Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to meet in final
The seventh team in next years World Twenty20 qualifier will be either Papua New Guinea or Vanuatu after both teams won their semi-final matches in Port Moresby today, against Samoa and Fiji respectively.
Both teams were already assured of their semi-final spots before this mornings final round robin matches, with the only question being whether Japan could beat Samoa to claim a possible place in the semi-final.
Batting first after winning the toss, Japan posted their highest score of the tournament - 123-3 - with Qureshi Naeemuddin and Jarrad Shearer both making scores over 40. Samoa reached the target with four balls to spare to win by six wickets, Sean Cotter top scoring with an unbeaten 41.
This left the Fiji v Vanuatu match as something of a dead rubber, and Fiji won the match by 6 wickets after bowling Vanuatu out for 73. This ensured that the sides would meet in the semi-finals.
In that semi-final, Vanuatu scored 126-7 with captain Andrew Mansale scoring 42. Mohammad Kahn was the pick of the Fijian bowlers with 3-29. Vanuatu then bowled well to restrict Fiji to just 91-7 from their 20 overs, winning by 35 runs.
The other semi-final saw Papua New Guinea show why they're the tournament favourites with a thumping win over Samoa. Asad Vala and Tony Ura set the stage with an opening partnership of 186 before Vala was out for 92. Ura stayed in to score 102, the tournament's second century, and Papua New Guinea made 234-5 from their 20 overs. They then bowled Samoa out for 90 to win by 144 runs, Chris Amini taking 3-8.
Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu will now meet in tomorrow afternoons final, whilst Fiji will play Samoa in the third place play-off in the morning. Japan will play a friendly match against Papua New Guinea Under-19s, also tomorrow morning.