One win away from creating history

The City Pharmacy PNG Lewas are one win away from creating history by becoming PNG’s first senior men’s or women’s cricket team to qualify for an International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup.

Having qualified for the semi-final of the ICC WWT20 Qualifier in the Netherlands by finishing second in Pool A behind Bangladesh, the City Pharmacy PNG Lewas go into their semi-final clash against Ireland, knowing a victory will not only mean that they make the final of this prestigious event, but also qualify for the ICC WWT20 in the West Indies in November this year.

This is the closest the Lewas have ever come to the World T20.

The City Pharmacy PNG Lewas will go into their match against Ireland as under-dogs, as Ireland lived up to the tag of being one of the tournament favourites, finishing top of their group after winning all their three matches against Scotland, Uganda and Thailand very comfortably. Ireland also defeated the City Pharmacy PNG Lewas by 8 wickets in a warm up match before the tournament officially began.

In fact, the World T20 Qualifiers is the first time the City Pharmacy PNG Lewas have played since the World T20 East Asia Pacific Qualifiers in Japan last year. Ireland, on the other hand, have played a series each against Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Bangladesh this year alone. Live match experience is a huge factor for the success of the Irish cricket team and in the sport in general.

The City Pharmacy PNG Lewas needed to get match practice of their own and set up practice games against UAE and Ireland before their tournament opener against current Asian champions, Bangladesh - a match that ended with an eight-wicket loss.

The Lewas had to win their next two games to stand a chance of qualifying and registered victories over United Arab Emirates (UAE) by two wickets and a comfortable 44 run victory over hosts, Netherlands, to reach the semifinals.

Speaking after the match against Netherlands, Lewas’ opening bowler, Ravini Oa, recognises Ireland as a “good batting side”. Oa said the Lewas needs to keep things tight with the ball.

“Ireland have a good batting side, and we want to hold it by bowling tight and going really hard, so we can hold them for 80 or 100 runs to make it easier for our batters to pass the score,” said Oa.

The Hebou PNG Under 19 Garamuts have played in eight ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cups while the Hebou PNG Barramundis and the City Pharmacy PNG Lewas are yet to make their debuts at an ICC 50 Over or T20 World Cup.

“We are very proud of what the City Pharmacy PNG Lewas have achieved so far, to make a semi-final for the first time in a global ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifying event,” said Cricket PNG (CPNG) CEO, Greg Campbell.

“Saying that, we know our job isn’t done yet as our aim before this tournament was to qualify for the ICC WWT20 in the West Indies. On behalf of the CPNG Board, management, staff and the wider cricketing community of PNG, we would like to wish Pauke (Siaka) and the Lewas all the best as everyone here in PNG is right behind you,” concluded Campbell.   

The semifinal between the City Pharmacy PNG Lewas and Ireland will take place tonight July 12th) at the VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen, with the match commencing at 8pm (PNG Time).  

Match Results (City Pharmacy PNG Lewas)

City Pharmacy PNG Lewas 6/84 (20) Veru Kila Frank 27 (26), Tanya Ruma 23* (31), Kopi John 15 (32) defeated by Bangladesh 2/86 (14.5) Vicky Araa 1/13 (3), Pauke Siaka 1/13 (3) by eight (8) wickets with 31 balls remaining.

Press release