01 November 2018
Norman Vanua hit 50* from 40 balls and took 3/30 in a Player-Of-The-Match performance, as PNG won the South China Cup with a game left to spare! Hong Kong bowled out for 182 in the chase, the visitors winning Game 2 by 73 runs.
After winning the toss Asad Vala elected to bat first, and Tony Ura and Anthony Vare got the innings started in usual fashion. After seeing off the first couple of overs, they started to find the fence regularly, and brought up a 50 run partnership in just 9 overs. There were a few chances for HK, but none went to hand, until Raag Kapur took a sharp catch at point of Tanveer's bowling to dismiss Ura with the score at 52.
Ehsan Khan (3/54) then led the way as the HK bowlers struck at regular intervals - PNG losing 4 wickets within the space of 14 runs, and 6 in the space of 67. The PNG batsmen were going after the bowling on a slow pitch but produced plenty of chances, and a good passage of play for the hosts saw PNG reduced to 119/6, Doriga and Vila put on a useful 37 runs between them, but both fell quickly after one another, and HK were back on top. After 38.3 overs, PNG were 169/8. No batsman till this point had crossed 29, and they were in need of a big partnership.
And that is exactly what they got. Soper and Vanua turned things around for the tourists, showing of their side's batting depth in the process. The pair put on 86 runs in just 11.3 overs and together they pulled PNG well beyond 230 - what captain Asad Vala predicted would be a par score at the toss. Soper scored 30 off 44 balls (3 fours) and Vanua 50 from just 40 (3 fours, 4 sixes), bringing up his 50 with a six on the final ball of the innings. The last 5 overs proved productive for PNG again with 57 runs coming off them.
After providing a strong finish with the bat, Vanua then provided PNG a strong start with the ball. He clean bowled Nizakat Khan (immediately after being hit for a six) in the 2nd over, bringing in Raag Kapur to join Shahid Wasif at the crease. Wasif, picked as the wicket-keeper in the absence of Jamie Atkinson, was promoted up the order to open the batting, and showed sound temperament and judgement while constructing a 47 run partnership with the in-form 19 year old. Raag Kapur was batting well till Chad Soper trapped him LBW, and Babar Hayat looked to be in great touch till he chipped a CJ Amini quicker ball straight back to the bowler. Amini then made it 2 wickets in 2 balls -for the second game in a row- when he trapped Kinchit Shah LBW. From 72/4, HK were always going to struggle, and it became worse when Shahid Wasif -batting well on 38- had to retire due to cramps in the next over. HK were effectively 83/5 in 19 overs.
The lower order played some nice shots, but wickets kept falling. Amini first had Waqas Khan caught in the deep, then trapped Ehsan LBW, and capped off a superb day in the field with a spectacular run-out of Aizaz Khan. His final tally - 4/42 in 10 overs and a run-out. Hong Kong were 126/7.Shahid Wasif returned to the middle, and briefly raised the side's hopes. He brought up a well deserved fifity, and together with Haroon Arshad put on 42 runs till Assad Vala trapped him LBW for 55 (70 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) in the 36th over. Haroon battled on, scoring 39 (39 balls, 6 fours), but was the 9th man dismissed, bowled by Vanua in the 39th over. Hong Kong were all out just 9 balls later.
Full scorecards, results and statistics can be found on CricHQ:
An impressive all-round display by the visitors. The third OD game this Thursday is now a dead-rubber match, but there is still plenty at stake. PNG will want to complete the whitewash that eluded them back at home, while HK will want to pull one back and win some pride. Do tune in for our live streams of the game across all our social media platforms!