Papua New Guinea steamroll Japan
Papua New Guinea continued their dominance in Apia with another convincing win to take the World Cricket League section of the East Asia Pacific (EAP) Trophy.
From day one Papua New Guinea have exuded class, professionalism and a team-first attitude to be by far the best team in the EAP Region. Led superbly by rookie captain Chris Amini, Papua New Guinea again excelled today, knocking over Japan for just 60. Amini was the standout, grabbing 3 for 6, well supported by Loa Nou (2 for 18 from nine overs) and young leg-spinner Vali Albert (1 for 15). In reply, Papua New Guinea chased down the required 61 in just 7.1 overs, with star opener Vani Vagi Morea smashing an unbeaten 41.
In the all-important round 5 clash of the non-World Cricket League competition, Vanuatu were looking to continue their unbeaten run against a Cook Islands team desperate to notch another win and progress to the final ahead of Samoa. Cook Islands began well, with Etita and Tangimatua putting together a partnership of 51, before Kenni Tari got the all important breakthrough of Etita to a skied outfield catch by Damian Smith. From there the Vanuatu bowlers applied excellent pressure, with medium-pacer Edy Mansale (2 for 25) and his younger brother Andrew (3 for 25) bowling particularly well. Cook Islands eventually dismissed for a disappointing 119. In reply, Vanuatu aptain Andrew Mansale followed up his century in round 4 with a stylish 47, while allrounder Jonathon Dunn steered the team home with an unbeaten 31.
In the final match, Tonga and Indonesia went head to head with both desperate to take their first points of the competition and make the third v fourth play-off. Indonesia won the toss and elected to bat, and following from a solid batting performance in round 4, were looking to again get above the 200-run mark. Unfortunately, the Indonesians were unable to hold firm against star pace duo Mafi Langi (4 for 22) and Simione Latu (4 for 33), crumbling to 29 for 5, before eventually being dismissed for 112 in the 33rd over. Indonesian wicketkeeper Thenuara was the only batsman to show resistance with a fighting 37. Tonga began their chase poorly, losing Holi and Mau with the score on 21, before inspirational captain Aisake Haukina strode to the crease with only one intention, to hit the ball hard and far. Haukinima looked at ease at the crease before unleashing against spinner Gede Suda Arsa, smashing three sixes, including two in consecutive balls, before finally being bowled for a quick-fire 34. Moala (43) and Valu (21*) added to the scoring spree, the Tongans passing the required target in just 14 overs.
Papua New Guinea def. Japan by 10 wickets
Japan 60 (33 overs) (N Miyaji 18*, T Fuji 12; C Amini 3-6)
PNG 61-1 (7.1 overs) (V Morea 41*)
Tonga def. Indonesia by 6 wickets
Indonesia 112 (32.4 overs) (A Thenuara 37; M Langi 4-22, 4-33)
Tonga 116-4 (14 overs) (F Moala 43, A Haukinima 34, M Valu 21*)
Vanuatu def. Cook Islands by 7 wickets
Cook Islands 119 (38.3 overs) (T Etita 42; A Mansale 3-25, P Haines 3-38, E Mansale 2-25)
Vanuatu 122-3 (18.1 overs) (A Mansale 47, J Dunn 31*; T Etita 2-36)
Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo