La foto

In piedi da sinistra: Luca BRUNO (Manager); Joe SCUDERI (Coach); Hayden PATRIZI DELL'AGNELLO; Din ALAUD; Stanly Hemantha Jayasena SAMARAWEERA KANKANAMGE;  Dilan Shameera FERNANDO ARASAKULASURIYA; Vincenzo PENNAZZA; Michael RASO; Peter PETRICOLA; Roshendra Suroshan ABEWICKRAMA; Paul WALSH (Fisioterapista).
Accosciati da sinistra: Damian MUTHUNAMAGONNAGE FERNANDO; Gayashan Ranga DE SILVA MUNASINGHE; Thushara KURUKULASURIYA; Alessandro BONORA (Capitano); Andrew NORTHCOTE; Damian Graham CROWLEY.

Teenager Chapman helps Hong Kong defeat Papua New Guinea to claim top spot in Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3

Hong Kong, 29 January 2011

Teenager Chapman helps Hong Kong defeat Papua New Guinea to claim top spot in Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3

Italy’s Peter Petricola named Player of the Tournament

Hong Kong and PNG jump to 21 and 22 in world rankings

Hong Kong beat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by four wickets in the final of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 (WCL Div.3) at the Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Having been set a target by PNG of 203, Hong Kong claimed victory after a superb performance by teenager Mark Chapman which set the side up for victory. By virtue of reaching the final, both Hong Kong and PNG joined Namibia, Bermuda, Uganda and hosts United Arab Emirates in Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2 to be hosted in Dubai from 8 to 15 April.

Elsewhere, Oman defeat Italy by eight wickets in the third-fourth play-off at Hong Kong Cricket Club while Denmark beat USA by 84 runs to take fifth place. Oman and Italy stay in Division 3 while USA and Denmark were relegated to Division 4.

After the group stage of the event PNG had been top of the table despite one loss to Hong Kong on Friday in the round-robin section of the tournament. Today, Rarua Dikana’s men were ready to avenge the Hong Kong side that had inflicted the only defeat on the team during the course of the tournament’s group stages, but Hong Kong had other plans in mind.

Hong Kong captain Najeeb Amar had a fantastic day with the ball claiming 3-32 including in his haul the key PNG opener Tony Ura for 51 and top order batsman Chris Amini for 60.

Amini had few team-mates to build on the total with, not helped by the four batsmen below him totalling just 12 runs, but the arrival of Hitolo Areni helped the team to respectable 202-8 at the close of the Papua New Guineans’ innings.

After the break, the locals made steady work of knocking of the runs with the key player of the innings being middle-order batsman Chapman whose knock of 70 not out was key to the hosts victory.

The 16-year-old saw many of his team-mates come and go with Hussain Butt and Waqas Barqat the only two to pass 20 runs each. PNG captain Dikana was the pick of the side’s bowlers, taking match figures of 3-40.

A delighted Hong Kong captain Najeeb Amar said of the side’s win in front of its home crowd, “Today I feel like I’m flying, like I am sat on the moon I am so happy that we’ve won the tournament. I was delighted to score the winning the runs with Mark Chapman in front of our home crowd.

“Credit must not just go to the team but also our coach, Charlie Burke, he’s unbelievable, he made my job easier, he gave us a simple task, don’t panic and the results will come, which they did this week.

“Our team is full of surprises and talented guys, especially Mark Chapman among many others, they can prove themselves against any team and hopefully when we get to Dubai we can do the same. The teams in Division 2 will be a tough task, but the way we perform and play and we can make it any level and we’re confident.”

Man of the match Chapman said, “It’s an amazing feeling to win in front of my family and home crowd and then take home the man of the match medal too. I worked hard today to grind out the runs since I’ve not had a great run this tournament. I don’t know much about Dubai and the sides we’ll face, but I’m sure we’ll be ready.”

PNG head coach, Andy Bichel, was obviously disappointed about not taking home the trophy but drew positives from the tournament and the side’s promotion to WCL Div. 2.

“It’s disappointing to lose in the final, but the plan was to win promotion to Division 2 which we have done. We’re a young squad and hopefully this experience will inspire them to play better in Dubai.

“We haven’t looked forward to Division 2 yet, but it’s about being prepared to play at that one level up. Its about having plans for batsmen who will be of a higher standard, being in different conditions with different pitches.

“The higher standard you go, the better the wickets will get, the better the teams are and it will be a real test for us – we’ve got the players to do well, its now about preparing for the event.”

Meanwhile Oman secured third place after defeating Italy by eight wickets in the highest scoring game of the day.

The match was a chance for Italy to put right the side’s defeat to the Omanis in the group stages of the tournament, but it was not to be with the Sultanate of Oman showing its superior batting skills.

The Italians put on a decent total of 251 after some strong batting from captain Alessandro Bonora and Hayden Patrizi but Oman’s fast bowler Rajesh Kumar proved once again to be the in-form bowler claiming 3-41.
In reply, Italy’s bowlers just couldn’t get the breakthrough they needed after Gayashan Munasinghe and Dilan Fernando had dismissed the top two batsmen. Adnan Ilyas (120 not out) and Vaibhav Wategaonkar (87 not out) proving their batting prowess to secure victory.
Despite not playing today due to injury, Italy’s Peter Petricola was named Player of the Tournament after the all-rounder claimed 11 wickets and scored 226 runs in the tournament.
“It’s fantastic to win player of the tournament, but is somewhat bittersweet as we’ve not managed to win promotion this week,” said Petricola.
“I wasn’t able to play today as I’ve been suffering some soreness after bowling for the first time in a while for the side, but claiming those 11 wickets and scoring those runs for Italy has been worth it to see us stay in Division 3.
“I think this week has shown we have the ability to challenge the sides in Division 3 and if things had gone our way we could’ve have made it up a division, but I’m happy we’ve maintained our position,” he concluded.
Denmark rounded off a disappointing week on a high finishing fifth in the tournament after it defeated USA by 84 runs.
Batting first, Denmark made 240-6 in its allotted overs, with Freddie Klokker finally finding form scoring a century for the Scandinavians. Carsten Pedersen also added a hard-fought 59 in what would turn out to be his final game for the Danes as the 33-year-old from Herning announced his retirement post-match.
USA’s bowlers couldn’t seem to find the right areas and only tempted the Danish into errors on rare occasions.
In reply, USA’s batting fell short of the mark once again, with not one of the team making more than 28 runs. The Danes’ young fast bowler, Basit Raja taking the key wickets of Sushil Nadkarni, Lennox Cush and Orlando Baker to walk away with match figures of 3-25.
It was then up to captain Michael Pedersen to claim the final wicket, that of Asif Khan, who was fittingly stumped by Denmark’s man of the match, centurion Klokker.

Score summaries (Rankings play-off):
The Final
At KCC: Papua New Guinea 202-9, 50 overs (Ura 51, Vare 48, Amini 60; Amar 3-32)
Hong Kong 207-6, 47.1 overs (Chapman 70 not out; Dikana 3-40)
Hong Kong won by four wickets
3rd/4th Play-off
At HKCC: Italy 251-7, 50 overs (Bonora 81, Patrizi 78; Rajesh 3-41)
Oman 255-2, 41 overs (Ilyas 120 not out, Wategaonkar 87 not out)
Oman won by eight wickets
5/6th Play-off
At Mission Road: Denmark 240-6, 50 overs (Klokker 101 not out, C Pedersen 59; Cush 2-34, Corns 2-36)
USA 156 all out, 43 overs (Marshall 27, Forrest 28; Javed 3-25)
Denmark won by 84 runs

Finale 3°/4° posto: ITALIA - Oman

29 gennaio 2011
Finale 3°/4° posto del tutto insignificante, visto che le promozioni e le retrocessioni vengono determinate dai gironi. Ci si batte per un gradino in più nel ranking mondiale. L'Italia un po' distratta dal risultato conseguito nel torneo, discreta in battuta, lancia maluccio.

Hong Kong Cricket Club: ITALIA 251/7 perde da Oman 255/2

Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong promoted to Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2

Hong Kong, 28 January 2011

Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong promoted to Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2

Denmark and USA relegated as Italy and Oman remain in Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3

Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong will participate in Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div. 2) in April after hosts Hong Kong defeated PNG by 93 runs at Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC) on Friday.

While the victory gave Hong Kong the required points to win promotion, PNG still topped the table at the conclusion of the round-robin section of the tournament after the side from the East-Asia Pacific region won four out five of its matches this week.

Elsewhere, Italy defeated the United States of America (USA) by four wickets to send the Americans back down WCL Div. 4 where it will be joined by Denmark which lost to Oman by four wickets. 

Having won the toss and elected to field at HKCC, PNG managed to limit the Hong Kong side to 221 runs in 49 overs, with Hussain Butt the batsman of note for the hosts. The 34-year-old made 68 runs of 102 balls to help the side to a reasonable total, he was assisted by Nizakat Khan who scored 36.

Hitolo Areni and his captain Rarua Dikana continued to be the in-form bowlers for PNG, with the duo claiming three wickets each.

However, when PNG’s batsmen took to the field the side failed to spark against some tight bowling from the local team. Nadeem Ahmed was the pick of the Hong Kong bowlers with 3-36 while PNG’s Kila Pala was the top scoring batsman with a mere 22 runs.

Hong Kong’s bowlers prevailed and despite Dikana’s 19 not out the side were all out for 128 after the departure of Loa Nou for seven runs after the 23-year-old was caught by Butt off the bowling of Hong Kong captain Najeeb Amar.

Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke was pleased with the side’s performance in winning promotion today but is focussing on winning the entire event before looking ahead to WCL Div. 2 in April.

“We talked about how we could beat PNG today and knew if we batted first it would be important to make as many runs as possible before our bowlers could get to work on the PNG side.

“The important thing for us was to remain focussed and we knew by putting PNG under pressure the side would become vulnerable which they did today. We beat them in a warm-up game without our full strength squad so we knew we had the ability today to beat them, and our ability and strength showed today.

“There are plenty of quality sides in Division 2 but my focus since taking this role has been about securing promotion. We have the promotion but this league isn’t over and we want to win the entire tournament in front of our home crowd before we focus our attention to the new challenges and teams Division 2 will throw at us,” said Burke.

PNG captain Dikana was of mixed emotions with the team promoted but losing the final round-robin match.

“We’re obviously disappointed with our play and commitment in the loss to Hong Kong today. Today was Hong Kong’s final as they battled for survival in the tournament and they were the better side on the day. Congratulations to a well prepared side that fought hard and showed strong spirit. 

“We have a rematch to see who will take home the title of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 champions and I know my team have the ability to take the trophy home to PNG as the best side in the tournament. Our complete focus is on tomorrow as we take one step at a time. Tomorrow is a new ball game,” said Dikana.

Elsewhere, Italy defeated USA at Mission Road by four wickets in just under 50 overs to send its fellow WCL Div. 4 qualifiers back down to the division it had risen from. USA’s batting improved drastically today from its previous performances in the last few days, with the side making 222 in its allotted 50 overs.

Sushil Nadkarni and captain Steve Massiah performed well but Italy’s star all-rounder Peter Petricola once again featured with the ball, the 27-year-old dismissed debutant Ryan Corns for 30 runs on his way to making match figures of 4-38.

It was then Petricola’s turn to star with the bat, scoring 69 not out to help guide the side to victory and maintain its place in Division 3. Petricola was not the only batsman to perform today though – Hayden Patrizi provided a spirited half-century along with Michael Raso’s 38.

Disappointed USA captain, Massiah said, “Along with the entire team, I am hugely disappointed to be relegated back to Division 4. We didn’t prepare for this tournament as well as we have done in other events and our performances here were nothing like what we know we are capable of when we play cricket.

“Certain things didn’t go our way this tournament and we now need to go back to the USA and rethink our strategy and how we are going to bounce back from this and rebuild our team to climb back up the leagues.”

In the final fixture of the day, Oman took on Denmark at Kowloon Cricket Club in a match that saw Michael Pedersen’s side once again fall short of the mark once again with some disappointing batting.

Denmark’s top order was unsuccessful once again this time with Michael Pedersen departing for just six runs as he moved up the order to join Freddie Klokker. Klokker has failed to spark this tournament and today’s strongest performer was Carsten Pedersen with a spirited half-century.

Oman’s bowling attack was too strong with Khalid Rasheed (3-17) and Rajesh Kumar (3-35) continuing to showcase their talents.

The Sultanate of Oman knocked off the required runs in just 24.5 overs losing six wickets in the process, four claimed by Jacob Larsen, but a half-century from Hemin Desai and Vaibhav Wategaonkar’s match-winning innings of 54 not out secured the side victory and retained the side its place in WCL Div. 3.

Saturday’s final will see PNG play Hong Kong at Kowloon Cricket Club, Italy will face Oman in the third/fourth play-off at HKCC while Denmark will play USA at Mission Road in the fifth/sixth play-off.

Score summaries (Day Five):

At KCC: Denmark 181 all out, 47.2 overs (C Pedersen 53, Shah 34; Rajesh 3-35, Rasheed 3-17)
Oman 182-6, 24.5 overs (Desai 51, Wategaonkar 53 not out; Larsen 4-59)
Oman won by four wickets

At HKCC: Hong Kong 221 all out, 49 overs (Butt 68, Nizakat 36; Areni 3-29, Dikana 3-43)
PNG 128 all out, 47.5 overs (Pala 22; Nadeem 3-36, Aizaz 2-21)
Hong Kong won by 93 runs

At Mission Road: USA 222-8, 50 overs (Nadkarni 47, Massiah 52, Marshall 38; Petricola 4-38)
Italy 225-6, 47 overs (Petricola 69 not out, Patrizi 50, Raso 38; Darlington 3-51, Shuja 2-25)
Italy won by four wickets


28 gennaio 2011
Italia - U.S.A. al campo di Mission Road.

La partita per la salvezza: l'Italia soffre ma vince senza rischi.

U.S.A. 222/8 in 50 overs - Italia 225/6 in 47 overs

Papua New Guinea secures promotion to Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2

Hong Kong, 26 January 2011

Papua New Guinea secures promotion to Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 2

Shuja leads USA fightback to defeat Oman as hosts Hong Kong beat Italy

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has secured itself promotion to Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div. 2) to be held in April in Dubai after Rarua Dikana’s men beat Denmark in Hong Kong today to take its fourth victory in a row of Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3.

Usman Shuja led USA to victory today, helping to secure the Americans a win over Oman in a tightly fought contest at Hong Kong Cricket Club, while hosts Hong Kong battled to beat Italy by one wicket.

By PNG securing promotion today, it means Friday’s games will be crucial for the five other teams in the tournament with regards to the second available promotion spot, the two relegation places and the two berths that will see two sides remain in WCL Div. 3

PNG continued its domination of this event today seeing off with ease a challenge from Denmark at Kowloon Cricket Club. The Danes batting line-up failed once again today with the top seven batsmen in the side all departing after being caught in the field by the in-form Papua New Guineans.

Aftab Ahmed was the top scorer for the Danish side with his 39 not out to help his side to 112, but his efforts were in vain as Loa Nou, Hitolo Areni, Chris Amini and Chris Kent claimed two wickets each leaving one each for their captain Rarua Dikana and team-mate Mahuru Dai.

Having given the Danish a master class in fielding, it was then up to PNG’s batsmen to showcase their abilities to the European side. Unfortunately for Asad Vala it wasn’t his day to give a batting exhibition, with the 23-year-old departing for a duck, but he made way for Chris Amini who alongside Tony Ura knocked off the required runs in just 22.3 overs.

Today’s victory has secured the side a place in Saturday’s final no matter what the results are on Friday when all the teams square up for the final round-robin section of the tournament.

PNG head coach Andy Bichel was pleased with the side’s strong performance and sees the promotion to WCL Div. 2 a culmination of hard work that has paid off.  “I am immensely proud of the boys and feel that qualifying for Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 achieves a goal we set ourselves18 months ago.

“The final on Saturday is now a short term goal and taking home the title is an important part of finishing this tournament,” said Bichel.

Man of the match Chris Amini said, “It is nice to finally contribute at this level and have a really strong game. I’ve not won an ICC man of the match award since Pepsi ICC WCL Div. 3 in 2007 in Darwin and I feel proud to again achieve this honour.

“I feel at this stage as a team we are approaching our best and I know we still have more to achieve.”

After a disappointing defeat to PNG yesterday, USA were looking to bounce back from two losses and that is exactly what Steve Massiah’s side did, but victory over the Sultanate of Oman did not come easily for the Americans.

Having won the toss, Massiah’s men proceeded to work their way through the Oman batting line up with some strong bowling coming from spinner Asif Khan as well as bowlers Shuja and Orlando Baker.

Oman’s batsmen failed to make partnerships in today’s match and when Baker and Asif dismissed key middle-order men Hemal Mehta, Sultan Ahmed and Awal Khan the Americans had the side on the backfoot – eventually skittling the team for 122.

After the innings break, the USA batsmen took to the field overlooked by the green mountains of Hong Kong and preceded to repeat the poor performances of yesterday. The top order once again collapsed, this time to the bowling of Rajesh Kumar with the side at one point three wickets down for just three runs.

It looked set to be an Omani victory as Carl Wright, Lennox Cush, Sushil Nadkarni, Ritesh Kadu and debutant Durale Forrest were all sent packing. But, all was not as it seemed when Shuja and Asif took to the crease and the duo bedded in to grind out victory by two wickets for the USA.

A delighted Shuja said, “I just wanted to bat it out today and try to score as many runs as possible and help us to get over some of the embarrassment of yesterday’s defeat. Once I’d settled in and the ball had gotten older I felt I could play a bit more freely and help us on our way to winning.

“When the top order collapsed I realised I needed to come in and bat patiently, something I think they didn’t do, and it worked out in our favour as myself and Asif knocked off the runs. It’s now about us hopefully beating Italy and keeping ourselves in contention for promotion if we can.”

In the highest scoring fixture of the day, Hong Kong battled against Italy in a thrilling match that saw the hosts claim victory by one wicket with just two balls remaining.

Alessandro Bonora won the toss at Mission Road and elected to bat first and despite his opening batsmen failing to fire, he put on a hard-fought 77 while Peter Petricola provided his first century of the tournament to help the Italians to a total of 235 on a track that saw little action for the bowlers.

When Hong Kong took to the field the top order continued its poor run of form and none of the side made a solid partnership until the arrival of the middle order duo Nizakat Khan and Waqas Barkat and then later on captain Najeeb Amar.

The trio helped the side to rise up from being 68-5 to a point where victory was in the side’s grasp but with one wicket remaining and only one over to go, the match looked sure to be in the grasp of the Italians. However, tail-end batsman Aizaz Khan had other ideas, smashing his way to 24 in just eight balls, including three sixes, to help steer the side to victory with just two balls remaining.

Hong Kong captain Amar was naturally thrilled with the side’s comeback but is keen to remain focussed on Friday’s big fixture against table-toppers PNG.

“I’m obviously relieved we won today after a tightly fought game where the track wasn’t really giving anything to our bowlers but when it came to us making the runs the task fell to the bottom order. They deserve credit for how they played, all of them taking responsibility to help us to victory.

“Friday we face PNG who have been having a great tournament here but I’m not worried, we’ve a psychological advantage over them. We beat them in the warm-ups with a Hong Kong side that wasn’t full strength so I believe we’ve the upper hand going into Friday’s game, not them,” said Amar.

Tomorrow is a rest day with play resuming on Friday.

Score summaries (Day Four):

At KCC: Denmark 112 all out, 41.3 overs (Chawla 26, Aftab 39 not out; Nou 2-23, Areni 2-10, Amini 2-12, Kent 2-10)
Papua New Guinea 115-1, 22.3 overs (Ura 64 not out, Amini 43 not out)
Papua New Guinea won by nine wickets

At HKCC: Oman 112 all out, 37.4 overs (Desai 28, Sultan 30; Asif 3-11, Baker 2-16, Shuja 2-22)
USA 123-8, 34 overs (Shuja 43 not out, Asif 39 not out; Rajesh Kumar 4-40)
USA won by two wickets

At Mission Road: Italy 235-8, 50 overs (Bonora 40, Petricola 104 not out, Crowley 32; Irfan 2-59, Nadeem 2-47)
Hong Kong 236-9, 49.4 overs (Barqat 55 not out, Amar 52, Aizaz 24 not out; Munasinghe 4-60)
Hong Kong won by one wicket

ITALIA - Hong Kong

26 gennaio 2011
Italia - Hong Kong al campo di Mission Road.

Un'altra sconfitta di misura, ancora più stretta di quella con l'Oman. L'Italia perde di un wicket a solo due palle dalla fine!

Nella foto: Munasinghe, prima della partita, si sta facendo bucare la scarpa da Patrizi. Tipiche necessità dei lanciatori.