Papua New Guinea remain kings of EAP cricket
Another EAP tournament, another win for Papua New Guinea, who beat Vanuatu in the final of the EAP Twenty20 Qualifier in Auckland today.
Before we get to details on the final though, a correction is needed.
Late last year I had been informed by a reliable source that two teams from each region would join the top six from the last qualifier in this year's qualifier in the UAE. It has now come to light that this is incorrect. All regions except the East Asia Pacific region will have two teams qualify, with the EAP region having just one place. The sixteenth place in the qualifier will be taken by the UAE as hosts.
With that out of the way, on to the final.
Papua New Guinea batted first and after losing Tony Ura early on, they put on a big second wicket partnership, with Asad Vala and Charles Amini putting on 86 before Amini was out for 51. The team went on to score 159-6 from their 20 overs.
Vanuatu initially started their chase well, but the introduction of Pipi Raho into the attacked but them on the back foot after he took three wickets in quick succession. Norman Vanua also took three wickets as Vanuatu were bowled out for 121 to lose by 38 runs.
Vanuatu had reached the final after beating Fiji in the morning session in their final group match. Fiji were bowled out for just 98, a target which Vanuatu reached in 13.2 overs to win by 7 wickets.