Vanuatu on top after day one in Port Moresby
After the women's cricket tournament at the Pacific Games ended on Saturday with Samoa winning gold, the men got their tournament started today in Port Moresby. And it is Vanuatu who are on top after winning both their matches, including inflicting Papua New Guinea's first defeat at a Pacific Games tournament.
That match against Papua New Guinea - who are fielding an A side in this tournament due to the World Twenty20 Qualifiers - was the first match at Amini Park of the day, with Vanuatu batting first after winning the toss. Kabua Morea removed both openers in the third over, but that didn't set Vanuatu back too much.
Nalin Nipiko hit 40 from just 19 balls, top scoring as the visitors made 172-9 from their 20 overs. Kabua Morea was the pick of the PNG bowlers with 4-20.
The hosts started their run chase in fine style as openers Riley Hekure and Chris Amini put on 61 in 8 overs before Hekure was out for 33. Amini went on to score 80 from 56 balls before he was the fourth man bowled by Patrick Matautaava, but nobody else was able to score as quickly.
PNG A were restricted to 144-6 from their 20 overs, losing by 28 runs. It may have been an A side, but Vanuatu had inflicted Papua New Guinea's first ever defeat in the cricket tournament at the Pacific Games.
The other match of the morning - at Colts Cricket Ground - saw two non ICC members play as Tonga batted first after winning the toss against perennial whipping boys New Caledonia. Aloisio Pau’u top scored for Tonga with 49, but he was outclassed by Lea Tenisi who smashed 41 from just 11 balls in a blistering innings that saw him hit five sixes in consecutive balls at one point.
The final Tonga total was 176 - they were bowled out two balls from the end of the innings - and New Caledonia got closer than many would have expected. Steeve Tchidopoane top scored for them with 36 as they batted out their overs to score 139-6, losing by 37 runs.
Tonga were then brought back down to earth in their afternoon game against Vanuatu. Put into bat, they were bundled out for just 55 with only two batsmen making double figures. Simpson Obed was the pick of the bowlers with 4-11. Vanuatu knocked off the runs in just 3.1 overs without losing a wicket, Ronald Tari scoring 35 in just 11 balls.
The other match in the afternoon was the traditional massacre of New Caledonia by a Papua New Guinea side. This may have been a second string PNG team, but that didn't mean New Caledonia escaped punishment. Batting first, it wasn't until the 17th over that the first wicket fell, with Chris Amini having scored 53 out of an opening partnership of 196 with Riley Hekure.
Hekure was the next man out - in the 18th over - having scored 139 from just 67 balls. There was no let up for New Caledonia as PNG A scored 52 from the final two overs to reach 259-3. Jason Kila clubbed 49 from 13 balls before he was run out going for his fifty from the last ball.
It won't surprise anyone to learn that New Caledonia didn't chase that target. They were bowled out for 34, losing by 225 runs. Alei Nao was the pick of the bowlers for the home side, taking four wickets in two overs without conceding a run. The tournament continues tomorrow.
Papua New Guinea A lost to Vanuatu by 28 runs
Tonga beat New Caledonia by 37 runs
Vanuatu beat Tonga by 10 wickets
Papua New Guinea A beat New Caledonia by 225 runs
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