September 24, 2009

East Asia-Pacific

Mansale ton hands Vanuatu big win

Judhajit

Vanuatu captain Andrew Mansale smashed his maiden East Asia-Pacific Trophy century to lead his team to a strong victory over Tonga at Samoa Gardens on Thursday. Mansale was in fine form and played a superb innings, belting the Tongan bowlers to all parts of the ground. His 115 included 10 boundaries and three sixes, and with the support of Simpson Obed (32), opener Lazarot Carlot (29) and Jonothan Dunn (26), Vanuatu were able to reach a competitive 245.

In reply, Tonga lost an early wicket before captain Aisake Haukinima steadied the ship. Haukinima was dismissed for a quickfire 21 before middle-order batsman Ofahulu played a fantastic lone hand, belting some enormous sixes in the pursuit of quick runs.

With little support, Tonga were eventually dismissed for 140; Ofahulu standing out with a fine 71, 50 of which came from boundaries and sixes.

On Oval #2, Samoan skipper Geoff Clarke won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first against Indonesia on a beautiful sunny day.

Clarke and Kaisala put together a solid opening stand of 67, before both fell in quick succession. This brought vice-captain Ron Turner together with Ben Mailata, and the pair began to dismantle the inexperienced Indonesian attack. Their 121-run stand was the catalyst for an assault in the last 10 overs, and the Samoans didn't let the crowd down.

Sipiliano finished the day unbeaten on 41 from just 30 balls, while star allrounder Faasao smashed the Indonesian attack to finish on 36 from just 11 balls, including five towering sixes.

Samoa posted an exceptional 308, a total that Indonesia were to find extremely difficult against an attack featuring the pace of Faasao, the guile of former New Zealand Test player Murphy Su'a and the accuracy of left-arm offspinner Winston Mariner.

However, the Indonesians began superbly, taking the game to the Samoans with some wonderful attacking batting. Openers 'Yeri' Rosogna and Silva put together an outstanding opening partnership of 87, with Silva providing the power and Yeri working the bowlers well to rotate the strike.

However, the game turned when the Samoan youngster Pritchard Pritchard threw down the stumps from cover, finding Silva short of his ground. From there, the Indonesians battled hard and the huge total proved to be difficult to attain, as Samoa won by 87 runs.

On Oval #1, Japanese captain Masaomi Kobayashi won the toss and elected to bat against a fired-up Fiji attack. While Japan lost opener Kensuke Kobayashi early, the skipper (27) and wicketkeeper Chino (37) came together and patiently built the platform for a late assault.

Razzaq (62) provided some lusty hitting late in the innings to push Japan towards the 200-mark, and along with Fuji (28*) and Miyaji (17), eventually set a competitive target of 213 for Fiji.

Fijian opener Bulabalavu fell early on in the chase, and while Baba (27) and Rika (27) were able to steady the innings, the continual loss of wickets made the chase difficult.

Fiji kept pushing, with the running between wickets keeping the match alive, and when Josefa Dabea and Sakaria Lomani came together over a run-a-ball was required from the final 10 overs.

Dabea (48*) batted superbly under intense pressure while Lomani (41) provided the aggression. However, when Lomani fell and wicketkeeper Gauna followed shortly after, Fiji was eventually faced with the task of getting five from three balls.

No. 11 Waqaituinayua swung hard at the next ball, getting a fine edge that raced away to the boundary, leaving Fiji with one to win, which was brought up on the second-last ball of the innings, as Waqaituinayua struck a huge six over mid-on.

Fiji 219 for 9 (J Dabea 48*, S Lomani 41, S Nagano 2-18) beat Japan (C Razzaq 62, T Fuji 28*, I Cakacaka 2-18, S Lomani 2-33) by one wicket

Samoa 308 for 5 (F Mailata 66, R Turner 51, S Tua 41*, W Suandi 3-64) beat Indonesia 221 (E Silva 71, R Turner 3-38, M Su'a 2-31) by 87 runs

Vanuatu 245 for 7 (A Mansale 115, S Holi 4-52) beat Tonga 140 (K Ofahulu 71, A John 3-19, P Matautava 3-25) by 105 runs

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