Vanuatu well out in front after day two
Vanuatu look well on their way to a first ever Pacific Games cricket gold medal after two more wins in Port Moresby today.
Their first match of the day was against New Caledonia at Amini Park. If the French territory was shell shocked after conceding 259-3 against Papua New Guinea yesterday, things didn't get better for them today as Vanuatu racked up 285-7 from their 20 overs.
As far as anyone can tell, it is the second highest score in an international T20 match, bettered only by the 294-0 that Greece scored against Macedonia back in April.
Nalin Nipiko top scored for Vanuatu with 105 from 42 balls. He brought up his fifty with a six after 22 balls and took only another 14 balls to bring up his century. Ronal Tari also chipped in with 69 from 35 balls. New Caledonia were then bundled out for just 51 in reply, losing by 234 runs.
In the morning's other game, Papua New Guinea A batted first after winning the toss against Tonga at Colts Cricket Ground. Raho Sam and Kipling Doriga were dismissed early on before Riley Hekure and Jason Kila put on 102 for the third wicket. That partnership ended when Hekure was out for 47.
Kila went on to score 74 before he was caught behind, helping his team to 190-9 from their 20 overs. Sione Manumua was the pick of the Tongan bowlers with 3-26.
Only three batsmen were able to reach double figures in the Tongan reply as they were bowled out for 76 to lose by 114 runs. Jason Kila completed a fine all round performance, taking 3-7 from his four overs.
Tonga remained on the same ground for their afternoon match against New Caledonia, who conceded their third 200+ total of the tournament as Tonga scored 222-3 from their 20 overs. Openers Nikolasi Moala and Aloisio Pau'u led the way with a partnership of 146. Pau'u was the first wicket to fall, scoring 60, whilst Moala was out for 86.
New Caledonia then made what was - for them at least - a pretty decent score batting second. They were never really in with a shot at chasing the total, but 162 meant that they didn't disgrace themselves. An unbeaten 57 from 22 balls by Johnatan Lapacas was the highlight of their innings as they lost by 60 runs.
Over at Amini Park, Vanuatu were batting first after winning the toss against Papua New Guinea A. Were in not for 41 from Jonathon Dunn and 32 from Andrew Mansale, Vanuatu could have found themselves facing a first defeat of the tournament. As it was, their total of 115-9 was only just enough.
At 80-2 in the 13th over, the hosts were looking set for victory. But a collapse saw them lose 6 wickets for just 14 runs as Vanuatu got right on top of the game. PNG A were unable to score the 14 needed from the last over and were kept to 108-9, losing by 7 runs.
Tomorrow is a rest day in the tournament, and play gets back underway on Friday, with Vanuatu needing just one win from their two matches to secure their place in the gold medal match.
Vanuatu beat New Caledonia by 234 runs
Papua New Guinea A beat Tonga by 114 runs
Tonga beat New Caledonia by 60 runs
Papua New Guinea A lost to Vanuatu by 7 runs
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