NINETY-eight runs to Brothers new Indian recruit Mukesh Sharma weren't enough for Ipswich to defeat Papua New Guinea in their Webb Shield clash at the Ivor Marsden Complex yesterday.
Sharma outscored the rest of the team with top-order batting again the Pioneers biggest problem.
But after being bowled out for 182, Ipswich's bowlers brought victory within sight for the home team.
PNG lost nine wickets in their run chase, including a lower-order collapse where they lost five wickets for 42 runs.
After being eliminated from finals contention for the Webb Shield, Ipswich was determined to play spoiler to Papua New Guinea's finals hopes.
Shawama's innings proved the backbone of the Pioneers' scorecard, with Alex Welsh and Nick Vollacott scoring 22 and 35 respectively to push Ipswich's score to 182.
Pioneers coach Craig Jesberg said the lack of top-order batting had been a problem for the Webb Shield team all season.
"Other than Sharma, we didn't have any success in the top order," he said. "That's been the issue for us all year. We just haven't had the success with the bat we needed to go well in this competition."
We just haven't had the success with the bat we needed to go well in this competition.
However, strong bowling saw the Pioneers come within a whisker of winning the match and bundling PNG out of the competition.
Sharma also starred with the ball, taking four wickets for only 30 runs.
With PNG needing 50 runs to win with five wickets in hand, they appeared to have the game well in hand. But quick wickets through their lower order saw them need to score 19 runs in their final partnership. PNG number nine Charles Amini and last man Toma Tom managed to steady the ship to secure the game with six overs remaining.
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