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Martin Gleeson, the Papua New Guinea coach, insists his side still have the belief to win despite losing to Afghanistan yesterday in the World Cricket League.
“We haven't lost confidence in our ability to achieve what we came here to achieve,” Gleeson said. “We have played well this week and we had a discussion after the game on the areas that we need to improve on and what we need to do to get back on track.”
Gleeson said PNG will seek to secure the win without thinking about the need to improve their run-rate, which is the worst of the three teams which have a realistic chance of finishing in the top two, which would automatically earn it promotion to the World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa in April.
“First thing's first - we must win the game. If we don't then run rate won’t be a factor at all. We can't control what happens in the other games so naturally our primary focus will be on winning the game whilst of course keeping half an eye on our run rate. Hopefully with a good win all else will fall into place.”
Gleeson said he was most pleased by his team’s bowling and fielding. “It has been excellent so far. Led by Rarua Dikana's fast-mediums and Jamie Brazier's off spin, all bowlers have maintained a good line and length and been able to consistently put pressure on opposition batters. Our fielding has also been of a high standard and has been great support to the bowlers.”
He wasn’t as generous about the batting, especially against Afghanistan. “We made some poor shot selection and batted without the application and commitment that we had been working on. Afghanistan bowled and fielded well and we were unable to get any momentum going in our innings. Our batting has been patchy at best and apart from a couple of exciting innings from opener Vani Vagi Morea has been largely below expectations.”
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.