I'm proud that we are here but not of what we achieved: Assad Vala

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22 Oct 2021 | 02:10 AM
authorcricket.com staff

I'm proud that we are here but not of what we achieved: Assad Vala

PNG didn’t have a great tournament but Vala is hoping that their first World Cup appearance inspires more children to take up the sport

Papua New Guinea couldn't win a single game in their maiden T20 World Cup campaign and skipper Assad Vala was frustrated with the way his team performed in the showpiece event. After Oman thumped them by 10 wickets, PNG put up some fight against Scotland but still ended up losing the game by 17 runs. In their last encounter, PNG were no match to Bangladesh and were taken down with utmost ease.

"I am proud that we are here but I wouldn't say we achieved. We wanted to win games here. Not to make up the numbers. Losing all three games is pretty disappointing. If we could play our best cricket, we would have given ourselves the chance. We were up and down. We have to find out how to get the best out of ourselves," said Vala.

"We need to be better. Batsmen need to score consistently. Bowlers have to execute well under pressure. Fielding improved in the three games but we can be better there as well. There's a lot of learnings but we were not good enough. I think especially our batting really let us down. No one put their hands up, especially myself and the senior players."

PNG didn’t allow Bangladesh to run away with the game in the first 15 overs but leaked 68 runs in the last five. Chasing 182, they were bundled out for just 97 in 19.3 overs.

"We believed we could win if we had a good start. It has been costing us. We have been losing too many wickets in the powerplay. It is hard to come back from it. I think we haven't played a complete match. We started well in this match, but we went for 63 in the last five overs. Our bowlers couldn't perform under pressure."

Things could have been worse as PNG were reduced to 29/7 but that’s when Kiplin Doriga stepped up and got them to a respectable total. The wicketkeeper-batter smashed 46 off 34 deliveries and saved PNG from some humiliation.

“I think he played really well. He pulled us out and got us to 97 runs. He has been really good in the last two games. We need him to keep working hard and be more consistent. It is the blueprint of what we expect from him."

PNG surely didn’t have a great tournament but Vala is hoping that their first World Cup appearance inspires more children to take up the sport.

“There are a lot of kids playing these days. If we can have more juniors coming through the system, we will have more depth. I am really proud of the effort of the boys, but the best is yet to come. We have learned a lot from this tournament."

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ICC World Twenty20, 2021Papua New GuineaAssad Vala

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