Kenya crumbles in opener against Papua New Guinea

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 13, 2022
  • Shem Ngoche of Kenya in action.(Photo:IDI/Getty Images)

Papua New Guinea pulled off a convincing 8-wicket victory over Kenya in its Group B clash of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth on Monday.

Chasing a formidable total of 250, Lega Siaka and Assad Vala helped PNG register its first win of the tournament with a gritty 154-run second wicket stand.

Siaka smashed 103 off 83 balls, hitting 11 fours and four sixes, while Vala's unbeaten 105 came off 109 balls, studded with eight fours and six sixes.

The duo took over after the dismissal of opener Tony Ura for a duck off the fourth ball of the innings, seeing the PNG innings through till the 23rd over when Shem Ngoche finally got Kenya a breakthrough to dismiss Siaka, caught by captain Rakep Patel. Vala continued to bat on as Chris Amini provided him with solid support from the other end with a patient 63-ball 28.

With 7.1 overs remaining in the chase, PNG achieved its target for the loss of just two wickets.

Kenya captain Rakep Patel said he was disappointed to lose the opening match of the tournament: “After posting 250 I thought the batsmen did well.  But we bowled both sides of the wickets and dropped a couple of crucial catches.”

“We have to bounce back and the players have to take more individual responsibility,” he said.

Earlier, Collins Obuya struck a century for Kenya in spite of the regular fall of wickets at the other end, adding 106 off 120 balls to the total, with six fours and two sixes.

Thomas Odoyo complimented with an unbeaten 42 as the remaining batsmen failed to negotiate PNG’s bowlers, who picked up nine wickets to restrict Kenya to 249 in its 50 overs.

Medium-pacer Raymond Haoda bagged four wickets for 50 runs while Pipi Raho took 2 for 47 in his 10 overs. Amini, Willie Gavera and Mahuru Dai picked up one wicket each.

PNG will now look to build on the good start to the tournament as they play Uganda in their next match in New Plymouth on Thursday, while Kenya will be determined to put up a better show in its Group B clash against Namibia on Friday.

In other matches of the day, Netherlands defeated Uganda by seven wickets, tournament top seed United Arab Emirates (UAE) recorded a comfortable 102-run victory over Nepal, and Hong Kong defeated Scotland by 17 runs.