Fiji v Vanuatu bi-lateral series - Day 1 washout

Day 1 of the bi-lateral series (27 March) between Fiji and Vanuatu has been washed out as a result of recent rains that have caused the Albert Park ground in Suva, Fiji to be deemed as unsuitable for play.

Following recent heavy rains, a clear morning presented itself on the first scheduled day of play and enabled ground staff to make progress on the condition of the ground.

However, with play scheduled to commence at 9:30am, umpires Johnston and Cooper inspected the Albert Park ground at 9:00am and declared that further work was required on the ground before play could commence and that they would conduct a further inspection at midday.

Ground staff, as they had done all morning, continued working on the ground trying to dispose of the excess water sitting on surface.

With this work the prospect of play looked more promising until further rain fell at 11:15am and as a result the days play was abandoned at the midday inspection.

With the schedule of the 3 match bi-lateral series scheduled as below, organiser's hope that Match 1 will now be played today, 28 March and with 30/31 March as Reserve Days the 3 match series is still fully completed.

Fiji clinch victory Match 1 bi-lateral series

With rain preventing play on the first scheduled day of the Fiji v Vanuatu bi-lateral series, it was encouraging that Day 2 presented hot and sunny conditions in Suva.

However, at the scheduled 9:00am umpires inspection it was deemed that the ground was not ready for play to commence and the umpires would come back at 12:30 for a further inspection.

In the meantime hoses were brought to the ground and sucked up the surface water left from the previous day's rain and this combined with hard work from about half a dozen City Council workers, the prospect of play looked increasingly possible.

Following a couple more inspections by the Umpires it was determined that play would commence and that allowed for a 20 over game.

Vanuatu won the toss and decided to bat first.

A menacing opening spell by Fiji quick Kiti Tavo had the visitors on the back foot early until Fenedy Masauvakalo steadied the innings for Vanuatu with an important 20 and took Vanuatu past the 50 run mark before being caught behind.

Simpson Obed steered the second half of the Vanuatu innings and he finished with 15 not out as Vanuatu posted a competitive 91 runs.

Tavo was well supported by Sakaraia with 2 for 16 from his 4 overs whilst Kida chipped in with 2 for 13 from his 2 overs delivered late in the Vanuatu innings.

In reply Fiji made a reasonable start progressing to 1 for 27 before a collapse left them languishing at 8 for 61.

Vanuatu medium pacer Pierre Chilia was the main instigator of the Fiji batting collapse with the figures of 4 for 23 from his 4 overs.

Kiti Tavo came to the rescue for Fiji as he belted an unbeaten 23, including several important late innings boundaries as he guided Fiji to 9 for 92 from 18.2 overs and securing Fiji victory.

All involved are hoping for a complete days play tomorrow (29 March), although some light drizzle has been falling in the early evening here in Suva.

Cakacaka smashes Fiji to victory

A sensational undefeated half century by Fiji wicket-keeper batsman Cakacaka propelled Fiji to a convincing 6 wicket victory against Vanuatu in the 2nd Match of their 3 match bi-lateral series.

With some localised water areas within the Albert Park grounds in Suva, Fiji play was delayed until 12:30pm, and this allowed for a 33 over scheduled match.

Like Match 1 Vanuatu captain Patrick Haines won the toss and elected to bat. Fiji opening bowler, Samu, struck early capturing both Mansale brothers in his opening over (2nd for the match) leaving Vanuatu at 2 for 4 in the second over.

Significant partnerships were hard to come by as Fiji took regular wickets as Vanuatu stumbled to 6 for 51 in the 19th over. Sakaraia lead the attack in the middle overs taking 3 wickets whilst conceding just 25 from his 7 overs.

Pierre Chilia provided lusty hitting in the later part of the Vanuatu innings contributing a handy 22 before holing out on the mid wicket boundary trying to increase the run rate.

Earlier Simpson Obed backed up his impressive Match 1 batting performance with another solid 22.

After the 33 allotted overs Vanuatu made 9 for 116.

Fiji openers Kida and Navatu made a conservative but steady start before Kida holed out to mid wicket on 6 leaving Fiji at 1 for 18 off 6.2 overs.

Cakacaka joined Navatu at the crease and the Fiji run rate went into overdrive as both batsman looked to take the momentum away from the bowlers.

Navatu however was caught looking to belt one over mid wicket and departed with the score on 47.

Cakacaka then took control of the match and proceeded to smash six 6's in his undefeated 55 as he single-handedly dismantled the Vanuatu bowling line up.

Andrew Mansale looked dangerous for Vanuatu in his 4 overs capturing 2 for 18 and beating the batsman on another couple of occasions.

Fiji say bring on World Cricket League

Fiji completed the bi-lateral series in full flight today as they defeated Vanuatu by 133 runs in the last of the 3 matches played at Albert Park in Suva to secure a 3-0 series victory.

As the series has progressed it has become more evident that the size, power and experience of the Fiji team has given them the edge against a Vanuatu team mixed with a few veterans and a number of young players who still qualify for U19's. Herein lies the positive for Vanuatu in that up to half a dozen young talented players will be harder and better for this experience and can look forward to the EAP U19 World Cup qualifier scheduled for July 2007.

Batting first Fiji openers Kida and Navatu made a careful but solid start combining for 35 runs before Navatu was dismissed and that brought the star of the second match Cakacaka to the crease. He and Kida (47) again proved thorns in Vanuatu's aspirations as they pushed the score towards 100.

Vanuatu stayed in the contest in the middle part of the Fiji innings with tight bowling and enthusiastic fielding and had restricted Fiji to less than 3 per over for the first 30 overs.

However, the powerful Fiji bats smashed several boundaries and launched a couple of slog sweeps for six up onto the road that passes by Albert Park and pushed the score to 8 for 208 at the completion of their 50 overs.

Given the size of the chase it was critical Vanuatu make a good start and preserve wickets, unfortunately for the visitors this was not the case.

A succession of early wickets fell leaving Vanuatu at 7 for 29 with bowlers Tavo ( 3 for 8) and Jone Sevou (3 for 11) making the 208 run target appear out of reach.

Ben Kingsbury with 32 not out provided the Vanuatu batting scorecard with some respect before they were bowled out for 75 in the 34th over.

Fiji captain Seci was impressed with his side's performance "We had a good chat after the first match where we just scraped home and the team responded with improved performances in the 2nd and 3rd matches. This series victory gives us a lot of confidence as we head to Darwin in May for World Cricket League Division 3".

For Vanuatu that will now turn their attention to preparations for the EAP U/19 World Cup qualifier that will be staged in Port Vila, Vanuatu and feature many of the players that gained experience in this series.