Soper's maiden five-for sets up PNG's six-wicket win
Papua New Guinea 191 for 4 (Vala 69*, Morea 53, Nehemiah 2-31) beat Kenya 188 (Karim 73*, Soper 5-27, Reva 2-19) by six wickets
Chad Soper's maiden List A five-wicket haul, and half-centuries from Assad Vala (69*) and Vani Morea (53) led Papua New Guinea to a six-wicket win in their World Cricket League Championship match against Kenya.
Soper, the right-arm medium-pacer, took five wickets within four overs and ended with 5 for 27 in nine overs to help PNG bowl Kenya out for 188. PNG's top order then made solid contributions to steer them past the target in 34.3 overs. PNG's third win of the competition helped them tie Kenya on six points, but were a rung below, at fifth place, on account of a poorer net run rate.
After losing the toss, PNG had reduced Kenya to 52 for 3, but wicketkeeper-batsman Irfan Karim (73*) held one end up. Karim began the recovery through a 56-run fourth-wicket stand with captain Rakep Patel. Patel was run out for 39 in the 30th over, but Gurdeep Singh helped add 42 more with Karim. Once Gurdeep was caught for 33 at the score of 150, Soper wiped out the lower order in quick time. He took all the remaining wickets from the 41st to 47th over as Kenya lost their last five batsmen for 16 runs.
PNG openers Morea and Lega Siaka made a solid start to the chase, putting on 42 in just 7.1 overs. Elijah Otieno, Kenya's new-ball bowler, broke through by having Siaka caught for 24 before Vala and Morea added 84 for the second wicket. Kenya's other opening bowler, Nehemiah Odhiambo, then struck with the wickets of Morea and Sese Bau in quick succession to leave PNG on 131 for 3. Mahuru Dai added 52 for the fifth wicket with Vala and the two almost saw their team through but Dai fell for 27. Vala stayed unbeaten after completing his fourth one-day half-century.