(28 August 2018)- Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu can all still qualify for the regional final of the ICC World T20 EAP Qualifiers after Vanuatu won both their matches on day three in Fiji.
Papua New Guinea overcame a strong batting performance from Samoa in the morning to record their fourth win and claim one of the two qualifying positions on offer.
They then backed that up with a near perfect win over Fiji, bowling the hosts out for just 31 and passing the total in the fourth over.
The batters dominated day three as Samoa posted 175 off their 20 overs, the highest total against PNG so far, with Dominic Michael (83 off 61) and Taitoe Kaisala (69 off 51) sharing a 139-run opening stand.
But it never looked enough against PNG’s in form batters as Assad Vala (65 off 41) scored his second half century of the tournament while CJ Amini (47 off 34) saw PNG home with two overs spare.
Vanuatu started the tournament with three disappointing losses only to turn their fortunes around and record two wins, leaving them in second place and with qualification back in their reach.
Joshua Rasu (91 off 53) was the hero in the first game against Fiji helping Vanuatu to a defendable 158 from their 20 overs.
“We reviewed our last couple of games in depth and so the last couple of matches were like finals for us and everyone just wanted to win,” he said.
Callum Blake (4/10 off 4) then did the damage with the ball for Vanuatu to help Vanuatu secure their first win of the tournament by 37 runs over Fiji.
This gave them renewed confidence going into a must-win match against Samoa in the afternoon as they bowled Samoa out for just 68 and easily got the win in the eighth over.
In the other afternoon match, Charles Amini (4/1 off 3) ripped through Fiji bowling an incredible 17 dot balls in his three over spell and picking up four wickets.
|Speaking after the game Amini said “the bowlers in the first six overs gave me a really good opportunity, they put the pressure on the batsmen and I just tried to do my job and it helped me a lot that the wicket was turning.”|
|With two matches to go, Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa can all still join PNG in the final next year.
Vanuatu will be hoping to continue their reversal of fortune as they take on PNG while Fiji take on Samoa, with both teams hoping to bounce back from a disappointing day three.
|The top two teams at the end of the tournament will proceed to the ICC World T20 EAP Regional Final to be played in 2019.|
Summary of Scores
Samoa 4/175 (20) D Michael 83, Kaisala 69 defeated by PNG 3/180 (18) Vala 65, CJ Amini 47 not out, Vanua 26 not out by seven wickets
Vanuatu 8/158 (20) Rasu 91, K Tavo 2/21 (4) defeated Fiji 9/121 (20) Beitaki 27, Yabaki 26, Blake 4/10 (4), Mansale 3/28 (4) by 37 runs
Samoa 68 (16.2) Stephen 3/25 (4) defeated by Vanuatu 1/72 (7.2) Matautaava 30 not out, Dunn 27 not out by 9 wickets
Fiji 31 (12.5) CJ Amini 4/1 (3) defeated by PNG 2/35 (3.2) Siaka 15 by 8 wickets