THE Philippines won the T20 Cricket World Cup qualifier after South Korea beat Japan early this afternoon to put the Philippines in an unbeatable position with one match to play against Indonesia later today.
The Philippines will finish top of the group of four countries—Indonesia, Japan and South Korea—after six days of intense cricket in which the Philippines showed class and composure to beat all of their rivals.
The event was staged at Friendship Oval in Dasmarinas, Cavite, the first time that the Philippines cricket has ever hosted such a major sporting event.
The historic win means that the Philippines moves a step closer to the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in 2020, expected to be watched by more than 1.5 billion people.
The team will now travel to Papua New Guinea in 2019 where they will play Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in the East Asia Pacific final.
The winner of that event will go through to the global qualifying round.
The top six teams in that event will qualify for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
While there is still a long road to travel to make the World Cup, the Philippine team has shown in this tournament that they have arrived on the world stage.
Boosted by their four dual-citizen Australian-Filipinos—Captain Jonathan Hill, Daniel Smith, Henry Tyler and Grant Russ—the team now has the depth of talent and experience to challenge some of the best sides in the region, if not the world.
“There is something special about this side,” said team captain Hill. “We are a tight-knit group immensely proud to play for and represent the Philippines. They never lose focus and when the going gets tough, they get going. It’s an honor to lead them, and to make history today.”
The Philippines plays Indonesia today in a rubber match starting at 1.30 p.m.
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