Papua New Guinea v Namibia, Intercontinental Cup, Port Moresby October 19, 2016

Vala ton sets up PNG's first home I-Cup win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Papua New Guinea 311 (Vala 144*, B Scholtz 5-105) and 189 (Morea 61, B Scholtz 6-65) beat Namibia 146 (Burger 52*, Siaka 3-16, Vanua 3-39) and 155 (Kotze 36, Siaka 4-38) by 199 runs

File photo: Assad Vala struck his second successive I-cup century © IDI/Getty

Stand-in captain Assad Vala scored an unbeaten 144 in the first innings to set up Papua New Guinea's 199-run win over Namibia at Port Moresby in their first Intercontinental-Cup match at home. It was PNG's second win in the competition, moving them past Scotland and Hong Kong into fourth place with 40 points from four games and putting them just six points behind Netherlands for third.

Vala, who took over captaincy for the injured Jack Vare, elected to bat and scored his second century in as many I-Cup matches after making 120 in January against Ireland. It set up PNG's first-innings total of 311. Namibia struggled in reply after medium-pacer Norman Vanua took 3 for 39 to reduce the visitors to 52 for 6.

Captain Sarel Burger produced an unbeaten half-century to keep Vanua at bay and added 52 for the eighth wicket with JJ Smit. Part-time bowler Lega Siaka broke the stand, removing Smit lbw for his maiden first-class wicket and then finished off the tail to hold Namibia to 146, giving first-innings points to PNG with a lead of 165.

PNG elected not to enforce the follow-on and Vani Morea opened their second innings with a brisk 61 off 86 balls. Left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz kept Namibia in the match by ripping through PNG's middle order to take 6 for 65, to finish with 11 for 170 in the match. His effort helped keep the hosts to 189 in their second innings, setting up a target of 355 for Namibia.

As they had done in the first innings, Vanua and Siaka did most of the damage early. Vanua helped reduce Namibia to 14 for 4. Siaka finished with 4 for 38, and a match haul of 7 for 54.

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  • beast155 on October 19, 2016, 23:25 GMT

    Great work PNG and coach Dipak Patel. A lot of talented players coming from the pacific and PNG leading the way.

  • YHG4335 on October 19, 2016, 11:20 GMT

    Good to see PNG doing well, they have a good set of local players and with more help, they can become even better. Same applies for Namibia, all of their players are locals and they have a lot of talent in their ranks. ICC needd to set about helping teams like Scotland, Netherlands, PNG, Nepal, Namibia etc so that what happened to Kenya (or even Bermuda, remember them?) doesn't happen to them.

  • Gizza on October 19, 2016, 9:55 GMT

    @J_Wright, you make a fair point. Namibia's white population is around 100,000 so the fact that Namibia qualified for two ODI World Cups is quite an achievement. On the other hand, at least these cricketers are born and bred in their country, which is much better than the teams that are made up of 9-10 subcontinental migrants, 1-2 migrants from the UK/Aus/SA/NZ/Caribbean and zero locals.

  • StaffsSam on October 19, 2016, 9:52 GMT

    @J.Wright Although I don't know the exact situation in Namibia, from what I have read Cricket Namibia have tried quite hard to get more of the black population into cricket but it hasn't been successful yet as they are more drawn to playing football or athletics. It's not like Whites are given preference over blacks it's just there isn't many black cricketers in Namibia.

  • dessy22 on October 19, 2016, 9:33 GMT

    Vala has shown outstanding consistency in the I-Cup. Average of 93 with three centuries and two 50s from 4 games. Just amazing. Dai has been outstanding too. Here's hoping the application and temperament from these two is rubbing off on the other guys. Fans are anxiously awaiting a big score from Siaka.

  • Udendra on October 19, 2016, 9:06 GMT

    I was expecting Siaka to perform with the bat. Instead he keeps taking wickets.

  • binukani on October 19, 2016, 8:03 GMT

    Well played PNG. So proud of your team effort. Siaka need to perform with his bat. Keep going. I am keen follower of PNG cricket. with love from India

  • J_Wright on October 19, 2016, 5:10 GMT

    Why are 9/11 players for Namibia white? I'm not being racist but this shows that their are still ethnic and more importantly class divides with pathways to cricket in African nations.

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