Photo: 17 year old Vilimaina Tuapati from the Lau Islands in training in PNG.
The Cricket Fiji womens squad in Port Moresby have fought tirelessly and fund themselves sitting in prime position at 3rd on the overall ladder. Two early big wins against the Cook Islands, where a relentless batting line-up but 167 runs on the board; and New Caledonia where a 56 run total was no match for the Fijian middle order had hem sitting top of the ladder.
However, in the past two days Cricket Fiji have faced an in form PNG Lewas, who put 166 runs on the board, proving to heavy a task for the Fijian batting line-up. Then Samoa, whose line-up of New Zealand based players hunted down Fijis 92 run total, showing why they are true contenders for the Gold-Medal.
In 3rd place, Fiji are tied with Vanuatu, but ahead on percentages due to aggressive batting and strong run totals. By chance or design, and with the Cooks and New Caledonia winless, Fiji will play Vanuatu today at 4pm Fiji time to decide who finishes 3rd and 4th.
A 3rd place finish would put them in a match the following day against the team who finishes 2nd, with the winner to play the first placed team in the Gold medal match. While a 4th placed finished would see them play the loser of the 2nd v 3rd clash in the Bronze medal match.
Either way, there has been nothing but positive signs for the Cricket Fiji womens team, with players as young as 16, 17 and 18 years old only at the very start of long representative careers as women’s cricket gains traction in Fiji and the Pacific.