• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Hat-trick hero Wagi-Moriya steals the show as PNG, Japan go two from two

Hat-trick hero Wagi-Moriya steals the show as PNG, Japan go two from two

Papua New Guinea’s hat-trick Kabua Wagi-Moria’s hat-trick and five-wicket haul helped Papua New Guinea to a second straight victory in the East-Asia Pacific final for the 2024 T20 World Cup, while Japan proved too strong for Vanuatu to remain unbeaten.

Wagi-Moria needed no help in his efforts, finishing with four bowled dismissals and an lbw to finish with 5/9 from four overs, the best figures by a Papua New Guinea bowler in men’s T20Is. After a wicket in his first over, the left-hander took a hat-trick in his second over, dismissing Miggy Podoski at number five in his third over.

At 3/5 in five overs, the Philippines’ chase of 163 was almost over before it began, eventually being bowled out for 117 for 45, although Daniel Smith’s side enjoyed their share of highlights early on in Papua New Guinea’s innings.

Taking the new ball in the Powerplay, 16-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner Kepler Lukeis showed a brilliance beyond his years, dismissing PNG captain Asad Wala, the tournament’s best batsman, for just one wicket. Charles Amini was also claimed as the youngest player in the event, finishing with figures of 2/17 from four overs.

Papua New Guinea were 76/4 after the Philippines 12 overs, but a counter from Lega Siaka (43 off 31 balls) and Hiri Hiri (46 off 27 balls) saw the hosts rise.

In the morning match, Japan beat Vanuatu by 21 runs in the Powerplay hole.

Vanuatu off-spinner Joshua Rasu dismissed openers Lachlan Yamamoto-Lake and Alex Shirai-Patmore in the first over, while a mix-up between the wickets saw Ronald Tarry run out for the wicket of Supun Navaratna (3).

Standing at 6/3, promoted Ibrahim Takahashi (20) put on a crucial 48-run partnership with captain Kendall Kadowaki-Fleming (65 off 54 balls) and Saborish Ravichandran (19) joined the captain in a 59-run partnership.

Kadowaki-Fleming dug in early on while dealing with a slow Amini Park deck, with four sixes in his half-century on the back of his 60 against the Philippines on Saturday.

A late surge took Japan to a defendable 131 and professional work with the ball in the field ensured the target was not reached. Ryan Drake, who came in a similar fast bowling change to Kohe Kubota, dismissed Nalin Nipiko (18), Jarryd Allen (4) and Junior Kaltapau (7) to finish with 3/16 in three overs. He was complemented by Rio Sakurano-Thomas (1/18) and Declan Suzuki-McCombe (1/16) and it was the spin that wore Vanuatu down, particularly Piyush Khumbare (2/23), who backed up from his opening day two-wicket effort.

Vanuatu finished on 110/8 in 20 overs, meaning Japan open the tournament with Papua New Guinea two wins from two.

Teams enjoy a rest day on Monday before resuming action on Tuesday.

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