Vanuatu qualify despite loss
Vanuatu have secured their place in the East Asia Pacific regional final next year despite a loss against Papua New Guinea today in Fiji.
They batted first after winning the toss against the team that had already secured their place in said final, and scored 145-9 from their 20 overs. Jamal Vira top scored for them with 39, whilst Asad Vala was the pick of the PNG bowlers with 4-25. Vala also performed well with the bat, scoring 40 from 26 balls at the top of the order. He was just outscored by Jason Kila with 41 as PNG won by 2 wickets with 8 balls to spare.
By the time the game finished, Vanuatu were already aware that hosts Fiji had lost to Samoa, meaning that net run rate would come into play. The hosts had been put into bat and racked up a score of 163-6 from their 20 overs, largely thanks to Metuisela Beitaki's 91. However Samoa's Dominic Michael dominated their run chase, scoring 100 from 62 balls to help his team secure a nine wicket win with 3.3 overs to spare.
Despite their quick win, the close finish of the Papua New Guinea v Vanuatu match meant that Samoa didn't get close to the net run rate of Vanuatu and the latter secured their place in the EAP regional final.
The next, and final, EAP sub-regional qualifier takes place in the Philippines in December. The hosts will come up against Indonesia, Japan and South Korea with the winners joining Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. The next tournament on the qualification schedule is the simultaneous three European sub-regional tournaments that start in the Netherlands today, with 18 teams competing in three groups.