|PNG Celebrates win. Photo credit: cricketpng.com|
Papua New Guinea has won the final of the East Asia Pacific Twenty-20 cricket championship on Thursday, defeating Vanuatu by 38 runs.
Vanuatu snuck into the final of the seven-team tournament after defeating Fiji, but were unable to match the highly-favoured PNG team.
The International Cricket Council's Adam Cassidy said PNG were challenged throughout the day and only took control late in the second innings.
"It was really entertaining cricket and I think PNG can now consider themselves a genuine chance of actually qualifying for that world cup in 2014," he told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat.
PNG will now advance to the final stage of qualification for the next World Twenty-20, to take place in Bangladesh in 2014.
Mr Cassidy said organisers were impressed by the noticeable improvement in standard since the last tournament in 2011.
He said PNG is the only country in the region that has turf wickets.