Sport: PNG's Assad Vala debuts in Hong Kong T20 league

10:57 am on 9 March 2017

Papua New Guinea cricket captain Assad Vala had a mixed debut for the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau in the Hong Kong Twenty20 Blitz competition.

In a match shortened to 11 over per side because of rain, the Hung Hom Jaguars made 145 for 3, with former New Zealand international James Franklin blasting 58 not out off 27 balls and West Indies' Darren Sammy 52 not out off 19 balls.

Vala impressed with the ball, with figures of 1 for 15 from his two overs.

Assad Vala.

Assad Vala. Photo: Cricket PNG

But, batting at number three, he was run out for a duck, after a mix up with captain Anshuman Rath, having faced only one ball.

Despite a formidable batting line-up, including New Zealander Jesse Ryder, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakarra and Netherlands' T20 veteran Ryan ten Doeschate, the Galaxy Gladiators could only muster 118 for 8 in reply.

Speaking to Cricket PNG after the match, Vala was disappointed with the result, but excited at the upcoming matches.

"I was happy with my bowling performance taking 1/15 off my 2 overs with the scoring rate going at 13. It was a great experience bowling to those players (James Franklin and Darren Sammy) who were trying to hit every ball out of the park," Vala said.

"It was unfortunate the way I got out today but that happens in cricket. The best thing about this game is that I have an opportunity tomorrow.

"He (Anshuman Rath) apologised after the match about the run-out but that is part of the game. I just have to put in a good performance tomorrow."

PNG captain Assad Vala.

PNG captain Assad Vala. Photo: Cricket PNG

Assad Vala's involvement marks the first time a PNG cricketer has been selected in a global professional cricket competition in the world.

Vala, Charles Amini Jnr and Lega Siaka had previously received Big Bash League Rookie Contracts in Australia but never played in the main competition.

The second season of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz runs until Sunday.