ICC Media Release
The Papua New Guinea Women's Cricket team has managed a clean sweep of the 2006 Brian Bell Women's Cricket Challenge finishing this tournament in stylish fashion in chasing down a competitive 156 run total posted by the Japanese in 36 overs with 7 wickets in hand.
Japan's captain Ema Kuribayashi won her first toss of the tournament and eagerly accepted the opportunity to bat first and look to apply pressure to the PNG batting line-up with their outstanding fielding skills.
After the loss of 2 early wickets which left Japan at 2 for 22 in the 13th over, things started to look more promising for Japan as Kuribayashi and Mariko Yamamoto combined for the tournaments most productive partnership putting on 91 runs. This strong middle order batting display enabled the Japanese to increase the tempo of their innings, with Kuribayashi playing some classical cover drives on her way to 67 not out and lifting the run-rate to above 3 per over as they finished on 5 for 156.
The pick of the bowlers for PNG was Biria Revaea who returned 2 for 35 from her 9 overs and Karu Lumis who bowled 10 over for 1 wicket and conceded 26 runs. Dual player of the match winner Konio Heagi was still economic returning 10 wicketless overs for just 24 runs.
Having managed just 119 and 109 in the two previous innings, the Japanese squad was enthused by the total they had set the PNG team and felt they had set a more than competitive total.
However, the strong PNG batting line-up immediately took on the challenge of chasing down the total, a total they themselves had set the previous day when batting first. Openers Hebau Morea (26) and Gari Mea (27) established a run-rate of about 4 per over and this was maintained throughout the innings as captain Kune Amini (41 not out) and Cheryl Amini (29 not out) batted aggressively and found the boundary readily.
Shizoka Sato bowled tirelessly and throughout this tournament has proven herself to be a quality left arm opening bowler; however in this match she and her teammates were unable to penetrate the PNG batting line-up.
A flurry of boundaries by Kune Amini and Cheryl Amini (sisters-in-law) to complete victory at the ground named in honour of a relative was a fitting way to end the tournament and gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about.
This win has given PNG enormous confidence as they now begin preparations towards the Women's World Cup Qualifiers, particularly given they were able to chase down a competitive total in such comprehensive fashion. PNG coach Searu Loa said 'It was a very pleasing win, they scored 30 more than we would have liked and we were unsure how we would go chasing this target, but the ladies batted tremendously well. This is great for PNG Cricket and we are looking forward to the next challenge'.
This match completes the 2006 Brian Bell EAP Women's Cricket Challenge played at Amini Park in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea where PNG records a 3-0 series win.
Japan 156-5 (50 overs, E Kuribayashi 67*, M Yamamoto 46) lost to PNG 158-3 (36 overs, K Amini 41*) by 7 wickets
Player of the Match: Ema Kuribayashi