Pre-tournament favourites, Papua New Guinea, are champions of East Asia-Pacific and are through to the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Scotland and Ireland, after a convincing win in their final match of the 2014 ICC EAP Trophy against Vanuatu today.
In other games to wrap up the Twenty20 component of the tournament, Japan had a close win over the Cook Islands, whilst Fiji and Samoa defeated the Philippines and Indonesia respectively.
Vanuatu won the toss at Oakes Oval, electing to bat, but their luck ended there thanks to a near perfect bowling and fielding display from PNG. Vanuatu opener Jonathon Dunn made an early statement for his team, with a huge six in the first over, only to be dismissed the following ball thanks to a ripping caught and bowled from Willie Gavera.
The news didn?t improve for Vanuatu, and when Lega Siaka took what was undoubtedly the catch of the tournament to dismiss Simpson Obed, Vanuatu was in trouble at 4-40 in the 12th over. The lower order rallied with Joshua Rasu clearing the rope twice, however by the conclusion of their 20 overs Vanuatu were 9-96.
It was always going to be a tough assignment for Vanuatu to defend their total, and PNG openers Siaka and Tony Ura didn?t shy away from their big-hitting form shown previously throughout the tournament. Ura struck a six of the opening ball and the pair raced to 50 runs before Ura was dismissed in the 5th over. Nalin Nipiko was the standout for Vanuatu in the field, with involvement in all three of the PNG scalps, but it wasn?t enough, with PNG easily surpassing Vanuatu?s total in 12 overs, to claim a seven-wicket victory.
At the conclusion of the match, PNG captain Christopher Amini, said his team was obviously ecstatic with the win.
?That?s what we were here to do. We were a bit patchy early on (in the tournament) but we came back strongly and stuck to our game plan and showed the level that we want to be.?
PNG coach, Dipak Patel, added that he was thrilled with the way his team worked well together as a unit.
?From a coaching perspective we?ve put some systems and processes in place, but when they execute a game plan as well and as clinical as they were today, it leaves you speechless.?
Other matches on the final day of play in the ICC EAP Men?s Trophy included the battle to remain in the hunt for re-entry into World Cricket League Division 6 between the Cook Islands and Japan at Heaps Oval.
Batting first Japan posted a total that was easily their best outing with the bat in Lismore so far, finishing 4-160 after 20 overs. The standout was a superb knock of 72 off 59 from captain Amigo Kobayashi.
In reply the Cooks fought hard, but when Toala Teinaki was run out for 70 their luck ran out, falling an agonizing 20 runs short of the winning total.
Over at Mortimer Oval, Fiji won the toss and chose to bat first against the Philippines. Another strong start by the opening pair of captain Joe Rika and Jikoi Kida Vanualevu saw Fiji rocket to 67 runs in six overs, before Vimal Kumar dismissed Kida. The Philippines stemmed the flow of runs by taking some middle order wickets, but Fiji still managed to post a big total of 5-174 after 20 overs.
In reply the Philippines weren?t shy to have a crack at reaching the competitive target, with openers Manoj Gohal and Milan Singh regularly finding the boundary. They couldn?t find enough gaps in Fiji?s performance in the field however, finishing 59 runs shy of the winning target.
The final match of the day was a one-sided affair between Indonesia and Samoa at Blair Oval. Batting first Indonesia withstood the Samoan bowling and batted out the innings, finishing nine wickets down for 80 runs after 20 overs.
Indonesia claimed the scalp of Samoan danger man Sean Cotter early, but otherwise Samoa were on cruise control with the bat, hitting the winning runs after 9.3 overs, for the loss of just three wickets.
Excluding PNG and Vanuatu, the top four teams will now play-off in a mini 50-over tournament to decide who will qualify to represent the EAP region in World Cricket League Division 6.
Tuesday?s matches ? 10am:
Fiji v Japan
Samoa v Philippines
Scores in Brief:
At Oakes Oval: Vanuatu v PNG
Vanuatu 9-96, 20 overs (J Rasu 34; W Gavera 3-16, N Vanua 2-16)
PNG 3-97, 12 overs (V Vagi Morea 24*, T Ura 24; N Nipiko 2-5)
PNG won by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Willie Gavera (PNG)
At Heaps Oval: Cook Islands v Japan
Japan 4-160, 20 overs (M Kobayasha 72, T Ota 37*)
Cook Islands 9-141, 20 overs (TT Teinaki 70, P Zekaria 26; C Rodrigo 4-21, M Taniyama 2-10)
Japan won by 19 runs
Man of the Match: Chula Rodrigo (Japan)
At Mortimer Oval: Philippines v Fiji
Fiji 5-174, 20 overs (J Rika 47, M Gauna 39*; V Kumar 3-32)
Philippines 5-116, 20 overs (M Biddappa 34*, H Ahuja 29*; V Manakitoga 2-18)
Fiji won by 58 runs
Man of the Match: Joe Rika (Fiji)
At Blair Oval: Indonesia v Samoa
Indonesia 9-89, 20 overs (RT Rubbi 46; T Alatasi 3-19, F Vaaetasi 2-14)
Samoa 3-90, 9.5 overs (B Mailata 30, UT Kaisala 24*; M Sharfuddin 2-53)
Samoa won by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Rizky Tri Rubbi (Indonesia)
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