21 Feb 2017

Sport: Melanesian sides set the pace at cricket qualifiers

12:56 pm on 21 February 2017

Vanuatu and Fiji top the standings after two rounds of the East Asia Pacific World Cricket League Qualifier in Bendigo.

Vanuatu were in early trouble before half centuries to captain Andrew Mansale and Trevor Langa helped them reach 224 for 6 from their 50 overs.

Patrick Matautaava and Jelany Chilia claimed two wickets each as the Philippines were dismissed for 103.

Vanuatu players come together during a warm-up match in Sydney.

Vanuatu are one of the form teams. Photo: Facebook / Vanuatu Cricket

Head coach Shane Deitz said it was one of the best wins he's seen in almost two and a half years in charge.

"They had a lad who plays first grade in Sydney, quick bowler, and we were 3 for 30 and really under the pump on a tough wicket," he said.

"But we played probably the smartest game of cricket I've seen Vanuatu play and we managed a total of 220-odd on a really tough wicket and that was probably always going to be too many.

"Then our new-ball bowlers set it up for us, taking a few early wickets, and then the spinners tied it up and yeah we got home."

Fiji also made it back to back wins, overhauling Samoa's 205 for 7 with three wickets and 13 balls to spare.

Fiji defeated neighbours Samoa by three wickets.

Fiji defeated neighbours Samoa by three wickets. Photo: ICC East Asia Pacific

The Blues lost two early wickets before an 84-run stand between half centurions Sekove Ravoka and Seru Tupou steered them to victory.

Captain Jikoi Kida said the team showed good composure.

"We stuck to our game plan, our game plan is to bat the 50 overs," he said.

"We've got a lot of younger guys coming up, who is batting in the middle order, so I think they believed we were going to get it if we bat the 50 overs.

"That's what we did - we batted till the 48th over - and we got the runs."

In the other clash, Indonesia defeated Japan by 54 runs.