Papua New Guinea secure qualification
Papua New Guinea have secured qualification to the East Asia Pacific regional final as they recorded another two wins at the sub-regional A qualifier for the 2020 World Twenty20 today in Fiji.
In their first match of the day, PNG took on Samoa, the latter batting first after winning the toss. Dominic Michael and Uala Kaisala opened the innings with a partnership of 139 before Kaisala was bowled by Chad Soper for 69 in the 17th over. Michael went on to score 83 in his team's total of 175-4.
Captain Asad Vala top scored in the PNG reply with 65, whilst Charles Amini was the next highest scorer with an unbeaten 47. Amini shared in an unbroken 44 run partnership for the fourth wicket as they completed a 7 wicket win with two overs to spare.
In the afternoon, they made short work of hosts Fiji, bowling them out for just 31 as Charles Amini took 4 wickets for just one run. The visitors lost two wickets in reply but otherwise had no problem, easing to an 8 wicket win in 3.2 overs.
Meanwhile Vanuatu, without a win from their first two games, began something of a comeback, also recording two wins today. In the morning they were put into bat by Fiji, scoring 158-8 largely thanks to a knock of 91 by Joshua Rasu. They then restricted the home side to 121-9 from their 20 overs to win by 37 runs.
In the afternoon, they bowled Samoa out for 68, with just two Samoans able to reach double figures. Vanuatu lost just one wicket in reply as they chased down their target in 7.2 overs to win by 9 wickets.
However, if Vanuatu are to qualify for the regional final, they may well need to beat the still unbeaten Papua New Guinea in their final match tomorrow. Should they lose, they'll need to rely on Samoa beating Fiji and the net run rate calculations working out in their favour. Vanuatu's quick win today and the quick defeats of both Samoa and Fiji does at least give Vanuatu something of an edge.