19 Jul 2007

PNG tagged as favourites for next year's ICC U/19 in Malaysia

11:19 am on 19 July 2007

Papua New Guinea has justified its favourites tag to qualify for next year's ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia after an embarrassingly easy win against Japan on the opening day of the ICC East Asia-Pacific Qualifier in Vanuatu.

Japan made just 37 in its innings and PNG gathered in the runs with all wickets in intact, needing just 24 deliveries, and Alfred Amini hitting a rapid 20 not out.

Elsewhere, Vanuatu also made an equally impressive start when it defeated Fiji by nine wickets in front of a big crowd at Independence Park.

Batting first, Fiji, who looked to be in a hurry, lost seven wickets for 53 runs and was all out for 84 in the 18th over.

The winner of the Vanuatu tournament will join the four other regional tournament winners, 10 Full Members and hosts Malaysia for the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup to be played in February next year in Kuala Lumpur.