East Asia-Pacific side Fiji began its Division 6 campaign against Div. 7 promoted side Nigeria at Bayeumas Oval and Joe Rika’s men side got off to a flying start after beating the Africans by 63 runs.

Having won the toss and electing to bat first, Fiji lost wickets early on but the advent of the Rika brothers, captain Joe and brother Colin, saw the duo add important runs to the scoreboard in the morning sunshine at Bayeumas Oval.

After the Rika brothers departed it was up to the lower order to share the runs with Maciu Gauna and Mohammed Khan both proving to be useful run makers as the islanders posted a respectable total of 203 in its 50 overs.

Nigeria’s Ramit Gill proved to be the pick of the African bowlers but player-coach Sean Philips once again proved to be useful with his off-spin bowling, dismissing two of the lower order in Kitiano Tavo and Sakaraia Lomani.

In reply the Nigerians simply could not handle the off-spin bowling of veteran Fijian stalwart Iniasi Cakacaka who dismissed four of the side including key batsmen Gill and Philips. Despite the best attempts of Oluwaseun Odeku the side was on its way to be all out for 140 when Lomani took two bottom order wickets and the victory was sealed for Fiji when Joshua Ogunlola was run out.

Joe Rika said of the side’s first win of the tournament: “It was great to start off with a win and the boys are feeling good.

“Iniasi (Cakacaka) did really well to come back after making a duck with the bat, to come back and take four wickets was a great effort. The boys are really happy and we’re looking forward to our next match tomorrow.”