Nipiko Inspires Vanuatu to Victory
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- National Team (Men)
Nailin Nipiko had a day to remember as he inspired Vanuatu to their first win of the tournament in PNG.
With the ball Nipiko took four for 28 as Japan finished their batting innings at 136 all out from 19.5 overs.
He followed that up with a 50-ball 74* to lead Vanuatu to a win by five wickets in the final over.
Japan made a flying start to the match as Kendel Kadowaki-Fleming (44) struck the ball cleanly at the top of the order to put Japan at 51 for two after the power play.
A fifty-run stand with Sabaorish Ravichandran (31) was ended in the 13th over and despite a run-a-ball 25 from Declan Suzuki-McComb, Japan fell away towards the end.
Vanuatu took four wickets in the final over as Japan looked to find extra runs, but ended up imploding to be all out with one ball remaining.
In the chase it was again Japan who started better, Wataru Miyauchi to the fore with an excellent stumping off Piyush Kumbhare (one for 15) and a well taken run out.
Japan had taken two wickets with only 12 runs on the board and looked in control, but Andrew Mansale (36) joined Nipiko in a 72-run partnership from just 61 balls.
When Mansale was dismissed in the 14th over with 53 still required, Japan had hope, but Nipiko remained.
Japan chipped away and Ibrahim Takahashi (one for 17) bowled as excellent 19th over to leave Vanuatu needing nine from the last six balls.
Ultimately the day belonged to Nipiko, who guided his team home with three balls to spare.