29 Aug 2018

Sport: PNG cricketers advance in World T20 qualifiers

12:28 pm on 29 August 2018

Papua New Guinea are through to the next round of the World T20 Cricket Qualifiers, with Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa all still in with a chance to join them.

The Barramundis beat Samoa and Fiji on Tuesday to maintain their unbeaten record in East Asia Pacific Group A regional qualifiers.

Samoa posted a challenging 175 for 4 in the opening match in Suva, with Dominic Michael (83) and Taitoe Kaisala (69) combining for a 139 run opening stand.

But PNG captain Assad Vala blasted a quick-fire 65 off 41 balls, and was ably supported by Charles Amini (47) as the Barramundis reached their target with two overs to spare.

Captain Assad Vala put in a man of the match performance against Fiji.

Assad Vala has been in top form in Suva. Photo: Supplied/Cricket PNG

The Barramundis also cruised to an eight wicket victory against Fiji after overhauling the hosts meagre 31 run total in just 20 deliveries.

Charles Amini produced stunning figures of four wickets for only one run conceded from three overs and 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."

Meanwhile Vanuatu defeated Fiji and Samoa to end a three game losing run to surge into second place in the overall standings, with one round of matches to play.

Joshua Rasu starred with 91 runs from 53 balls as Vanuatu posted a competitive 158 for 8, before Callum Blake (4 for 10) and captain Andrew Mansale (3 for 28) combined for seven wickets to restrict Fiji to 121 for 9.

Josh Rasu inspired Vanuatu to back to back victories.

Josh Rasu inspired Vanuatu to back to back victories. Photo: Supplied/ICC

Vanuatu secured back to back wins after dismissing Samoa for 68 runs and chasing down their target in 7.2 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," said Rasu.

The top two teams in Suva will advance to next year's East Asia Pacific regional final with Vanuatu facing a tough final round clash against Papua New Guinea this afternoon, before hosts Fiji take on Samoa.