SANO, JAPAN – 01 MAY 2017: Samoa have returned to the top of the table with their third straight win at the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 – East Asia-Pacific Qualifier 2017 in Sano, Japan.
Their 53-run win over an up and coming Vanuatu came on the back of a dominant performance with bat and ball from Feala Pula who was named player of the match.
Pula joined her captain Regina Lili’i (38) for a 54-run fourth wicket partnership as Samoa went on to post 114 from their 20 overs.
20-year-old Leimauri Chilia picked up three wickets for Vanuatu who continue to improve with each match.
Pula was pleased with both her performance and that of the team acknowledging that “we couldn’t take Vanuatu lightly,” she said.
“It’s definitely good to bat out there. The past few weeks I’ve been working on my batting and bringing out the inner beast. It came out a little I guess but I can still do better,” continued Pula.
Pula went on to strike twice with the new ball removing the in-form Valenta Langiatu (0) and Leimauri Chilia (4).
Lagi Otila Telea (2 for 6 from 4 overs) and Taofi Lafai (2 for 7 from 4 overs) continued their good form with the ball as all six of the Samoan bowlers used picked up wickets on their way to a 53 run win.
However, Pula knows that there is still plenty of work to do for the team in the second round of matches starting tomorrow.
“This is just one win. The next three games are brand new games, we need to start all over again,” said Pula.
Samoa are currently on top of the table with six points, one win clear of PNG who will be looking to join them at the top when they meet Samoa again on Thursday.
Round two matches commence tomorrow with home team Japan taking on Samoa, and Vanuatu meeting PNG in the afternoon.
The 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 – East Asia-Pacific Qualifier 2017 is taking place in Sano, Japan from April 28 to May 5 and will feature teams from Japan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu.
The top team will qualify for the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier to be held in later 2017 or early 2018.
Samoa 6/114 (20) Lili’I 38, Pula 30, L Chilia 3/29 (4) defeated Vanuatu 61 (17.2) A Chilia 17, Telea 2/6 (4), Lafai 2/7 (4), Pula 2/8 (2) by 53 runs