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Vanuatu Women's Cricket Team Surpasses Odds: From Coachless to Victorious Over ICC Full Member Nation in Historic Upset

In a remarkable turn of events, the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu Women’s cricket team, which found itself without a coach this time last year ahead of the ICC EAP Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, has made headlines once again. In their debut appearance at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Abu Dhabi, they stunned the cricketing world by securing a decisive victory over Zimbabwe, a formidable opponent ranked 12th in ICC Women’s T20 Internationals.

In a series of historic feats, the squad continues to defy expectations and rewrite the record books. Their journey of breaking barriers commenced last September, and their latest triumph adds yet another chapter to their remarkable story. Just days ago, they made history by facing off against a full-member nation, Sri Lanka, for the first time in Vanuatu Cricket history. Tonight, they have not only now faced a Test nation in a global ICC tournament - but conquered one at the first attempt.

Vanuatu limited Zimbabwe to a mere 61 runs off just 13.3 overs, marking their lowest-ever T20I score. The chase was executed with ease, thanks to an exceptional career-best performance from Nasimana Navaika, who earned the title of Player of the Match for her remarkable 4-wicket haul off and invaluable contribution of 21 runs that propelled Vanuatu across the finish line. Additionally, the 17-year-old Vanessa Vira showcased her talent with a notable 3-wicket haul, while Rachel Andrew's consecutive 2-wicket hauls proved instrumental in halting Zimbabwe's momentum.

This historic victory also cements Vanuatu's status as the lowest-ranked nation to defeat a full-member nation, further solidifying its position as a rising force in international cricket.

Joshua Rasu, National men’s team captain, who was appointed head coach just weeks prior to the East Asia Pacific Qualifier in September commented:

“It's been an incredible journey with these ladies. Initially, they trained without coaches, relying on Selina's determination to keep them focused. Their dedication was evident in every practice session, and stepping in as their coach later, I was inspired by their energy to win.

"I've grown to love each one of them and have worked on honing their skills. Winning the regional qualifiers against PNG, ranked 11th globally, marked a turning point. They've since evolved both mentally and physically, becoming outstanding ambassadors for the country.

"Now, in their debut at this qualifier, facing Zimbabwe seemed daunting. However, their victory speaks volumes about their dedication and skill. It's an honour to witness their performance, especially as newcomers and an underdog. This team is a tight-knit family willing to fight for one another.

"These girls are here to play, and their resilience and talent continue to impress. They've proven themselves time and again, and I have full faith in their capabilities. This team is ready to take on any challenge that comes their way.”

The squad is set to take on the Netherlands, ranked 14th in ICC Women’s T20 Internationals, this Saturday, April 27th, at 10 PM VUT. Watch the action live and free on and stay updated through Vanuatu Cricket's media outlets.

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