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Vanuatu beats Italy and secures promotion to World Cricket League Division Four

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One day after an epic 57-ball hundred put his side into the semi-finals, Patrick Matautaava’s spectacular all-round show floored Italy in a six-wicket win for Vanuatu to secure promotion to WCL Division Four. Italy came into the match undefeated after topping Group B but were bowled out for a well-below par 183, having lost the toss, reports ESPN.

The Italians overcame medium pacer Callum Blake’s double-strike in the fourth over to lay a solid foundation behind half centuries from Peter Petricola (60 off 80 balls) and Damian Crowley (65 off 94 balls). The pair added 124 for the second wicket to take their side to 137 for 2 in the 32nd over.

But a day after his four-for set the stage for a dramatic chase against Germany, offspinner Jelany Chilia sparked a collapse by snaring both Petricola and Crowley in back-to-back overs and finished with a vital 3 for 32. Captain Andrew Mansale and Matautaava then hastened the slide by taking two wickets apiece in late spells to wipe out the tail in quick fashion as Italy lost their last five wickets for 13 runs and were all out in 46.4 overs.

Openers Jonathon Dunn and Joshua Rasu started the chase in confident fashion, adding 73 in 14 overs for the first wicket, setting up a cakewalk for the middle order. But rather than coast, Matautaava stayed true to his natural instincts and bashed a half-century off 31 balls, bringing up the mark in the 24th over with his seventh four. He then teed off on Hasnat Ahmed’s legspin in the 25th, carting him for three fours and a six before eventually falling for 83 off 60 balls.

By that stage, Vanuatu needed just 11 to win and Mansale finished the job, striking a boundary off the fifth ball of the 35th over to remain unbeaten on 15. Five years ago, Vanuatu played in the now defunct Division Eight held in Samoa, beating Ghana in the final. Vanuatu’s win over Italy, and the promotion to Division Four that comes with it, puts them in the top 30 of the ICC’s one-day rankings for the first time.

Jersey avoided the banana peel in the day’s other semi-final, trouncing Qatar by seven wickets, after Anthony Hawkins-Kay’s opening spell reduced them to 30 for 5 in the 16th over. The tall medium pacer bowled an unbroken 10-over new-ball spell, finishing with figures of 4 for 10, including four maidens.