PNG and Vanuatu through to EAP Regional Final

PNG and Vanuatu through to EAP Regional Final
PNG and Vanuatu through to EAP Regional Final
©International Cricket Council
 
Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are through to the regional final of the ICC World T20 EAP Qualifiers after PNG were too good for Vanuatu and Samoa upset Fiji on the final day in Suva.
PNG finished the tournament undefeated to win the ICC World T20 EAP ‘A’ Qualifier while Vanuatu snuck into the second qualifying position on net run rate.
Going into the final match, PNG were calm and composed with another strong bowling performance against a rejuvenated Vanuatu who were riding high after back to back wins yesterday.
PNG captain Assad Vala (4/22 off 4) showed why he is one of the most dangerous T20 players in the region with both bat and ball taking 4 wickets and helping to restrict Vanuatu to just 145 runs, earning his third player of the match award for the tournament.
Vanuatu, with a qualification spot on the line, were hoping that their bowlers could do the same against a PNG side who had not scored below 150 runs in any innings in the tournament.
Vanuatu kept fighting throughout but in the end never had enough runs on the board as PNG passed the target with more than an over to spare and wickets in hand.
Jason Kila (41 off 25) held the middle order together while Vala (40 off 26) continued his fine form with the bat.
Speaking after the match, Vala praised his team’s hard working leading into the tournament.
“It’s been a tough five months for us, to get the rewards for the work we’ve put in during this week has been really enjoyable.”
“To come into the middle and execute under pressure is the most important thing for me,” Vala concluded.
In today’s other match Samoa needed not just to win, but to win by a big margin to give themselves a chance of claiming the second qualifying position.
Their bowlers could only hold Fiji to 6 for 163 from their 20 overs, with Metuisela Beitaki (91 off 66) finishing the tournament with an entertaining half century.
Dominic Michael (100* off 62) was determined to give his team the best possible chance to qualify, with a player of the match performance that saw Samoa fly along at more than ten runs an over.
Despite passing the target in the seventeenth over Samoa were not able to lift their net run rate above Vanuatu but will leave Fiji in third place, an improvement on previous performances at regional qualifying events.
For Fiji, the disappointment was evident in their faces as they were not able to recreate their strong performances against Vanuatu and Samoa at the start of the tournament, as they finished in fourth position overall.
PNG and Vanuatu now progress to the ICC World T20 EAP Regional Final to be played in 2019 where they will be joined by the winner of the ICC World T20 EAP ‘B’ Qualifer.

Summary Scores

Fiji 6/163 (20) Beitaki 91, Solia, 2/14 (4) defeated by Samoa 1/165 (16.3) D Michael 100*, Burgess 39, Mailata 22* by 9 wickets

 

Vanuatu 9/145 (20) Vira 39, Mansale 23, Vala 4/25 (4) defeated by PNG 8/146 (18.4) Kila 41, Vala 40, Matautaava 3/27 (4), Blake 3/29 (3.4) by 2 wickets

 

Points Table

Team

Played

Won

Lost

Points

NRR

PNG

5

5

0

10

3.712

Vanuatu

5

2

3

4

0.209

Samoa

6

2

4

4

-1.488

Fiji

6

2

4

4

-2.27