Vala and Siaka lead PNG to win over Kenya
Papua New Guinea started their World Twenty20 Qualifier campaign with a win over Kenya, and they've done the same today in the World Cup Qualifier, and convincingly so.
Batting first after PNG captain Chris Amini won the toss, Kenya scored slowly and steadily in the first half of their innings, and were on 109 when Steve Tikolo was fourth out in the 28th over. Former captain Collins Obuya and his replacement Rakep Patel then increased the scoring rate, putting on 53 for the sixth wicket in just over 8 overs.
Obuya was eventually seventh out from the first ball of the 48th over, having scored 106 out of Kenya's 216 at that point. Thomas Odoyo then dominated the next two overs, helping Nehemiah Odhiambo to put on 25 for the eighth wicket.
Eight runs were taken from the final over, with one wicket lost, to take Kenya's total to 249-9 from their 50 overs. Raymond Haoda was the pick of the bowlers with 4-50.
Papua New Guinea's run chase got off to a terrible start when Tony Ura was dismissed from the fourth ball with the score on 0. But that setback didn't affect PNG at all, as Leka Siaka and Assad Vala proceeded to put on 154 for the second wicket.
The partnership ended when Siaka was dismissed for 103, scored from just 83 balls. Vala and Chris Amini then put on an unbroken 96 for the third wicket, Vala scoring 105. It was the first List A century for both men as PNG completed a convincing 8 wicket win.
So a good start for Papua New Guinea after three years away from official international one-day cricket. They will hope to continue this fine start when they take on Uganda on Thursday. Kenya will hop to bounce back when they play their next match on Friday against Namibia.