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Fiji Time: 8:45 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Fiji wins opener

Arin Kumar
Saturday, February 02, 2013

THE national cricket side recorded mixed results in their two warm-up games ahead of the 2013 ICC East Asia Pacific Men's Twenty20 Championship in New Zealand.

On Thursday, Fiji beat Samoa by 29 runs and then yesterday lost to Vanuatu by seven wickets at Auckland's Waikaraka Park.

Against Samoa, Fiji scored 129 for the loss of seven wickets with team captain Josefa Rika topscoring with 37 runs.

In reply, Samoa were all out for 100 runs thanks to two crucial wickets from veteran Joji Bulabalavu.

After the match Rika said the loss of the four key players before they left Fiji, took its toll on the side. Four Army players were not granted visas to travel to New Zealand.

"We can't deny that it is a major blow to lose some of the most experienced players in our squad," he said.

"The four boys that have come in are very inexperienced but at the same time are very eager and I am confident they will do the job for us come Sunday when the tournament proper begins."

Yesterday, Fiji were bowled out for only 69 runs by Vanuatu. In reply, Vanuatu lost only three wickets but managed to reach their target in 12.3 overs.

Tournament director Adam Cassidy told Times Sport, Fiji looked a shadow of the side that beat Samoa on Thursday.

He said Vanuatu looked ready for the tournament as they recorded good wins over Samoa and Fiji respectively.

"Vanuatu have gained momentum ahead of the tournament with their two wins," Cassidy said.