PNG Barramundis in action against Vanuatu in 2019 ICC WT20 EAP Regional Finals at Amini Park at Port Moresby - Image by Pidgin Productions / Cricket_PNG (Twitter)
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Papua New Guinea Barramundis dominated play on the first day of action at Amini Park ground in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup East Asia-Pacific qualifiers at Port Moresby, claiming comprehensive wins over both Vanuatu and Philippines.

PNG got to test out both their batting and bowling departments in the two games as the first match saw the batters put up an impressive 200+ total against Philippines, before the bowlers restricted them to below 100 to clinch a big margin victory. In the afternoon game, the bowlers did well to restrict Vanuatu to a sub-par 120+ total, which the batsmen chased down with ease, losing only 2 wickets in the process to set-up a 8-wicket win.

Tony Ura, Assad Vala, Charles Amini Jr and Lega Siaka put in good effort on the field in both the matches. PNG even tried out Norman Vanua as an opener along with Tony Ura, a move that was much of a surprise. Nalin Nipiko became the first player from Vanuatu to score an official T20I half-century as well on the opening day of action.

Both Vanuatu and Philippines have an uphill task ahead of them to catch-up with PNG on both points and net run-rate to have any possibility to advance from the regional finals into the global qualifiers (only the top spot will advance from the 3-team event).

Brief Scores:

PNG 216/4 in 20 overs (Assad Vala 68, Charles Amini Jr 60, Tony Ura 47, Lega Siaka 27 n.o, Jonathan Hill 2/27, Daniel Smith 1/19) beat Philippines 83/8 in 20 overs (Haider Kiani 13, Machanda Biddappa 13, Chad Soper 2/6, Lega Siaka 2/18, Jason Kila 1/11, Charles Amini Jr 1/13) by 133 runs

Vanuatu 124/6 in 20 overs (Nalin Nipiko 53, Ronald Tari 21, Joshua Rasu 20, Lega Siaka 2/7, Nosaina Pokana 1/20, Damien Ravu 1/8, Charles Amini Jr 1/24) lost to PNG 125/2 in 15.2 overs (Tony Ura 65, Assad Vala 20 n.o, Charles Amini Jr 19 n.o, Williamsing Nalisa 1/29) by 8 wickets

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