10 Aug 2017

Sport: PNG cricketers open up lead on rivals

12:38 pm on 10 August 2017

Papua New Guinea are one win clear of the chasing pack following a mammoth 212 run victory over Samoa at the East Asia Pacific qualifiers for the Men's Under 19 Cricket World Cup.

Igo John Mahuru was awarded man of the match honours after anchoring the PNG innings with 98 off 139 balls, while captain Vagi Karaho added 41 off 37 balls as the Garamuts made 295 from their 50 overs.

Samoa's run chase was brief as they were dismissed for 83 inside 24 overs, with Sema Igo Kamea and Ovia Lohia Sam sharing seven wickets.

Igo John Mahuru hits out against Samoa.

Igo John Mahuru hits out against Samoa. Photo: ICC East Asia Pacific

PNG coach Kila Pala said with the champions to be decided from the round robin it's important to maintain their momentum.

"Winning is the key for us (and) losing is not an option for us," he said.

"Because the longer the tournament goes the more ups and downs all the teams will go through - there will be some good days and there will be some bad days.

"So for us it's trying to keep the winning spirit in the team and then do what we've beeing doing in the last two games".

Fiji bounced back from an opening round defeat to beat Vanuatu by four wickets in a bowler-dominated encounter.

Jack Charters bagged 5 for 14 as Vanuatu were dismissed for 51 batting first, with captain Wesley Viraliliu (22 off 30 balls) the only batter to provide any resistance.

The baby Blues slumped to 29 for 5 in the ninth over as leg spinner Williamsing Nalisa ripped through the Fijian top order with figures of 5 for 13.

But a few extras and a composed innings from Peni Waqakibau (12 not out) got Fiji to their target inside 12 overs.

The competition resumes on Friday with PNG up against Vanuatu and Fiji facing Samoa.

Despite an unbeaten start, Kila Pala said the Garamuts still have plenty of room for improvement.

"I think we were 40 to 50 runs short of our target. We started well but then came to the 45th to the 50th over we lost our way a bit," he said.

"We just need to work hard in our batting getting the singles and then punishing the bad balls".

The top team after the round robin will qualify for the Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand in January.