By LAURA MACINTOSH
Cricket Fiji’s U19 side have returned to Suva after contesting the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) East-Asia Pacific region’s (EAP) Under-19 Trophy on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Fiji finished third overall, whilst Papua New Guinea (PNG), who beat Vanuatu in the final, were crowned U19 champions for 2013, and will go though to play in next years U19 World Cup in Dubai.
On the final night of the tournament, the Closing Ceremony was held at the Mooloolaba Bowls Club. As well as the champions’ and runners up medals being presented, PNG all-rounder Kabua Vagi Morea was named Player of the Final, in which he scored a vital 16 with the bat and achieved figures of 4-20 with the ball.
Unsurprisingly Vanuatu captain Nalin Nipiko was named Player of the Tournament, taking a total of 17 wickets and amassing a total of 99 runs. Sixteen-year-old Saimoni Tuitoga of Fiji was a close second, taking 11 wickets for the tournament and hitting 45 runs.
For a full list of all the players’ tournament statistics, please visit: http://www.crichq.com/groups/
Fiji coach, Joe Rika, despite being disappointed that the team did not reach the final, was pleased with his players’ attitude and continual improvement throughout the tournament.
The boys will now have a one-week break before commencing training again next Friday. They will continue to play as a team in 2013, against the Melbourne Cricket Club when they tour Fiji in August, and in the Elite Players’ League, which commences in December.