WCL Div 5 Silver Medalists — Team Vanuatu

Vanuatu can celebrate the sensational success of the Vanuatu National Men’s Cricket Team after a week of intense competition in South Africa which undoubtedly has a lot of fans, supporters and players on the edge of their seats.

Team Vanuatu had a relatively slow start losing from Jersey and Ghana in group stage before just like magic performed as if their lives depended on it shocking not just Germany but Italy as well when they bounced back and stormed their way into the Final sealing their World Cricket League (WCL) Division 4 promotion.

The beauty of the home grown Vanuatu team in South Africa was not just performing at the highest level possible in the competition but also displaying some real star potential players such as the likes of Patrick Matautaava and young National U19’s captain Wesley Viraliliu.

Vanuatu sealed their WCL Div 4 qualification after bypassing Italy who were undefeated in group A in the semi-final witnessing the second of two stunning performance from Patrick Matautaava who knocked an amazing 139 runs not out off 76 balls to send Germany home in the last match at group stage.

Sending Italy home not only meant WCL Div 4 promotion but also a spot to again have the chance tackle Jersey who were relegated from Division 4 back to Division 5 last year in the WCL Div 5 grand final.

The highly coveted WCL Div 4 promotion also meant that Vanuatu is now ranked in the top 30 ICC rankings bringing their rankings a couple of steps higher than when they entered the competition.

Vanuatu entered the competition an equal 32 in the ICC rankings along with Cayman Islands, Qatar, Ghana and Germany but have now moved up the ladder bringing Vanuatu’s dream of participating in the World Cup one step closer.

In the final, Vanuatu won the toss and elected to bowl first sending Jersey in to bat.

Jersey who is a fierce competitor with high quality players send their players in to bat without expecting to have 3 of their top batsmen dismissed within just 8 overs of the first inning two of which by Callum Blake.

Stevens however, managed to keep Jersey on the front foot with 86 runs off 101 balls before he was dismissed himself. Jersey managed 255 runs before being bowled all out in the 48 overs.

Vanuatu with a target of 256 to win started their inning strong with good batting until Jersey responded with accurate bowling leaving Vanuatu unsuccessful in their chase going all out for 15 runs after the 36th over.

Losing to Jersey in the final was not a setback for team Vanuatu as the experience prepares the team well for the new and ferocious competition Vanuatu will be a part of in the WCL Div 4 against countries like Uganda, Bermuda, Malaysia, Denmark and Jersey who have been

performing at the world stage for a long time.

The VCA and Vanuatu as a whole is immensely proud of the achievements of team Vanuatu’s achievements and it would only be fitting if everyone can support the VCA by giving the team the best homecoming on Wednesday the 13th of September at the Bauerfield international airport.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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