Papua New Guinea secure World T20 Qualifier place
Papua New Guinea have secured their place in the World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE later this year after winning their two matches in Auckland today and thus ensuring that they are sure of finishing in the top two.
In the morning they took on old rivals Fiji. Batting first they were bowled out for the first time in the tournament, after only Mahuru Dai, with 48, was the only batsman who could get anything like a start. They scored 146, with Samuela Draunivudi the pick of the bowlers with 4-41.
In reply, Fiji were only able to score 105-8 in their allocated overs, despite an unbeaten 57 from Joji Bulabalavu. The other batsman were unable to bat as well as him, with none managing to score at better than a run a ball.
In their afternoon match against the Cook Islands, Asad Vala again put on a fine batting display, smashing 68 from 33 balls to help take his team to 193-8 from their 20 overs. Pick of the bowlers for the Cook Islands was Corey Fisher with 3-19.
The Cook Islands reply never really got off the ground, and they found themselves on 48-8 at the halfway stage, at one point losing four wickets for just three runs in 8 balls. Corey Fisher then hit a quick-fire 26 from just 12 balls, but it was too little too late and the Cooks were bowled out for 79 to lose by 114 runs.
The Cook Islanders also lost their morning match against Japan. Tomoki Ota led the way for Japan with an innings of 51 to help take Japan's total to 144-8. The Cooks batted too slowly in reply and could only manage 120-5 in reply, losing by 24 runs.
Fiji took on Samoa in their afternoon match, with Samoa batting first. Ben Mailata led the way for Samoa with 70 from 52 balls to take Samoa to 143-7. Sekove Ravoka was the pick of the bowlers with 4-29. The dominant innings in Fiji's reply was Vuiyasawa Mateiwaqa's 41 from 20 balls. The three wicket win was secured when Viliame Yabaki hit the first ball he faced for four.
Samoa had played the tournament whipping boys Indonesia in the morning, scoring 238-3 from their 20 overs, with Ben Mailata (114) and Sean Cotter (101) both scoring centuries. Indonesia only managed 63-9 in reply, with Mailata completing a fine all round performance by taking four wickets for five runs.
Indonesia's nightmare of a tournament came to an end in the afternoon with a match against Vanuatu, in which they could only score 90-6 batting first. Jonathon Dunn smashed 72 from 28 balls as Vanuatu won by 9 wickets inside 7 overs.
With Papua New Guinea's place in the final - and the World Twenty20 Qualifier - secured, Fiji and Vanuatu's final group match against each other tomorrow morning will decide which team will join them. The final will be played in the afternoon.