Another East Asia Pacific tournament, another win for Papua New Guinea. Going into the final day unbeaten along with Vanuatu, the two teams faced each other in a winner takes all contest at the Oakes Oval in Lismore, New South Wales.
Vanuatu chose to bat first after winning the toss, perhaps hoping to catch Papua New Guinea off guard, who had batted first in all but their opening match. But whilst it had been the batsmen who had done the job for PNG previously in the tournament, it was their bowlers who did the business this time, as they restricted Vanuatu to 96-9 from their 20 overs.
Willie Gavera was the pick of the PNG bowlers with 3-16, whilst Joshua Rasu top scored for Vanuatu with 34. Papua New Guinea then knocked off the required runs in 12 overs to win by 7 wickets and book their ticket to the World Twenty20 Qualifier in Ireland and Scotland next July.
The other thing being decided was the identity of the fourth team to qualify for the WCL6 qualifying tournament that will start on Tuesday. Japan were the best placed team going into their match against the Cook Islands, with a win being enough to secure their place.
And a win was what they got. Batting first they scored 160-4 thanks to a 59 ball innings of 72 from Masaomi Kobayasha. Toala Teinaki managed to get the Cook Islands close, scoring 70 from 46 balls before he was run out, but Chula Rodrigo's 4-21 helped Japan secure a 19 run win.
Japan will now play Fiji in the WCL6 qualifier semi-final on Tuesday. Samoa will play the Philippines in the other semi-final, with the winners meeting in the final on Wednesday. The other matches today saw Fiji beat the Philippines by 58 runs and Samoa beat Indonesia by 7 wickets.
Papua New Guinea beat Vanuatu by 7 wickets
Oakes Oval, Lismore, 23 November
Vanuatu 96-9 (20 overs, W Gavera 3-16)
Papua New Guinea 97-3 (12 overs)
Japan beat Cook Islands by 19 runs
Heaps Oval, Lismore, 23 November
Japan 160-4 (20 overs, M Kobayasha 72, T Ota 37*)
Cook Islands 141-9 (20 overs, T Teinaki 70, C Rodrigo 4-21)
Fiji beat Philippines by 58 runs
Gloria Mortimer Oval, Lismore, 23 November
Fiji 174-5 (20 overs, J Rika 47, M Gauna 39*, V Kumar 3-23)
Philippines 116-5 (20 overs)
Samoa beat Indonesia by 7 wickets
Blair Oval, Lismore, 23 November
Indonesia 89-9 (20 overs, R Rubbi 46, T Alatasi 3-19)
Samoa 90-3 (9.5 overs)