Vanuatu and Fiji continued to head towards their seemingly inevitable final day showdown in Bendigo as the East Asia-Pacific World Cricket League qualifier continued today.
At the Queen Elizabeth II Oval, Vanuatu won the toss and chose to bat first against Samoa, starting their innings with Jonathon Dunn and Joshua Rasu putting on 51 for the opening wicket. Dunn was eventually the fourth man out having scored 66, which was the top score of the Vanuatu innings.
Trevor Langa came to the crease upon Dunn's dismissal, and he also made a significant contribution, scoring 54 from 49 balls before he was bowled by Samoan captain Benjamin Mailata. The final total for Vanuatu was 264-9 from their 50 overs.
Samoa had trouble chasing their target, with no batsmen able to make any sort of significant contribution. Jelany Chilia was the pick of the Vanuatu bowlers, taking 3-26 as Samoa were bowled out for 128, losing by 136 runs.
Over at the Weeroona Oval, Fiji were taking on Japan, with the latter batting first after winning the toss. They managed to bat out their 50 overs, but found runs hard to come by, only scoring 154-7. Captain Masaomi Kobayashi top scored with an unbeaten 61, whilst Riyad Khan and Josefa Balaeicicia both took three wickets for the Fijians.
Fiji initially struggled to put together a partnership, with opener Tuwai Yabaki out for a first ball duck, and the next two batsmen all falling four single digit scores. Captain Jikoi Kida kept things together at one end with 40 before he was the fourth man out. Victory was eventually secured by the sixth wicket pairing of Sekove Ravoka and Seru Tupou, who put on an unbeaten 62 to secure the five wicket victory, scoring 44 and 43 respectively.
In the other match of the day, Indonesia won the toss and batted first against the Philippines, scoring 140 being being bowled out in the 47th over. Rizky Rubbi top scored with 49, whilst Daniel Smith and Jonathan Hill both took three wickets. The Philippines had little trouble chasing down their target thanks to a second wicket partnership of 86 between Haider Kiani and Jonathan Hill, who scored 52 and 41 respectively. They won by six wickets.
The tournament will continue tomorrow with Vanuatu playing Japan and Fiji playing Indonesia. The Philippines will play Samoa in the day's other match.
Vanuatu beat Samoa by 136 runs
Queen Elizabeth II Oval, Bendigo, 22 February
Vanuatu 264-9 (50 overs, J Dunn 66, T Langa 54)
Samoa 128 (40.1 overs, J Chilia 3-26)
Fiji beat Japan by 5 wickets
Weeroona Oval, Bendigo, 22 February
Japan 154-7 (50 overs, M Kobayashi 61, J Balaeicicia 3-16, Riyad Khan 3-23)
Fiji 156-5 (38.4 overs, S Ravoka 44*, S Tupou 43*, J Kida 40)
Philippines beat Indonesia by 6 wickets
Strathfieldsaye, Bendigo, 22 February
Indonesia 140 (46.4 overs, R Rubbi 49, D Smith 3-14, J Hill 3-30)
Philippines 141-4 (37.5 overs, J Kiani 52, J Hill 41)