Vanuatu one step away from World Cup debut after tournament victory



The Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men's Team pose with the winners trophy after winning the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Pacific Qualifier.


  • Vanuatu finish top of the table with five wins from six matches and move one step closer to ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Qualification

  • Vanuatu will join PNG, the Philippines and the winner of the Sub Regional EAP B Qualifier at the Regional Final in 2023

  • Player of the Tournament awarded to Cook Islands captain Ma’ara Ave, who scored 290 runs from six at an average of 72.50


It came down to the last match of the tournament, but the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Men's National Cricket Team secured their second consecutive qualification at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup EAP Regional Final last Thursday.


Coming into the final day, Vanuatu had a two-point advantage over the Cook Islands. However, in front of packed stands at the Vanuatu Cricket Ground, Patrick Matautaava's team did enough to win the match and secure next stage qualification in their hunt of a maiden ICC World Cup berth.


Vanuatu went in as tournament favourites and showed their class with two comfortable wins in their first two matches against Fiji and Samoa. Things got a little shaky in the third match when the Cook Islands were able to take the points off the back of a classy knock by Ma’ara Ave. The rest day came at the right time for Vanuatu, allowing them to regroup and go on to claim three wins in a row to progress to the next stage of qualification.


The Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu National Men's Team acknowledge the crowd after winning the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Pacific Qualifier.


The Cook Islands proved to be the surprise package of the Qualifier. Playing in their first ever T20I in this Qualifier and having not played any international cricket since 2014, the team showed their talent and skill by defeating each team once across the double-round robin. Whilst not enough to take the next qualification step, the three wins are sure to spark a resurgence of cricket in the small Pacific nation.


Fiji and Samoa played well throughout the Qualifier and have plenty of positive points to take home. Fijian Seru Marutu Tupou topped the wicket takers list with 10 dismissals across five matches at an impressive economy rate of 6.37.


All eyes now turn to Japan, who play host to Indonesia and South Korea at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub Regional EAP B Qualifier between 15 – 18 October. The winners will book their final spot at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup EAP Regional Final in 2023.


Final Points Table

Team

Matches

Won

Lost

Points

NRR

Vanuatu

6

5

1

10

1.237

Fiji

6

3

3

6

-0.249

Cook Islands

6

3

3

6

-0.939

Samoa

6

1

5

2

-0.114


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