PHOTO: Samoa’s Captain Regina Lili’i remains not out after day 2. Photo ICC
PORT VILLA, VANUATU – 06 MAY 2019: On a rain interrupted day, Samoa have proven themselves to be the upcoming challenger to the title as they join Papua New Guinea as the only undefeated teams after the second day of the 2019 ICC Women’s Qualifier – East Asia-Pacific in Port Vila.
Samoa’s top order proved to be too strong once again as they ended the day with convincing 9-wicket wins over both Japan and Indonesia, to go with their 9-wicket win over Fiji on the opening day.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Samoa when they won the toss and elected to field against Japan.
Japan opening batter Akari Kitayama (63 off 54 balls) got the team off to a flying start hitting eight boundaries, however the tight bowling of Lily Mulivai (4 for 18 off 4 overs) helped restrict Japan’s total to be all out for 119 after the allotted 20 overs.
In reply, Samoa flexed their muscle with a substantial opening partnership of 96 from the opening thirteen overs, with captain Regina Lill’i (47* off 52 balls) and Lelia Bourne (47 off 38 balls) making the most of their opportunities to put the game beyond doubt.
Japan tried many of their bowlers but ultimately didn’t have an answer to Samoa’s power hitting.
Player of the match Akari Kitayama spoke about the continued improvement of Japan’s performances.
“We have practiced very hard, aiming to take more singles whilst also hitting boundaries… if we play as a team and support each other, the improvement will show each game”.
Samoa followed up the morning match with another stellar performance over Indonesia in the rain-affected afternoon match chasing down the target with two overs remaining with Pula (25 off 23) and Lill’i (28* off 26) again doing the damage.
Samoa captain Lill’i after the game stated that she always felt in control of the chase.
“I had the DLS totals in my pocket so I knew we were always ahead and once it got to five overs I was pretty confident that if it did pour down, we were ahead, so we just continued to do the basics and build on our partnership.”
All players and staff will enjoy the well-earned rest day on Wednesday before the games recommence on Thursday.
The top team at the end of the tournament will qualify for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier to be held in Scotland later this year, and also for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier to be held in 2020.
Fiji 23 (11.1) Oa 4/4 (3.1), Arua 2/8 (4) defeated by PNG 0/27 (3.1) Jimmy 14* by 10 wickets
Japan 119 (20) Kitayama 63*, Mulivai 4/18 (4) defeated by Samoa 1/120 (15.4) Lill’i 47*, Bourne 47 by 9 wickets.
Indonesia 6/55 (13) Anggraeni 26 defeated by Samoa 1/64 (11) Lill’i 28*, Pula (25) by 9 wickets (D/L method).
Vanuatu 3/121 (13) Langiatu 50 defeated Fiji 8/75 (13) Lomani 27 by 63 runs (D/L method).