Jono Dean is no stranger to scoring runs on a Prime Minister's XI match day, and while he cleared the stands with a massive six his Weston Creek Molonglo teammate Joe Slater starred with the ball.
Dean's 52 backed up Slater's 3-25 for the ACT XI but it wasn't enough as a late implosion saw Papua New Guinea steal victory from the jaws of defeat in the Prime Minister's XI curtain-raiser at Manuka Oval on Wednesday.
Needing just 26 to win with seven wickets in hand, three costly ACT run-outs in the dying stages handed PNG a three-run victory.
"It's good to see him reaping some of the rewards for his hard work," Dean said of Slater.
"He's worked really hard in the gym and at training, and with the coaching staff here. It's nice to see him taking wickets and bowling overs."
Slater spent time with the Sydney Thunder this season as a regional rookie, an experience Dean says "will have done him wonders".
"Just being around that sort of calibre of players will only benefit him. Hopefully he gets another opportunity soon," Dean said.
Prime Minister's XI 12th man Matthew Gilkes (19) was steering the hosts towards a comfortable victory before he was dismissed in the first of three mix-ups, with Dean Solway and Ben Taylor also caught short of the crease in the final over of the match.
Earlier on, ACT XI skipper John Rogers won the toss and elected to bowl, before ACT and Worcester quick Charlie Morris struck on the fifth ball to bring Lega Siaka — a member of last season's Prime Minister's XI — to the crease.
At 5-71, Mahuru Dai (34) joined Assad Vala (59) to steer PNG to a winning total.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA 9-156 (Assad Vala 59, Mahuru Dai 34; Joe Slater 3-25, Charlie Morris 3-33) bt ACT XI 7-153 (Jono Dean 52, John Rogers 40; Chad Soper 3-36, Willie Gavera 1-31)