PNG, Vanuatu still undefeated

Main Stories, Sports

The National – Wednesday, February 9, 2011

PNG and Vanuatu both claimed comfortable victories on the third day of the ICC East-Asia Pacific Under 19 Cricket Trophy in Maroochydore to all but ensure a top two finish and qualification to the next tournament in Ireland.
PNG continued their form from yesterday against Fiji by bowling Indonesia out for 61 and passing their score with the loss of only one wicket in 11.1 overs.
Toua Tom bowled a brilliant opening spell of opening bowling taking 5-16 to leave Indonesia in trouble at 5-7 after seven overs.
Tom, who was named man of the match, was virtually unstoppable as he ripped through the Indonesian top order.
“I am pretty happy with the way I am bowling at the moment,” Tom said after the match. “It is nice to take some wickets and help the team.”
A solid knock of 23 from Gema Pramanda turned what could have been an embarrassing loss into a brave performance from the young Indonesian side that pushed their score up to 61.
“We certainly have room for improvement,” Indonesia captain Rizky Rubbi said.
 “But our boys have not experienced playing on turf wickets or dealing with bowlers who swing the ball both ways so it was always going to be tough.”
In reply, Indonesia had PNG in early trouble taking the key wicket of Lega Siaka, who was trapped leg-before wicket without scoring off the bowling of Gaurav Tiwari.
From this point on, however, it was business as usual for PNG as Chris Kent (29) and Rogeauka Roge (28) guided their side to a comfortable victory.
It was not all smooth sailing for Vanuatu in their match against Fiji despite posting a strong total of 244.
Some tight bowling from Tukana Tavo (2-47) and Josefa Gauna (3-55) provided Vanuatu with some nervous moments as they sunk to 4-30 after 10 overs.
However, some big middle order hitting from Kendy Kenneth (42) and Patrick Matautaava (28) as well as a composed 43 from Nalin Nipiko guided Vanuatu to 244.
“Today was really good with both the bat and ball, I am happy with the performance today,” Vanuatu captain Matautaava said.
With rain on the way Vanuatu once again opened with spin from both ends to try and force a result.
As it had previously against Japan, this worked to their advantage with Jelany Chilia picking up three wickets in his opening spell to leave Fiji at 3-46 after 22 overs.
At the completion of 22 overs rain forced the players from the field with Vanuatu comfortably ahead on Duckworth-Lewis.
When players returned the revised target for Fiji was 215 from 40 overs which was always going to be a difficult task.
The task was made virtually impossible when Matautaava re-opened proceedings with a double wicket maiden including the crucial breakthrough of Fiji captain Tavo who was trapped LBW without scoring.
From here on Vanuatu cruised to victory bowling Fiji out for 81 in 38.3 overs with Matautaava finishing with figures of 5-7 to set up an enticing fixture with PNG on Friday that will likely determine the winners of the tournament.
“It will be a hard match but we are determined to win,” Matautaava said.