Papua New Guinea Win On Debut
Papua New Guinea 203-6 (Amini 60no) beat
Hong Kong 202 (Atkinson 60) by four wickets
First One-Day International, Townsville
Charles Amini, PNG all-rounder
“I’m over the moon, I’m speechless. After Vani got out I told myself I have to pass the score. I’m proud of the achievement so far, that’s one out of two. We want to make it two out of two tomorrow.”
Dipak Patel, PNG coach
"I look back at some of the great victories I’ve been a part of and it brings back a lot of memories. This is totally different as a coach as you have different emotions but I’m just so pleased for the guys.
"They’ve worked particularly hard over the last two or three months and we’ve changed a lot. At times they’ve sort of looked at me sideways asking me where I was coming from, but today they summed it up and it was a great team effort."
Papua New Guinea made their first One-Day International appearance one to remember by beating Hong Kong by four wickets in the first of two matches in Townsville, Queensland.
The two sides were awarded ODI status following the World Cup Qualifier earlier this year and this was PNG's first match against another of the top 16 sides in the world since.
They chased down a target of 203 in 40 overs to ensure a winning start in ODI cricket while for Hong Kong, this was their seventh ODI defeat since their first match in 2004.
Batting first, they were bowled out for 202 in 48.3 overs with the wickets being shared among the PNG bowlers.
Willie Gavera, Chris Amini,Asad Vala and Mahuru Dai claimed two apiece while Charles Amini and Pipi Raho took one each.
Captain and wicket-keeper Jamie Atkinson top scored for Hong Kong with 60 in 80 balls and late runs from Aizaz Khan (42) and Haseeb Amjad (35) pushed them past 200.
Amjad was in the action with the ball when Hong Kong came to bat, as he removed opener Vala for 10 before Tanvir Afzal dismissed Tony Ura (2) and Lega Siaka (32).
And when former England international Geraint Jones and Raho fell for 20 and two respectively to Irfan Ahmed, PNG were struggling at 75 for five.
A patient half-century from Vani Morea, who made 54 in 92 balls, got them back on track and he put on 92 for the sixth wicket with Charles Amini to turn the course of the match.
Although pacer Irfan struck again to have Morea caught by Atkinson, Amini's 61 not out in 57 balls saw PNG home with wicket-keeper Jack Vare not out on seven.
The two sides meet again tomorrow (9th November).
© Cricket World 2014