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Papua New Guinea qualify for ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024

Port Moresby [Papua New Guinea], July 31 (ANI): Papua New Guinea (PNG) won all six of their matches in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup East Asia Pacific (EAP) Qualifier and have earned a spot in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup to be played in the West Indies and United States of America (USA) in June 2024.

This is the second time that PNG has qualified for a Men's T20 World Cup, as per an ICC press release. The side made it to the T20 WC in 2021 held in UAE and Oman but finished at the bottom. Norman Vanua was the chief wicket-taker, returning four wickets for just 20 runs in his four-over spell, while John Kariko added 2/18 to reduce Japan to 106/8 at the end of their innings after Japan won the toss and elected to bat first in front of a big PNG supporting crowd in Port Moresby.

Reo Sakurano-Thomas (30), Kendel Kadowaki-Flemming (18) and Wataru Miyauchi (18) were the main contributors with the bat, but it was a struggle for Japan to maintain partnerships, thanks to the bowlers whose tails were up.

It took PNG just 11.3 overs to reach their target. Opener, Tony Ura, whose good form with the bat continued with a quick-fire 47 off 19, which included seven boundaries and two sixes. Charles Amini, Lega Siaka and captain, Assad Vala, added scores of 22, 19 and 16 for an impressive win in the end.

Japan's Kohei Kubota was the leading wicket-taker for his side with a noteworthy 3/11 in just two overs.

PNG captain Assadollah Vala said: "It is exciting to have qualified for our second T20 World Cup by winning six from six matches. Our boys came together well, and it was a team effort with lots of individual contributions.""As always, we are thankful for the support of our families who are always behind us, but what made it really special this time was the home crowd proudly celebrating with us at the ground. We are looking forward to representing all our supporters in the West Indies and USA in June 2024."Event awards-Player of the Tournament: Nalin Nipiko (Vanuatu)6 matches13 wickets147 runs (average 36.75)-Batter of the Tournament: Kendel Fleming (Japan)6 matches216 runs (average 36.00)-Bowler of the Tournament: Nalin Nipiko (Vanuatu)6 matches13 wicketsRemaining regional Finals 2023-Americas (1 qualifying team)September 30-October 7 2023 - BermudaBermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Panama.

-Africa (2 qualifying teams)November 20- December 1 2023 - NamibiaKenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

-Asia (2 qualifying teams)October 30- November 9Bahrain, Hong Kong, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Winner of Sub Regional Qualifier AWinner of Sub Regional Qualifier B. (ANI)