Semi final line-up confirmed in Samoa
The semi-finalists of WCL Division 8 have been confirmed after today's matches in Samoa.
In Group A, Vanuatu took on hosts Samoa, batting first after losing the toss. They scored 193 before being bowled out, Benjamin Mailata taking 4-21. Trevor Langa top scored for Vanuatu with 36 at exactly a run a ball.
In reply, Samoa lost wickets regularly, specifically by means of run out, with four batsmen getting out that way. Faasao Mulivai smashed 33 from just 17 balls to give Samoa some hope of a win, but it was a case of too little, too late, and they were dismisses for 172, losing by 21 runs.
Vanuatu thus go into the semi-finals unbeaten, and they will be joined there by Ghana, who beat a poor Norway side. Batting first, the Africans were bowled out for 159, Samson Awiah top scoring with an innings of fifty that did a lot to hold the innings together.
In reply Norway, who seem to be on somewhat of a downward slide, struggled and were bowled out for just 125, losing by 34 runs. Peter Ananya and Obed Harvey both took three wickets.
Japan and Belgium were already confirmed as the semi-finalists from Group B, but there was still a potentially easier semi-final opponent at stake in their match today.
Japan batted first after winning the toss and were able to score 194-9 from their 50 overs, with Daniel Mee scoring 59 and Masaomi Kobayashi scoring 51. They then bundled the Belgians out for 111, Naoki Miyaji taking 3-19.
In the other match of the day, Suriname managed to record their first win of the tournament after a remarkable comeback when batting against Bhutan.
Lobzang Yonten took four wickets early on in the Suriname innings as the South American side collapsed to 23-6. But they managed to recover to score 152, Carlton Baker top scoring with 46. Bhutan were then bowled out for 117, losing by 35 runs after initially being well on top.
The semi-finals take place tomorrow, with Belgium playing Vanuatu and Ghana playing Japan. The winners of those matches will secure promotion to Division Seven of the World Cricket League and, on the strength of the first round matches, that looks like being Japan and Vanuatu. In the fifth place semi-finals, Suriname will play Norway and hosts Samoa will play Bhutan.