PNG will play International cricket for the first time. ©Cricket PNG

Papua New Guinea (PNG) will be looking forward to contesting in the World T20 Qualifiers for a chance to compete in the T20 World Cup, coming up in November this year. Though they have played very little cricket since the regional qualifiers back in 2017, where they finished at the top of the table in the East Asia-Pacific Region, they will be eager to start competing again now.

As Australian wicket-keeper, Alyssa Healy said in the Unplayable Podcast it “could be very exciting if a team like PNG qualifies for the T20 World Cup.”

Will they be able to? Here’s all you need to know about the squad:

 

Key Players:

Captain of the PNG side, Pauke Siaka will be one of the key players for the team. An all-rounder, her team will be looking to her to lead from the front and follow her example. Threatening with both bat and ball, Siaka contributes to her side consistently and it will be hard for her opponents to keep her out of the game.

All-rounder Sibona Jimmy, who opens the batting and bowls off-break will also be a very important part of this squad. Jimmy takes wickets in almost every match of hers’ and delivers with the bat as well at the top of the order. She and fellow opener Tanya Ruma form a formidable pair to open the batting as both are capable of taking the game away from the opposition.

 

Strengths:  

PNG has both, a strong batting attack and a strong bowling attack. They boast a well-rounded squad that can restrict its’ opponents to low totals or defend them if need be. Their batting line-up is capable of putting big scores on the board or chasing them down. Their all-round strength gives them a good chance of putting in some impressive performances in the Qualifiers, that they will hope will be enough to help them qualify.

 

Weakness:

Despite the top order of Siaka, Jimmy and Ruma being incredibly consistent, there are days when they don’t fire and the team needs the middle and lower orders to step up. However, this is where the PNG team fails to perform. The batting order simply collapses if no foundation is laid down by the top-order which is something team PNG will be looking to improve upon.

 

Importance:

After lengthy periods without competitive cricket, the PNG team will be excited to get back to competing in a tournament where a place in the T20 World Cup is at stake.

 

Squad:

Pauke Siaka (c), Natasha Ambol, Vicky Ara’a, Kaia Arua, Helen Buruka (wk), Veru Kila Frank, Sibona Jimmy, Kopi John, Ravini Oa, Tanya Ruma, Brenda Tau (wk), Mairi Tom, Isabel Toua, Naoani Vare

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