08 February 2016
Scotland overcomes spirited Fiji
Vuniwaqa and Tikoisuva lead resistance but their side falls 76 runs short in chase of 226
Scotland defended its total of 225 to defeat Fiji by 76 runs and assure itself atleast a 14th place finish.
Fiji put up a strong showing, but that only served to delay Scotland’s 76-run victory, which set the victors up to face Ireland in the battle for 13th.
Put in, Scotland posted 225 in 48.1 overs, thanks to Finlay McGreath’s half-century, even as the Fiji bowlers, led by Cakacaka Tikoisuva, who returned 4 for 46, chipped away. Peni Vuniwaqa steadied a slide with the bat for Fiji, scoring a half-century and putting on 47 with Josaia Baleicikoibia, but it only delayed the inevitable. Fiji was bowled out for 149 in 42.2 overs – its highest total in the tournament so far – and will meet Canada in the fight for 15th.
Scotland had a troubled start, reduced to 17 for 2 after Neil Flack (2) and Azeem Dar (7) were nipped out. Owais Shah and Ben Wilkinson steadied the innings with 47 for the third wicket, but the brakes were put on the recovery as Wilkinson (20) and Jack Waller (5) were dismissed in successive overs.
Owais found some company in McGreath, and the two steadied ship again, putting on 39 for the fifth wicket. The stand took Scotland past the 100-run mark, but was broken when Owais was run out on a 64-ball 39.
McGreath, however, remained solid. He took charge and put on 42 with Ryan Brown (22) and 55 with Haris Aslam (25) to take the total past 200. His time ended when he was caught behind off Tikoisuva for an 82-ball 60 that comprised four fours and a six.
Tikoisuva then dismissed Mitchell Rao to complete his four-wicket haul.
The target proved too much for Fiji. It was reduced to 18 for 3, with Cameron Sloman, the left-arm medium-pacer, picking up two wickets. There was a 21-run stand for the fourth wicket, as Vuniwaqa found brief company in Tikoisuva (6), but once Tikoisuva was caught behind off McGreath, it was on 48 for 6.
Malaki Cokovaki hung around to provide Vuniwaqa some support in a 16-run seventh-wicket stand, before Baleicikoibia arrived to further frustrate Scotland. Baleicikoibia scored at over a run a ball, putting away five fours on his way to a 24-ball 27. The two had taken the total past 100 when McGreath had Baleicikoibia bowled.
Vuniwaqa carried on. There were two sixes off McGreath in the 41st over as he moved to 80. It seemed as though he was in a hurry to get to the landmark before losing his last partner, but the gamble resulted in his fall and gave Sloman his third wicket.
Scotland sealed victory, but Fiji will take heart from its performance.
To view the full scorecard, please click here.
Afghanistan U19 spinners choke New Zealand U19
Holder leads clinical West Indies U19 to semi-final