Samoa’s Gold Medal Team. Photo: SUPLLIED.
The Samoan women’s cricket team have taken the gold medal at the 2015 Pacific Games in a nail biting match at Amini Park.
After defeating Vanuatu in the semi-final this morning, Samoa’s bowlers managed to restrict PNG in difficult conditions to claim victory by 3 runs.
In front of a vocal home crowd, the PNG Lewas were on top early with Samoa 3/20 before captain Regina Lili’i and Faela Pula combined to steady the innings.
Regular wickets continued to fall with Samoa eventually making 103 off their 20 overs. Lili’i was the top scorer with 30 while Tanya Ruma took 3/11 for PNG.
PNG’s run chase started strongly with openers Norma Ovasuru and Varoi Morea continuing their good form putting on 37 for the opening wicket. But Morea’s departure triggered a collapse of 5/21 and saw the momentum swing to Samoa.
Tanya Ruma’s 23 off 28 balls almost saw the PNG Lewas home before they fell agonisingly short on home turf. Marita Paulo took 4 crucial wickets to finish with 4/23.
It was Samoa’s first win ever against the PNG Lewas and it showed on the faces of the Samoan team when the moment of victory came with tears on the faces of many of the players.
Meanwhile Fiji squeezed out Vanuatu by 12 runs to claim the bronze medal. Ruci Muriyalo’s 72 off 36 balls including 7 sixes ensured Fiji posted a competitive score of 118 which the Vanuatu batters weren’t quite able to reach.
Cook Islands took 5th position with a strong 8 wicket win over New Caledonia.
Final Medal Results:
Silver: Papua New Guinea
Play-off Match Summaries:
Gold Medal Match
Samoa 9/103 (20) Regina Lili’i (30), Matile Uliao (10), Tanya Ruma (3/11), Norma Ovasuru (2/8) defeated PNG 9/100 (20) Norma Ovasuru (36), Tanya Ruma (23*), Marita Paulo (4/23), Matile Uliao (2/24) by 3 runs
Bronze Medal Match
Fiji 8/118 (20) Ruci Muriyalo (72), Selina Solman (3/3) defeated Vanuatu 10/106 (19.1) Rachel Andrew (43), Luanne Rika (2/8), Ruci Muriyalo (2/12) by 12 runs
2nd v 3rd (winner to proceed to Gold Medal Match)
Samoa 8/84 (18) Talili Iiosefo (20*), Matile Uliao (13), Valenta Langiatu(3/12), Leimauri Chillia (3/9) defeated by Vanuatu 10/44 (14.5) Rachel Andrew (16), Lily Mulivai (2/3), Marita Paulo (2/11), by 40 runs
5th v 6th
New Caledonia 9/549 (13.5) Malla Emma (9), Marii Kaukura (3/19), June George (3/19), defeated by Cook Islands 2/60 (9.5) Marii Kaukura (17*), Rosina Angexetine (2/9) by 8 wickets