Vanuatu, Samoa, Fiji cricketers make winning start

Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji have made a winning start at the East Asia-Pacific World Cricket League Qualifier in Bendigo.

Jelany Chilia was the pick of the bowlers, with 3 for 10, as Vanuatu dismissed Indonesia for 82 before the opening pair of Josh Rasu and Jonathon Dunn chased down their victory target in just 9.1 overs.

Samoa captain Ben Mailata starred with bat and ball in a seven wicket win over Japan.

The 32 year old claimed 5 for 27 as Japan were dismissed for 144 and then led the way with the bat, top-scoring with 58 not out from 52 balls, including five sixes, as the Polynesian side overhauled their target inside 26 overs.

Imran Khan also managed a five wicket haul in Fiji's six wicket win over the Philippines.

Karweng Ng anchored the Philippines innings with 74 as the South East Asian country was dismissed on the final ball of their 50 overs.

Peni Vuniwaqa top-scored with 67, combining for an unbeaten 90 run stand with Seru Tupou, as the Blues sealed victory with more than 12 overs to spare.

Fast-bowler Maciu Gauna said it was a strong all-round performance.

"It was good to get that first win out of the way," he said.

"We only lost four wickets and then we still got a few wickets in hand so it was good, it was good.

"Our top four batsmen did the job for us and we're pretty confident, we have a good bowling side too so that's what makes [it] pretty tough for the other team."

The tournament continues today with Fiji up against Samoa, while Indonesia takes on Japan and the Philippines face Vanuatu.


Photo: ICC (Samoa captain Ben Mailata starred with bat and ball against Japan).