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Papua New Guinea are the East Asia-Pacific Under-19 champions after they beat Vanuatu by 172 runs in the final at Amini Park, Port Moresby.
PNG won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions and scored freely early on, reaching 24 without loss before Lega Tau was well caught by Karl Laau from the bowling of Niko Unavalu. Heni Siaka was hitting everything in the middle, and started to free his arms, ably supported by middle-order batsmen Tony Ura (27) and Jason Kila (48).
The talented Siaka scored his maiden century for PNG, by far the best innings of the tournament. He was eventually dismissed for 101, but by then the damage had been done and PNG raced towards a huge total, batting their full 50 overs reaching 276 for 8.
It was to take a monumental effort by Vanuatu to chase down these runs, and early on the fielding talents of PNG rose to the fore, with two magnificent run-outs reducing Vanuatu to 31 for 2. They fought on valiantly before they were eventually dismissed for 103 after 34 overs. Jason Kila was the chief destroyer with 4 for 20.
In the battle for 3rd place at Colts Ground, Fiji beat Indonesia by six wickets in a game affected by rain.
PNG and Vanuatu will head to Canada to participate in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.