Lewas return to international cricket

The Lewas under Head Coach Kath Hempenstall made a return to cricket in March 2022, traveling to Albury-Wodonga, New South Wales to partake in the Australian Country Cricket Championships.

The players were all eager to take the field again and represent PNG, with three players in Hollan Doriga, Melanie Ani and Kevau Frank all partaking in their first touring experience.

Although the goal of the tour was to make a long awaited return to tournament cricket and dust off a few cobwebs that had built up over the course of the past two years, the team’s performance was able to be matched against some strong opposition that featured players that have played in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

The Lewas finished the tournament in 2nd place out of the 4 participating teams.

In June the Siales travelled to Indonesia to compete in a 3-match T20 regional qualifier series against the host nation, with both teams vying for a place in the inaugural ICC u19s T20 Women’s World Cup.

After losing the first match of the series, the Siales bounced back to level the series 1-1.

Unfortunately, the result of the deciding match did not go our way in a final over thriller.

Plenty of young talent was unearthed within the Siales squad throughout the tour, with the future of cricket in PNG looking bright.

Dika Lohia was awarded player of the tournament after her consistent performances with both bat and ball throughout the tournament.

September was a busy month for the Lewas, with the ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers marking the first ICC tournament the Lewas had played since the last T20 qualifiers in 2019.

Overall, the Lewas finished in 5th place in the 8-team tournament.

Although the Lewas did not progress to the World Cup, there were many positives to take from the tournament, including a record run chase against Scotland (6th highest of all time in world women’s cricket), Tanya Ruma finishing as the leading run scorer for the tournament and an international debut for young-gun Hollan Doriga.

The T20 qualifiers were followed by the Pacific Cup tournament, held in Vanuatu in a four-team tournament including the host nation, Fiji and Samoa. In a dominating display, the Lewas finished the tournament undefeated and were crowned the inaugural Pacific Cup champions.

Naoani Vare was named both batter and player of the tournament and Isabel Toua was named bowler of the tournament. At the conclusion of the tournament, the Lewas ICC T20 team ranking rose to 12th, which is a record position for the Lewas.

To finish off the year, seven of the Lewas were selected to complete player placements in Australia, with the opportunity to train and play amongst full-time professional cricketers and have access to Australian cricket coaches.

Sibona Jimmy and Doriga were based in Perth, training with Western Australia and playing for South Perth cricket club.

Isabel Toua, Vicky Ara’a and Henao Thomas were based in Canberra, training with the ACT Meteors and playing for Weston Creek Monlonglo cricket club.

Tanya Ruma and Vare were based in Brisbane, playing for Western Suburbs District cricket club.

Press Release