Papua New Guinea still unbeaten in EAP qualifier
An Asad Vala century has ensured that Papua New Guinea remain unbeaten after the third round of matches in the East Asia Pacific sub-region A qualifier for the 2020 World Twenty20. Fiji also won today.
Vanuatu captain Andrew Mansale won the toss and put Papua New Guinea into bat at Albert Park in Suva, and likely soon regretted his decision as Asad Vala and Tony Ura put on 81 for the first wicket in 7.2 overs when Ura was out for 51, scored from 33 balls. At this point Vala accelerated, ably assisted by Charles Amini.
Vala was eventually out in the penultimate over having smashed 110 from just 50 balls. Amini batted on, helping to score 21 from the final 11 balls to take his score to 61 and the PNG total to 239-2 from their 20 overs.
Nalin Nipiko batted well in reply for Vanuatu, scoring 84 from just 53 balls, but no other batsman made any sort of significant contribution and they were bowled out for 158, losing by 81 runs. This left them at the foot of the table without a win at the halfway stage.
Next door at the main Albert Park ground, hosts Fiji batted first against Samoa after being put in. There were no significant contributions with the bat from the Fijian line-up, with Peni Vuniwaqa's 27 the top score, but they still managed to score 139-8 from their 20 overs.
Samoa got close in reply, largely thanks to Andrew Michael's 52, but were hampered by a period of slow scoring in the middle of their innings. The final acceleration came too late in they fell short by 7 runs.
Four games are set to take place tomorrow. In the morning, Samoa will play Papua New Guinea and Fiji will take on Vanuatu. In the afternoon, Fiji will be playing PNG whilst Samoa come up against Vanuatu.