 19-year-old Marcus Rashford continues to excite as he develops.The big question is whether Mourinho can forge a consistent starting side out of his squad after a year in which injuries hampered any attempt at continuity.City also look stronger on paper. Brazilian Ederson is believed to be the answer to their goalkeeping troubles and Portugal’s Bernardo Silva is a classy addition to the midfield.The full-back position has been another problem area and Kyle Walker, signed from Spurs, is a clear upgrade at right-back and France international Benjamin Mendy from Monaco an improvement on the opposite flank.With exciting Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus now fit and ready, Guardiola has a second striking threat alongside Sergio Aguero to compliment the creative talents of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.In contrast, the London clubs have been relatively quiet in the transfer market, apparently adopting the approach of not trying to fix what isn’t broken.There are question marks over Chelsea which may only be answered by the end of the transfer window.The squad is surprisingly small, given the number of players Chelsea have loaned out to other clubs, and the departure of Matic leaves manager Antonio Conte hoping France’s Tiemoue Bakayoko can quickly adapt after his arrival from Monaco.With Diego Costa widely reported to be leaving the club, the main striker is Alvaro Morata, brought from Real Madrid, and while he is an undoubted talent, he is untested in English football.Spurs are confident Kieran Trippier can replace Walker at right-back, but while they have been strongly linked with Everton midfielder Ross Barkley they have yet to bring in any new faces.Manager Mauricio Pochettino has said he is looking for new players but, as Chelsea and Leicester showed in the past two campaigns, there are benefits to having a consistent line-up.Arsenal’s biggest decision of the summer was opting to stick with manager Arsene Wenger and he has, so far, managed to keep Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil at the club.The Gunners showed signs of improvement at the end of last season and if they can keep that form – with new forward Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon giving them fresh firepower – their frustrated fans might enjoy an upturn in results after their worst finish in 21 years.Liverpool have brought in speedy Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah from AS Roma and Scotland full-back Andy Robertson from Hull but have not made the kind of acquisitions that would transform their chances of a first title in the Premier League era. Indeed, the major transfer activity on Merseyside has been conducted by Everton, who hope their investments, along with the return of Wayne Rooney, can help them break into the top six.
The House of Commons will investigate the sale of Wembley Stadium by the English Football Association (FA) in a one-off evidence session on July 18, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) said on Friday.The FA confirmed last week that it is negotiating to sell the national soccer stadium to U.S. billionaire Shahid Khan and British media said the deal could be worth up to 1 billion pounds ($1.36 billion).The money from the sale of Wembley would allow the governing body to reinvest in the English game’s grassroots, which includes approximately 1,500 new pitches, improved drainage systems and floodlighting.The government has offered provisional support to the proposed deal but the DCMS committee said there should be public scrutiny over how the proceeds of the sale could benefit the long-term future of the sport.“Wembley is the home of English football, built in part using public money,” Damian Collins, chairman of the DCMS committee, said in a statement.“There should be some public scrutiny of any decision to sell the stadium and how proceeds from this could be invested to benefit the long-term future of the game.“The Committee is interested in understanding the details of the FA’s proposals and receiving evidence from people who may hold alternative views.”The invited witnesses include sports minister Tracey Crouch as well as representatives from the FA and Sport England.