8 Feb 2013

Sport: PNG meet expectations with T20 triumph

11:32 am on 8 February 2013

Papua New Guinea have beaten Vanuatu in the final of the East Asia Pacific T20 Cricket Championship to move a step closer to qualifying for the World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh.

Earlier in the on Thursday Vanuatu beat Fiji in an effective winner-takes-all clash to make the final.

The Barramundi's were restricted to 159 for 6 from their 20 overs with Charles Amini top-scoring with 51 and Assad Vala adding 38.

In reply, Vanuatu were given a life in the opening over when Jonathon Dunn was dropped at first slip.

69 runs were required from the final five overs, but the run rate proved too much as Norman Vanua and Pipi Raho each bagged three wickets to dismiss the Melanesians for 121.

PNG Coach Peter Anderson says with the win in the bag the focus moves to the World Twenty20 Qualifier to be held later this year in Dubai.

"They're taking the top six I believe this year. We've got a heavy schedule: once we get back to Brisbane the scholarship guys will continue their club cricket and the finals, then we're straight off to Sri Lanka for seven or nine games, and then back into tournaments in Australia. My whole goal and plans this year is heading towards the T20 - that's associate country's best avenue to push our way forward so we've got a lot of work and I'm sure the guys are capable of doing it."

Captain Chris Amini says with so much expected of his team, he was proud of the way they delivered.

Lot of hard work/sacrifices, the boys have done to get to this point. It wasn't easy the last four days - a lot of teams put up a really good fight.

None of the games were easy, we had to work really hard for our wins and credit to the other teams - there were expectations we would come and roll everyone but that didn't happen and our boys stood up and played really well again.

The top six teams from the World Twenty20 Qualifier will advance to the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.