Leaders remain the same after round 5


Papua New Guinea still has a slight lead over Vanuatu at the conclusion of round 5 of matches at the 2014 ICC EAP Men’s Trophy in Lismore.

PNG had a big win over Japan, as did Vanuatu and Fiji over Indonesia and Samoa respectively. Meanwhile it was a much closer result when the Philippines overcame the Cook Islands.

The big game of the morning was at Blair Oval between Samoa and Fiji, who were both battling for third position in the overall standings.

Samoa won the toss and elected to bat, but unfortunately their luck ended there, thanks to a clinical performance with the ball and in the field. Fiji opening bowler, Viliame Manakitoga was on song, claiming dangerous Samoan opener, Sean Cotter, in the first over, and only conceding a mere six runs off his total four overs.

In the fourth over Imran Khan struck at the other end, claiming Cotter’s counterpart Uala Taitoe Kaisala for single figures, and had Samoa in trouble at 2-8.

The Samoan batsmen kept looking for runs, but seemingly couldn’t find them anywhere, thanks to some exceptional boundary fielding from Maciu Gauna and Rabici Lesuma. The situation was dire for Samoa, who was on 6-28 in the 9th over, but the tail wagged thanks to an unbeaten 20 runs from Maletino Lane Maiava, and in the end was bowled out for 68 runs in the 19th overs.

Buoyed by the return of captain Joe Rika from injury, it seemed if it would just be a matter of time before Fiji claimed victory in the second innings, as Rika and fellow opener Jikoi Kida Vanualevu strode out to the crease. Samoa had other ideas though, claiming Kida’s scalp in the third over.

However thanks to depth in their top order, Fiji never really looked phased, and despite losing a further two wickets, cruised to a seven-wicket win in 14 overs.

After the match, Rabici Lesuma, said that Fiji were happy with the way they approached the game, but there was still a lot more work to be done during their time in Lismore.

“To be honest, it’s been really pleasing to get the win. Samoa are a really good batting side, posting scores in excess of 120 runs, so to keep them to 68 today was really good. We bowled our lines and kept to our game plan so that was great,” Lesuma said. “Fielding was tight and that was the main thing we’ve been focusing on. It’s very encouraging, but there’s a lot more to be done obviously.”

In other matches this morning, Japan had a huge assignment against PNG over at Heaps Oval. Winning the toss, PNG batted first, and posted another huge total of 5-179, thanks to 85 from opener Tony Ura, and a half century from Vani Vagi Morea.

Chula Rodrigo provided some resistance for Japan with the bat, but otherwise could not get over the experience of the PNG bowlers, being dismissing for 84 runs in 17 overs.

It was a much tighter affair over at Mortimer Oval between the Cook Islands and the Philippines. Batting first the Cooks posted a solid knock of 8-119 after their 20 overs, thanks to captain and opener, Tino Etita, making 32 runs off the same number of balls.

In reply things were getting tight for the Philippines, with the Philippines needing 24 off 17 balls to win in the closing stages, but some big hitting from Machanda Biddappa saw them through, reaching the winning target in the final over.

The final match of the morning was over on Blair Oval, between Indonesia and Vanuatu. Once again Vanuatu posted a huge total batting first, thanks to an innings of 71 off 43 balls from opener Jonathon Dunn, and stood at 5-198 at the end of the first innings.

To their credit Indonesia batted out the innings, finishing with a score of 9-58 at the end of their 20 overs. However they couldn’t withstand the polished Vanuatu bowling attack, particularly Nalin Nipiko, who took an incredible 2-4 off just three overs.

Leaderboard standings:
png cricket

Afternoon matches:

PNG v Samoa
Oakes Oval

Japan v Vanuatu
Heaps Oval

Philippines v Indonesia
Mortimer Oval

Fiji v Cook Islands

Blair Oval

Scores in Brief:

At Oakes Oval: Samoa v Fiji

Samoa 68 all out, 18.3 overs (M Lane Maiava 20*; R Khan 3-14, V Manikitoga 2-6)

Fiji 3-69, 14 overs (M Seru 26*)

Fiji won by 7 wickets

Man of the Match: Riyad Khan (Fiji)

At Heaps Oval: Japan v PNG

PNG 5-179, 20 overs (T Ura 85, V Vagi Morea 53; H Khan 2-12)
Japan 84 all out, 17 overs (C Rodrigo 25; P Raho 3-19)

PNG won by 95 runs

Man of the Match: Tony Ura (PNG)

At Mortimer Oval: Cook Islands v Philippines

Cook Islands 8-119, 20 overs (T Etita 32, TT Teinaki 24; S Tariq Ali 2-10, M Butt 2-20)

Philippines 4-120, 20 overs (M Biddappa 27*, M Gohal 23; T Vailoa 2-20)

Philippines won by 6 wickets

Man of the Match: Machanda Biddappa (Philippines)

At Blair Oval: Cook Indonesia v Vanuatu

Vanuatu 5-198, 20 overs (J Dunn 71, W Kalworai 38*; I Arsa 2-63)

Indonesia 9-58, 20 overs (N Nipiko 2-4, A Mansale 2-9)
Vanuatu won by 140 runs

Man of the Match: Jonathon Dunn (Vanuatu)

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