Papua New Guinea handed Vanuatu a crushing defeat while Fiji moved up to second position after a close win over Samoa on day two of the ICCWorld T20 East Asia-Pacific A Qualifier in Suva, Fiji.
Their opening two wins would have given PNG plenty of confidence heading into their much anticipated match against Vanuatu and their batters did not disappoint posting a mammoth 239 off their 20 overs for the loss of just two (2) wickets.
PNG captain Assadollah Vala earned back to back player of the match awards with a brutal 110 runs off just 50 balls with 78 of those runs coming in boundaries including nine sixes. Tony Ura (51) backed up his century from day one while Charles Amini (61 not out) brought up his first half century of the tournament.
It was always going to be a huge chase for Vanuatu and when Ronald Tari (2) fell on the second ball of the innings it signalled that Vanuatu’s disappointing tournament would continue.
Nalin Nipiko (84) was the only batter from Vanuatu to provide some resistance and also had the balls flying all over Albert Park with seven
sixes. But a devastating over from Chad Soper (4/22 off 4) saw four (4) wickets fall and ended any hopes for Vanuatu as they were bowled out for
158 handing PNG an 81-run victory.
For Fiji, their win over Samoa means they are one step closer to reaching
their goal of winning the tournament and qualifying for the next stage of
competition. Some great bowling from brothers Tukana Tavo (2 for 27 off 4 overs) and Kitione Tavo (2 for 32 off 4 overs) kept the pressure on Samoa
throughout their chase.
Andrew Michael (52) was almost the hero for Samoa with a player of the match performance for the only half-century of the match. After two days in Fiji PNG’s dominance continues, Fiji are now one win clear of Samoa and Vanuatu’s chances of qualifying will require a much improved performance
in the second round.
The ICC World T20 East Asia-Pacific A Qualifier is taking place in Suva, Fiji
and the top two teams will advance to the next round of the qualifier to continue fighting for a spot in the 2020 World T20 in Australia.
Fiji 8/139 (20) Vuniwaqa 27, Vaasili 2/20 (4), Solia 2/23 (4) defeated Samoa 7/130 (20) AJ Michael (52), Burgess (32), T Tavo 2/27 (4), KSB Tavo 2/32 (4) by 9 runs PNG 2/239 (20) Vala 110, Amini 61 not out, Ura 51
defeated Vanuatu 158 (19.1) Nipiko 84, Matautaava 23, Soper 4/22 (4), Kila 2/23 (4) by 81 runs