PNG Lewas win East Asia Pacific championships

CRICKET PNG general manager Greg Campbell described the Lewas’ gutsy 11-run win over host Japan in the final of the East Asia Pacific championship on Sunday as “the missing piece” for the sport in the country.
The Lewas scored 113/3 with Tanya Ruma hitting an unbeaten 47  and bowled out the hosts for 102 in the final over to make it third time lucky after losing to the Japanese in the last two championships.
The win means Papua New Guinea advance to the next stage of the T20 World Cup qualifiers.
“This was a great result for our women, and cricket in PNG. Our ladies kept missing out but this win was the missing piece. The Barramundis (men’s team) had most of the attention over the past two years so this is a boost for the game,” Campbell said.
“Not many sports in the country can say that both their men’s and women’s sides are vying for World Cup qualification.”
The former Australian Test player  acknowledged the positive effect that team manager Iamo Launa and coach Kune Amini had on the players.
“I have to credit Iamo Launa and  Kune Amini for doing a wonderful job with the team. They have been  a great influence on the girls.”
Campbell also acknowledged the input of NSW Breakers women’s  coach Joanne Broadbend, whom he said helped the side a great deal with her experience and presence in Japan.
“This was a really young team but the spirit  they showed was great. I’d put their win down to having a magnificent attitude and the months of training leading up to EAP championship did them the world of good,”  Campbell added.
“The girls have made it to the next stage but they have to push hard now to have a chance at the T20 World Cup qualifiers next year which may be in Ireland or Bangladesh depending on what the International Cricket Council decide.”
The Lewas arrive today at noon and are expected to receive a hero’s  welcome at Jackson Airport.
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