9 November 2014
Yesterday, Papua New Guinea become the sixth team to win their first ODI. Today they did what the previous five couldn't do - win their second.
Batting first after winning the toss at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, Queensland, Hong Kong lost the sometimes dangerous Irfan Ahmed early on, but recovered with Waqas Barkat and Anshuman Rath putting on 60 for the second wicket before Barkat was out for 24.
Rath then put on 53 for the third wicket with Hong Kong skipper Jamie Atkinson before he was out for 51. Hong Kong in general batted much better than yesterday, with Babar Hayat top scoring with 55. Haseeb Amjad smashed the ball around towards the end of their innings, scoring 42 from just 20 balls.
The final Hong Kong total was 261 before they were bowled out three balls short of their quota of 50 overs. Norman Vanua was the pick of the PNG bowlers with 4-60.
The Papua New Guinea reply was initially dominated by one man - Lega Siaka. The 21 year old, who scored two centuries in the World Cup Qualifier earlier this year, played superbly to make Papua New Guinea's first ODI century. He scored 109 before he was run out, and shared in a 79 run stand for the fourth wicket with Vani Morea.
It was Morea who then took over the run scoring, keeping the strike and keeping up with the required rate even as three wickets fell at the other end. He finished unbeaten on 65, hitting the winning four when a Hong Kong fielder failed to take what could have been a simple catch when he lost the ball in the sun.
The three wicket win sparked celebrations in the PNG camp, who can go back to Port Moresby safe in the knowledge that they've had a better start to their ODI history than any other team. Captain Chris Amini was overcome by emotion in a post match interview, choking back tears as he dedicated the series win to his grandfather, who was the first of many members of the Amini clan to play for Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea will next be in action later this month when they play in the East Asia Pacific Twenty20 Championship in Lismore, New South Wales.
Papua New Guinea beat Hong Kong by 3 wickets
Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville, 9 November
Hong Kong 261 (49.3 overs, Babar Hayat 55, Anshuman Rath 51, Haseeb Amjad 42, N Vanua 4-60, W Gavera 3-45)