Vanuatu September 23, 2009

Vanuatu ease past Samoa

A round-up of matches from the Non World Cricket League

Vanuatu young gun Simpson Obed followed up his fine form in the ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier with an inspiring century to lead Vanuatu to an 87-run victory over Samoa at the 2009 EAP Trophy in Apia, Samoa on Tuesday.

Obed, who was finally dismissed for 109, displayed a combination of class and power throughout his fine innings including 12 fours and two sixes. He combined well with lower-order batsmen Trevor Langa (23) and Patrick Matautaava (41) to carry Vanuatu to a competitive 233 from 47.2 overs.

Earlier, talented openers Lenika Natapei and Damian Smith were dismissed cheaply, Faasao and Lautala doing the early damage.

In reply, Samoa began disastrously with opener Kaisala run-out in the very first over after a superb piece of work in second slip from the experienced Pierre Chilia.

Samoa continued to lose wickets, Patrick Haines and Aby John bowling particularly well, before Faasao and Murphy Sua came together with the score on 59 for 5. Faasao batted with outstanding control, belting five huge sixes in quick succession.

Haines was the one to make the breakthrough, bowling the dangerous Faasao for a well-made 56 while Aby John continued to bowl with outstanding accuracy, cleaning up the tail to finish with 5 for 37 from nine overs.

Meanwhile, a depleted Japan struggled against a fired up PNG attack, eventually dismissed for only 41.

PNG's pace attack was again outstanding; Willie Gavera bowled a terrific line to grab 3 for 8 from seven overs, and was supported by Joel Tom (3 for 10).

PNG also look to have uncovered another star in the making, with young legspinner Vali Albert bowling with amazing control, picking up 2 for 10 from his nine overs.

In the other Non World Cricket League match, Tonga won the toss and batted against the Cook Islands in a thriller that would come down to the last over.

Tonga started off well, with Captain Haukinima and the impressive Sione Holi producing a fine opening stand of 53, before a major collapse at the hands of medium pacer Pita Tare saw the Cook Islands reduced to 112 for 8.

Tare was unstoppable, bowling a perfect line and length to smash through the Tongan middle order and finishing the innings with 6 for 27 from 10 overs.

Langi and Filia battled hard at the end of the innings, putting on 46 for the ninth wicket, before Tonga were dismissed for 166.

Cook Islands allrounder Tino Etita opened the batting with confidence, and with some support from Davis, Brown and Tautau, edged closer to the required total, before Punga and Lucky Topatei knocked off the target with just two balls and two wickets to spare.

Scores Vanuatu def. Samoa by 87 runs
Vanuatu 233 (47.2 overs) (S Obed 108, T Langa 23, P Matautava 41; L Fuimoana 3-39, T Paione 2-26, S Tua 2-38)
Samoa 146 (F Mulivai 56, M Sua 26*; A John 5-37, P Haines 3-48)

Cook Islands def. Tonga by 2 wickets
Tonga 166 (45.4 overs) (A Haukinima 27, S Holi 25, T Filiai 23, V Langi 22; P Tare 6-27, T Etita 2-19)
Cook Islands 167-8 (49.4 overs) (T Etita 43, D Teinaki 22; L Langi 2-25, S Latu 2-31)

Papua New Guinea def. Japan by 9 wickets
Japan 41 (35 overs) (M Rizwan 5, [Extras 17]; J Tom 4-8 [10 overs], W Gavera 3-8, V Albert 2-10)
Papua New Guinea 46-1 (6 overs) (K Pala 37*)

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo