Caption:Fiji celebrate another wicket.Photo:SUPPLIED
Cricket Fiji have continued to shock the region at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand, following up yesterdays historic win over defending champions and hot favourites PNG with a comprehensive shock victory over Vanuatu. Fiji now find themselves with just a win over Samoa in the way of a place in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup. The first in the history of Cricket in the Fiji Islands.
Fiji won a toss and sent Vanuatu in to bat on a deck expected to provide some assistance for the bowlers early. The decision looked well and truly justified when Sosiceni Weleilakeba sent Johnna Todah’s pegs flying in just the second over.
A solid partnership between the Vanuatu skipper Clement Tommy and Nickson Justin pushed the total up to 1-47. However the ever reliable Tadulala Veitacini came into the attack and dismissed the dangerous pair in the space of two overs.
From there Vanuatu collapsed to be all out for 96 in just 23.1 overs. Veitacini and Josaia Baleicikoibia claimed three wickets each in a dominant performance. In reply Fiji made hard work of the seemingly straight forward chase slumping to 3-25. Pradonly Tari and Wesley Viraliliu claimed the wickets for Vanuatu.
Then just as Fiji looked to have the match back in control Viraliliu struck again and it was game on with the score 4-45. Yesterday’s star Peni Volavola and captain Saimoni Tuitoga came together for Fiji and guided their side to the lunch break at 4-62 from 22 overs.Fiji then lost an early wicket when play resumed to put a minor scare through the camp. However the experience of their skipper Tuitoga ensured Vanuatu’s excitement was short lived and Fiji passed their Pacific neighbours total in 37.3 overs with five wickets in hand.
“It was a great win but we know we still have one more game against Samoa to go,” said Fiji’s Jordan Dunham. “Samoa have shown a bit against the other guys so we need to be on our game and hopefully we can win because to qualify would mean a lot to the people back home in Fiji.”