ANI Photo | T20 World Cup East-Asia Pacific qualifiers: Vagi-Morea’s hat-trick steals win for PNG, Japan win their second 

A hat-trick and five-wicket haul from Papua New Guinea quick Kabua Vagi-Morea helped Papua New Guinea to a second successive win at the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 East-Asia Pacific qualifiers against Philippines, while Japan proved too strong for Vanuatu to also remain undefeated, as per ICC.
Vagi-Morea needed no help in his efforts, 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-armer claimed the hat-trick in his second over, before removing Miggy Podosky for number five in his third.
At 3/5 inside five overs the Philippines’ chase of 163 was almost over before it began, eventually bowled out for 45 for a 117-run win, though Daniel Smith’s side did enjoy their share of highlights early in Papua New Guinea’s innings.
Taking the new ball in the Powerplay, 16-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner Kepler Lukies showed a shrewdness beyond his years, dismissing arguably the best batter at the tournament, PNG captain Assad Vala, lbw for just one. The youngest player at the event also claimed Charles Amini, finishing with 2/17 from four overs.
The Philippines had Papua New Guinea 76/4 inside 12 overs, though a counter from Lega Siaka (43 from 31 balls) and Hiri Hiri (46 from 27) moved the hosts into the ascendancy. 
In the morning fixture Japan climbed out of a Powerplay hole to brush Vanuatu aside in a 21-run win.
Vanuatu off-spinner Joshua Rasu claimed openers Lachlan Yamamoto-Lake and Alex Shirai-Patmore for ducks in the first over, while a mix-up running between wickets cost Supun Navarathna (3) his wicket, run out by Ronald Tari. 
Looking hemmed in at 6/3, skipper Kendel Kadowaki-Fleming (65 from 54 balls) was joined by the promoted Ibrahim Takahashi (20) in a crucial 48-run stand, with Sabaorish Ravichandran (19) teaming up with the captain in a partnership of 59.
Kadowaki-Fleming dug in early while dealing with the slow Amini Park deck, though went on to strike four sixes in his half-century, backing up his 60 against the Philippines on Saturday.
A late flurry took Japan to a defendable 131, and a professional job with the ball in the field ensured the target remained out of reach. Coming in for Kohei Kubota in a like-for-like fast bowling change, Ryan Drake removed Nalin Nipiko (18), Jarryd Allan (4) and Junior Kaltapau (7) to finish with 3/16 from three overs. He was complemented by fellow quicks Reo Sakurano-Thomas (1/18) and Declan Suzuki-McComb (1/16), though it was spin that arguably stifled Vanuatu’s men, most notably Piyush Khumbhare (2/23), backing up from his two-wicket effort on day one.
Vanuatu finished on 110/8 from the 20 overs, meaning Japan join Papua New Guinea on two wins from two to begin the tournament. (ANI) 

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