Mahuru Dai’s outstanding all round performance with the bat and the ball helped the Hebou PNG Barramundis to an historic International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Championships (WCLC) Round 6 victory over Scotland by five (5) wickets at Amini Park today.
After winning the toss, Scotland Captain, Kyle Coetzer once again elected to batted first on another hot and humid day in Port Moresby. Coetzer and Matthew Cross got Scotland to a perfect start putting on 46 runs for the opening wicket before Koetzer was run-out for 22. Then the Hebou PNG Barramundis’ bowlers pegged back Scotland, taking regular wickets to reduce Scotland to 4/80 when Con de Lange was clean bowled by Mahuru Dai. Then George Munsey (22) added a 50-run partnership with Cross to take the score beyond 130 runs before another mini collapse had reduced Scotland to 7/167. Cross continued to frustrate the Barramundis’ bowlers to make a magnificent 91 runs before John Boge Reva dismissed him. Unfortunately for Scotland, the lower order was unable to accelerate the innings, due to some wonderful reverse-swing bowling from Norman Vanua to be eventually all out for 203 in the final over. Dai was the standout bowler, taking an incredible 2/19 off his allotted ten overs, while Vanua (2/36) and Reva (2/35) also picked up a couple of wickets each.
In reply, Hebou PNG Barramundis’ openers, Vani Vagi Morea (18) and Tony Ura (25) raced to 44 runs before Morea skied one off the bowling of Christopher Sole. Alasdair Evans then picked up Ura’s wicket three (3) balls later to leave the Barramundis in trouble at 2/44. Lega Siaka (15) and Hebou PNG Barramundis Captain, Assad Vala then steadied the innings, putting on 41 runs for the third wicket before Siaka was stumped by Mark Watt, trying to go for a big six. Sese Bau (13) and Vala (49) fell soon after to leave the Barramundis in a vulnerable 5/130. Then enter the man of the moment, Dai, who along with Dogodo Bau (14*), frustrated the Scotland bowlers to help steer the Barramundis to a famous victory with two (2) overs to spare. Dai hit an amazing unbeaten 63 runs off just 54 balls, which included ten (10) creative boundaries while Bau played a patient unbeaten 14 off 45 balls.
This result meant that the Hebou PNG Barramundis leapfrogged Scotland into second position on the WCLC Points Table on 16 points, while Scotland drops to third position on 15 points.
This victory was also the Hebou PNG Barramundis’ first One Day International (ODI) victory on home soil, after losing their opening match to Scotland on Friday.
Scotland 10/203 (49.2) Matthew Cross 91 (120), Kyle Coetzer 22 (24), George Munsey 22 (65), Mahuru Dau 2/19 (10), John Boge Reva 2/35 (6.2), Norman Vanua 2/36 (10) defeated by Hebou PNG Barramundis 5/204 (48) Mahuru Dai 63* (54), Assad Vala 49 (73), Tony Ura 25 (25), Alasdair Evans 2/42 (7), Mark Watt 1/28 (10), Con De Lange 1/28 (6) by five (5) wickets with 12 balls remaining