Papua New Guinea have defeated a spirited Vanuatu and Fiji have thrashed New Caledonia on the first day of the cricket competition at the Pacific Games in New Caledonia.

In the morning match Fiji set a huge total of 212-4 off their 20 overs thanks to magnificent knocks from Sakaraia Lomani (77 not out) and Sekove Ravoka (42). Lomani was in rare form smashing anything short to the boundary in an outstanding display of T20 batting.

"Sakaraia Lomani was brilliant," said Fiji coach Steve Jenkin. "He was sent out as a pinch hitter, but batting at number three to have him bat right through the innings was very pleasing."

In reply any slim hope held by New Caledonia was put to bed after just three overs with Fiji's gamble of opening with young spinner Viliame Yabaki paying off in spades. Yabaki took three wickets in his first two overs exposing New Caledonia's significant lack of experience facing quality spin bowling.

New Caledonia fought hard to fall two balls short of batting out the 20 overs thanks to a composed 19 from Jean-Christ Midraia but they never looked like getting the runs. Jikoi Kida ripped through the tail ending with figures of 3-7 off 3.4 overs. New Caledonia were all out for 79 in 19.4 overs.

In the afternoon game Vanuatu won the toss and chose to bat, however could never really get going against some tight PNG bowling. A rapid 21 from Simpson Obed was the only entertainment provided with the bat for the large Vanuatu crowd in attendance.

In the end a couple of late boundaries from the tail helped Vanuatu reach 103-8 off their 20 overs.

For PNG Jason Kila was sensational with the ball taking 3-11 off his four overs and causing all sorts of concerns for the Vanuatu batsman with his variation of flight and pace. Mahuta Kivung also chipped in with two wickets.

In reply PNG made tough work of it losing Assad Vala in the first over caught behind off a beautiful delivery from Patrick Matautaava. In a spirited fight back after a poor performance with the bat, Vanuatu continued to take regular wickets and keep the pressure on PNG.

However as the wickets fell Tony Ura remained unbeaten and kept the run rate ticking over just enough thanks to some huge sixes to eventually see his side victorious with four wickets in hand and two overs to spare.

"Vanuatu started well and came with a positive attitude and gave us a close match today," said PNG captain Jack Vare. "But full credit to our boys for getting the job done at the end."

Ura finished with a match high 62 for PNG, while for Vanuatu Andrew Mansale made up for his duck with the bat to take 2-7 off four overs.

Tomorrow morning Vanuatu take on Fiji in what will most likely determine who will challenge PNG for gold on Friday, and in the afternoon PNG will play tournament hosts New Caledonia.


New Caledonia lost to Fiji by 133 runs
Terrain de cricket N'Du, 29 August
Fiji 212-4 (20 overs, S Lomani 77*, S Ravoka 42)
New Caledonia 79 (19.4 overs, J Kida 3-7, V Yabaki 3-20)

Papua New Guinea beat Fiji by 4 wickets
Terrain de cricket N'Du, 29 August
Vanuatu 103-8 (20 overs, J Kila 3-11)
Papua New Guinea 104-6 (18 overs, T Ura 62)