Fiji is through to the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2016 in Bangladesh after defeating Samoa by nine wickets in Blenheim today. This is Fiji’s first ever cricket World Cup and comes after their senior men’s team recently earned a place back in World Cricket League for the first time in two years.
In today’s others match, Papua New Guinea were bowled out for an impressive 201 by Vanuatu before backing up their batting with a dominant bowling display to record a 125 run win.
Fiji won the toss and sent Samoa in to bat and as has become habit for Fiji, Sosiceni Weileilakeba got them off to a flyer taking two early wickets.
Leilani Iu provided some resistance for Samoa after the early onslaught making a good 30. However when he fell to Peni Volavola Samoa collapsed to be bowled out for just 92.
All Fiji’s bowlers contributed to the wicket tally with Weileilakeba the pick taking 4-17 from his eight overs earning him the Player of the Match award.
Fiji’s opening pair of Tikoisuva and Veitacini put the foot down from the outset in their chase of the small total, reaching the target before lunch off just 17.1 overs to ensure Fiji’s place in the World Cup. Veitacini was the only wicket to fall for 34 off just 28 balls.
“This is the first time a team from Fiji cricket has made a World Cup so I am very proud of that achievement and my players,” said Fiji captain Saimoni Tuitoga.
Fiji coach Shane Jurgenesen believes all the work has paid off.
“The way that we won today was exactly the way we wanted to win,” he said. “I wanted them to prove to the region and to themselves that they deserve to be in the World Cup and I couldn’t be more proud of the way they went about it.”
At Horton Park 1 Vanuatu won the toss and sent PNG in on a slightly damp pitch. Opener Harry Gavera made a steady 32 with Gau Simoi contributing 27 and captain Lou Vagi Toua 25.
For Vanuatu, Maxim Stephen took 4 wickets and Alfred Bong 3 but it wasn’t enough to stop PNG posting 201, the largest total for the tournament so far.
Resting some key players in preparation for tomorrow’s crucial clash, Vanuatu never looked like chasing down the total as PNG bowled them out in 29.1 overs for just 76.
“I was quite happy with how the boys played today but we know we still need to keep improving,” said PNG coach John Ovia. “Tomorrow against Vanuatu I want to see more of the same enthusiasm and diving around in the field from our team. If they are enthusiastic and make sure they have fun we will be ok.”
PNG and Vanuatu will meet again tomorrow with the winner booking a place in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier where they will get a second opportunity to join Fiji in the World Cup.
Matches start at 10:30am at Horton Park.
Scores in Brief:
At Horton Park: Fiji v Samoa
Samoa 92 all out, 32.2 overs (L I’u 30; S Weleilakeba 4-17)
Fiji 1-93, 17.1 overs (T Veitacini 34, Tikoisuva 25*, D Maraiwai 16*)
Fiji won by 9 wickets
Man of the Match: Sosiceni Weileilakeba (Fiji)
At Horton Park: PNG v Vanuatu
PNG 201 all out, 42.2 overs (H Gavera 32, M Stephen 4-31, AZ Bong 3-28)
Vanuatu 76 all out, 29.1 overs (I Sandy 17; L Guba 4-11)
PNG won 125 runs
Man of the Match: Lohia Guba (PNG)
Saturday’s matches – 10:30am:
2nd v 3rd play-off
PNG v Vanuatu
Horton Park 1
Samoa v Fiji
Horton Park 2
For results, live scores and information on the 2015 Pepsi ICC East-Asia Pacific U19Trophy please go to: