What do Patrick Matautaava, Andrew Mansale, and Joshua Rasu all have in common?
Each of these three pillars of Vanuatu cricket has fallen victim to the guile of canny left-arm finger spinner Obed Yoseph. Still a week shy of his 18th birthday, Yoseph has only conceded 6.67 RPO throughout the tournament thus far, despite being asked to open the bowling in each of the Ifira Sharks’ five games.
This will come as no shock for those who followed the Vanuatu Under-19’s at last year’s EAP Qualifiers in Sano, Japan. The 17-year-old finished as the country’s second-highest wicket-taker with eight scalps in four outings, where he only conceded 3.16 RPO.
His control and accuracy with the new ball could prove handy during the Cricket World Cup Challenge League in Malaysia, where several teams have kicked things off with a spinner from one end, especially on the slower surfaces of the Selangor Turf Club.
With four wickets @ 15.00 in the tournament, he’s pushing spinners Jelany Chilia, Williamsing Nalisa, and Simpson Obed for a spot in the senior team. If he continues to trouble big names at the tail end of the Blast, his case for a national call up will be impossible to overlook.