Home team Papua New Guinea are unbeaten as the East Asia-Pacific qualifier for next year's Men's T20 World Cup reached the halfway stage today in Port Moresby.
Japan won the toss and chose to bat first against the hosts but could only manage 87-8 from their 20 overs, with Declan Suzuki's unbeaten 34 the only score of note. Five PNG bowlers took wickets with Semo Kamea the best of the bunch with 2-17.
PNG lost openers Tony Ura and Kiplin Doriga cheaply in their reply, but a 51 run partnership between Assad Vala and Charles Amini got things back on track. Vala was the third man out having scored 28, whilst Amini remained unbeaten on 30 as his team completed a six wicket win with 4.5 overs to spare.
Earlier, Vanuatu won the toss and chose to bat first against the Philippines. Jarryd Allan (36) and Ronald Tari (23) were the only batters to reach double figures as they were bowled out for 97. Four Philippines bowlers took two wickets, with Huzaifa Mohammed going for only eight runs in his four overs.
Joshua Rasu removed both openers early in the Philippines reply, but 30 from Jordan Alegre, 26 from Daniel Smith and an unbeaten 28 from only 16 balls by Miggy Podosky helped them secure a six wicket win, chasing down their target with 2.2 overs to spare.
The tournament continues tomorrow with hosts Papua New Guinea taking on Vanuatu first up with Japan playing Philippines in the afternoon.