Papua New Guinea move to top of table
Papua New Guinea have climbed to the top of the World Cricket League Championship table after beating Namibia twice in Port Moresby.
In the first game on Friday, Namibian captain Sarel Burger won the toss and chose to bat first. Their innings was built around a superb unbeaten century from Craig Williams. He shared in an 82 run partnership for the third wicket with Wian van Vuuren, who was eventually bowled by Sese Bau for 60.
The scoring really picked up when the fourth wicket fell, with Williams and his captain putting on an unbroken 87 for the fifth wicket in 7.3 overs. Williams finished not out on 109 from 89 balls.
The home team's reply started badly when Vani Morea was caught behind for a duck in the second over. His opening partner Tony Ura fell for 19 soon afterwards with the score on 30. Lega Siaka and Asad Vala got the innings back on track with a 61 run partnership for the third wicket.
That partnership ended when Vala was out for 16, whilst Siaka went on to score 70 before he was the fourth man out with the score on 139 in the 25th over. That brought the List A debutant Dogodo Bau to the crease, and he proceeded to swing the game the way of the home team by helping Sese Bau put on 126 for the fifth wicket.
The partnership ended when Sese Bau was out for 76, and Dogodo Bau and Mahuru Dai knocked off the nine further runs required to secure the five wicket win with two overs to spare. Dogodo Bau finished unbeaten on 80.
The second match on Sunday was a lower scoring affair. Sarel Burger again won the toss and chose to bat first, their innings getting off to an unusual start when the non-striking batsmen was run out without facing a ball as they attempted a third run.
The other opener - Stephan Baard - was one of only two batsmen to make a significant contribution, reaching 54 before being bowled by Mahuru Dai. The other was Nicolaas Scholtz, who finished the innings unbeaten on 61 when the last wicket fell from the last ball.
Namibia scored 212 from their 50 overs, Mahuru Dai and Norman Vanua both taking three wickets. Papua New Guinea then took their time chasing down their target, but were never in any trouble. They completed a six wicket win with two overs to spare, Vani Morea top scoring with 67.
The next matches in the WCLC will see Kenya play Hong Kong on November 18th and 20th. Before then though Hong Kong will host Papua New Guinea in a three match ODI series starting on November 4th. The matches will be the first ODIs for PNG since they played Hong Kong in Townsville, Queensland back in November 2014. Namibia's next match will be in the South African second tier domestic competitions when they host North West for a three-day and one-day match.