ICC Development (East Asia-Pacific) Media Release
Papua New Guinea remains the only undefeated team in the East Asia - Pacific Under 19 World Cup Qualifying Tournament after a dominant display against the host Vanuatu.
The result means PNG finish the round robin on top of the tournament table, with Vanuatu second. The teams will face off again in the grand final on Sunday, at Kazaa Field.
PNG showed its experience by bowling a remarkably tight line and length throughout Vanuatu's innings, restricting the hosts to just 115 runs from their 50 overs.
First change pace bowler Willie Gavera was again the hero for PNG, taking three wickets and conceding a miserly seven runs from nine overs.
While the scoring rate was slow to say the least, to their credit, the Ni-Vanuatu boys didn't lose patience. In fact the total was only reached thanks to some clever lower order batting from Trevor Langa, who finished with 32.
But the total was never likely to be enough, and the PNG top order made light work of the target. Tony Ura blasted 67 not out, as the winning runs coming in the 14th over. Jono Dunn managed to take the two wickets for the home side.
There is a lot the Vanuatu team can learn from the encounter, and no doubt they'll be thirsty for revenge when the teams meet again on Sunday.
For the second day in a row the Japanese side has been forced to watch an excellent young batsman at the top of his game take to their bowling like a ravenous shark with a taste for blood.
Joe Rika smashed a remarkable 257 from just 145 balls, as the Fijians amassed 440 from only 50 overs. Rika, the Fijian captain and the only player in the under 19 squad to play in the national senior side, has misfired twice in the opening two rounds, but was out to make amends against the hapless Japanese bowlers.
His innings was all about power: he didn't just hit sixes, he belted them, smashing nine in total, including three in three balls.
The Japanese players may be getting sore necks from watching balls fly of their heads, but they still manage to be close to the most enthusiastic outfit in the competition. While the standard of cricket in this tournament may be a big ask for Japan, hopefully the boys and their coaches can learn plenty from the experience.
Japan managed to compile their highest score of the tournament, hitting 53 before losing their final wicket in the 20th over. Sekope Biauniceva was the destroyer for Fiji, taking six for 13, an achievement worthy of man of the match honours on any other day, however, obviously this honour went to Joe Rika.
All the players will now enjoy a rest day ahead of the final day's play on Sunday.