Vanuatu 238 for 5 (Dunn 86, Rasu 69, Matautaava 53, Saif 3-51) beat Denmark 234 for 9 (Bulow 57, Hamid 50, Matautaava 3-39) by five wickets
Vanuatu's late rally after three consecutive losses at the start of the WCL Division Four has put Denmark's final-standings fate out of their own hands as the NiVans upended the Danes by five wickets with as many balls to spare at the Kinrara Academy Oval to become the first team all week to successfully chase a target at the ground.
Overhauling Denmark's 234 with half-centuries from the top three - vice-captain Jonathon Dunn (86 off 139 balls), Joshua Rasu (69 off 77), and Patrick Matautaava (53 off 42) - Vanuatu registered their second successful chase in three days. Dunn had scored only 15 runs in Malaysia coming into the match while Matautaava more than doubled his week-long output of 49 runs. Rasu ended three runs short of doubling his group-stage tally.
All three were due for a score, particularly Matautaava after his Player-of-the-Tournament performance at Division Five in September, and they came up trumps in style against Denmark. Dunn and Rasu put on 116 for the first wicket before Matautaava took over following the dismissal of Rasu. Matautaava blasted his way to a half-century off 33 balls, putting Denmark in serious jeopardy of not only losing outright, but also losing their net-run-rate tiebreaker advantage over Jersey.
Denmark entered the day with a 12.2 over or 54-run net positive differential with Jersey on the net-run-rate tiebreaker. At one stage, thanks to Matautaava's blitz which took the score to 167 for 1 in 31 overs, most of that differential was on the brink of being wiped out. But the spin troika of Bashir Shah, Nicolaj Laegsgaard and Saif Ahmad dug deep to stretch the game into the final over, with Saif nipping out Matautaava and captain Andrew Mansale to slow Vanuatu's charge and, in the process, help preserve some of their tiebreak advantage over Jersey in spite of the loss. Shane Deitz, however, whacked a six off the first ball of the final over to seal the chase.
Vanuatu's bowlers set up the win with an excellent display at the death after Denmark had set themselves up for a launch from 182 for 4 at the 40-over mark thanks to half-centuries from Anders Bulow and captain Hamid Shah. But the middle order failed to kick on, adding only 40 through the next eight overs before Nalin Nipiko and Matautaava took two wickets each off four consecutive balls to end the 49th and start the 50th.
Denmark will now rely on help from Uganda and Bermuda in matches to be replayed on Sunday in order to keep Jersey or Malaysia from leapfrogging them on the net-run-rate tiebreaker and into the promotion slots to move up to Division Three.