Willis powers Australia U-19 to victory
Australia Under-19 256 (Willis 110, Morea 3-27) beat Papa New Guinea Under-19 112 (Kelly 4-18) by 144 runs
Sean Willis' unbeaten century led Australia to a 144-run victory over Papua New Guinea in their exhibition match in Darwin. Australia, whose batsmen suffered a collapse in Tuesday's defeat to India U-19, got off to a bad start again as their top order struggled to make a platform, leaving them at 71 for 4
This brought Willis to the crease, and along with Alex Gregory, helped consolidate Australia's indifferent start by putting on 51 runs for the fifth wicket. Once Gregory fell, Jack Doran came in next and the pair put on a sixth-wicket stand of 112. This helped Australia recover to a respectable 234 for 6, with some late hitting helping the team reach 256 for 6. Willis finished unbeaten on 110, a knock which included 12 fours and 6 sixes. Kabua Morea was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3 for 27.
PNG began their chase cautiously. Openers Kiplin Doriga and Anthony Vare struggled to settle in and were dismissed off consecutive deliveries in the seventh over by medium-pacer Matthew Kelly. Wickets continued to fall regularly for PNG, as the efforts of Kelly, Riley Ayre and Matthew Short ensured Australia were able to defend their total. PNG were ultimately dismissed for 112 in 39 overs, with Kelly finishing with best figures of 4 for 18 in his 8 overs.
The result of this friendly match has no bearing on the current standings of the ongoing U-19 tri-series, where an unbeaten India remain on top. Australia are second, with one win and one loss. New Zealand, who are yet to register a victory, are third. Australia next play New Zealand at Marrara Oval on July 6.