New entrant: Fiji cricket team qualifies for the U-19 World Cup 2016
Updated - Mar 5, 2015 3:21 pm
New entrant: Fiji cricket team qualifies for the U-19 World Cup 2016: In what is a huge boost to the slow expanding cricket fraternity the Fiji cricket team has successfully qualified for its first U-19 World Cup. Fiji U19 Cricket team qualified for the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh after registering a crushing win over regional rivals Samoa at East Asia-Pacific U-19 Trophy in Blenheim, New Zealand. It’ll be the first time in the history that a Fijian cricket side will feature in any kind of cricket World Cup tournament.
They booked their world cup tickets after beating Samoa in the deciding clash of the qualifiers in New Zealand. Fiji started the day needing only a win over Samoa to secure their historical first appearance in the Cricket World Cup. They won the toss and put Samoa into bat, started the attack with their fast bowler Sosiceni Weleilakeba. He took three early wickets leaving Samoa struggling on 3/22. Samoa’s Leilani Iu put a brief resistance with a knock of 30, but could not do much as wickets continued to fall on the other side. Two late run-outs added insult to injury, as Samoa were eventually bowled out for 92 runs.
Fijian openers Tadulala Veitacini and Cakacaka Tikoisuva showed little nerves as they raced to 63 in the first 11 overs. But Veitacini was eventually caught in the outfield. The fall of a wicket showed little effect on Fiji as hard hitter Delaimatuku Maraiwai came to the crease and immediately attacked the Samoan bowlers. They entered cruise control, moving past the Samoan total and into the history books. Fiji will now play along with Australia, India, Bangladesh, New Zealand and others in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016.
Lewis Keane a member of Cricket Fiji said that it was a historical win for the team, “Fiji is quite lucky in that all of the players in the current team are within the age group to be eligible for next year’s world event. The youngest is 15 and most of them are aged 17 which means we can work with them further.”
Their national team coach Jurgensen was delighted that his team’s hard work has brought them this opportunity. “The way that we won today was exactly the way we wanted to win,” he said. “I wanted them to prove to the region and to themselves that they deserve to be in the World Cup and I couldn’t be more proud of the way they went about it.”The Fiji had also beaten the dangerous Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in the lead up to the historical feat.