The National – Friday, February 11, 2011
FIJI notched up their first win at the ICC East-Asia Pacific U19 Cricket Trophy with a thrilling three-run victory over Indonesia at the Maroochydore cricket club yesterday.
Meanwhile, the PNG juggernaut rolled on with a crushing 10 wicket win over Japan to leap-frog Vanuatu and take top of the table with one round to play.
After a sluggish start thanks to some tight bowling from Gaurav Tiwari that saw Fiji at 7-85, an 8th wicket partnership of 95 between Noa Acawei and Nacanielli Rawaico steadied the ship for Fiji who went on to post 190.
Acawei was impressive for his unbeaten 89 from as many balls, smashing nine 4s and three 6s to put the pressure on Indonesia.
Indonesia’s Rizky Rubbi helped keep Fiji’s score below 200 taking 3-41.
For the majority of the chase Indonesia looked in control with Rubbi (54) and Muhaddis (34) putting together a partnership of 102 before some tight bowling from Tukana Tava and Yalimaiwai pushed the run rate to six an over.
Tiwari then entered the match for Indonesia with a bang smashing 45 and keeping Indonesia in the contest.
However, with Indonesia needing a four runs off the last ball to win Yalimaiwai kept his cool clean bowling Tiwari.
“It was a great win and a great match,” Fiji coach Steve Jenkin said.
Japan started their match strongly against PNG to be 1-29 after 14 overs, however the introduction of the spinners triggered a batting collapse that saw Japan all out for only 39.
Lega Siaka and Chris Kent each picked up two wickets and PNG’s sharpness in the field contributed to four run outs.
In reply PNG passed the total in 5.1 overs via a six over mid-wicket courtesy of Siaka to take his score to 24 and claim man-of-the-match.
Despite the ease of the victory PNG captain Kent is taking nothing for granted prior to his side meeting Vanuatu today in a match that will determine the winner of the tournament.
“We were a bit slack today and will need to lift for tomorrow but I think we’ll be alright,” he said.
“It’ll be nice to be provided with a tough contest tomorrow.”
Both Vanuatu and PNG have now guaranteed qualification to the next tournament in Ireland.
Scores in brief:
At Maroochydore Cricket Club: Japan 39-10, 23.4 overs (N Jinasena 14; L Siaka 2-1, C Kent 2-6)
PNG 41-0, 5.1 overs (L Siaka 24 not out)
PNG won by 10 wickets.
Fiji 190-9, 50 overs (N Acawei 89 not out, M Daucakacaka 21; R Rubbi 3-41)
Indonesia 187-9, 50 overs (R Rubbi 54, G Tiwari 45, Muhaddis 34; T Gauravinaka 2-21, M Yalimaiwai 2-24)
Fiji won by 3 runs.