Samoa qualify for Women's U19 T20 World Cup after stunning East Asia-Pacific run

A win over Fiji on the final day ensured the Samoans finished top of the double round-robin East Asia-Pacific Qualifier for the U19 Women's T20 World Cup in Indonesia.

By Daniel Beswick

Samoa have shocked the field at the U19 Women's East Asia-Pacific Qualifier, topping the four-team competition to book tickets for the Women's U19 T20 World Cup next year. It's the first time a Samoa team has qualified for a World Cup in the sport in men's and women's cricket, and across any format or age level.


Atop the group heading into the sixth and final matchday in Indonesia, Avetia Fetu Mapu's side had destiny in their own hands, and ensured their progression thanks to a four-wicket win over the Fijians with 34 balls to spare.

The side came into the four-team competition as underdogs, with last year's Women's U19 T20 World Cup entrants Indonesia and a Papua New Guinea side boasting multiple senior internationals seemingly posing a bigger threat.

Despite the pre-tournament talk, the Samoans stamped their authority on the competition on the afternoon of the first matchday, confidently chasing down a target of 124 against Papua New Guinea, with Mapu's 31* (23) backing up the efforts of No.3 Verra Farane's 44 (31).

The Samoans went on to beat Indonesia in both fixtures against the hosts in two low-scoring thrillers, winning the first by chasing down 72 with two wickets and two overs to spare, before an eight-run win four days later. Defending just 81 in their second meeting, Samoa bowled out Indonesia for just 73, with Silepea Plataivao claiming 6/15 (4).

Samoa defend 81 against Indonesia

Samoa did fall to Papua New Guinea when the teams met for the second time in the competition, though Papua New Guinea had also crucially dropped points against Indonesia earlier in the tournament, meaning a final-day win for Samoa would guarantee top spot and qualification.

A hat-trick from Fiji's Mele Waqanisau may have sent nerves through the Samoan camp in their chase of of 89, though the work of senior Samoan international Angel Sootaga So at the top provided a strong enough platform for the lower order to complete the chase in the 15th over.

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