Stirring Samoan Victory
ICC Media Release
Thu, Mar 1, 2007 12:00 AM
Dark clouds and rain greeted teams to Samoan Gardens Oval for Day 3 of competition in the 2007 ICC EAP U15 cricket 8's tournament in Apia, Samoa. Fortunately, the skies cleared 30 minutes before the scheduled start time and with hard working ground staff drying the grounds, all morning games were completed albeit with 2 reduced over matches.
The Samoa v Cook Islands match was a thriller going down to the wire before Samoa prevailed in the 18 over match. Cook Islands batted first and with a solid 22 run contribution from Strickland posted a competitive 50 in tough conditions and a slow outfield. Tiafala bowled excellently for Samoa claiming 3 for 8 from his 3 overs.
The Cook Islands were buoyed as Samoa found early trouble slumping to 5 for 34, before Aleni and Tiafala took advantage of the double zone area and steadied the innings finally guiding Samoa to a thrilling victory. Kitai was the standout bowler for Cook Islands with 3 for 10 from 3 overs Following their spirited victory the previous evening against PNG, Vanuatu won the toss and batted first against Japan.
Three terrific catches in the one over from the Japanese team put the brakes on the Vanuatu innings in the 14 over reduced match. However, some late lusty hitting including a last over double zone six enabled Vanuatu to post a commanding 128 from their 14 overs. With a daunting target to chase down the Japanese batters couldn't find rhythm against a disciplined Vanuatu bowling line-up. A hat-trick to Victor Aru was the stand-out of the Vanuatu bowling attack as they dismissed Japan for 11.
The Tonga and Fiji match produced a similarly exciting finish to the Cook Islands / Samoa game. After the early deluge the East ground was in the best condition of all and with a minimal delay the Umpires still managed to arrange a full 20 over game. Tonga batted first and amassed 60, thanks largely to a timely 17 from their number 5 batsman, Ta'ufo'ou . Fiji fell agonisingly short as they were bowled out for 58. Cakacaka contributed 24 runs and Tongan bowler Neuifi took 2 for 8 from 4 overs. Tongan Manager Siale Puloka said "It was a great effort from the team, to put this in perspective this is the first time Tonga has won any match against Fiji since about 1991, we are very pleased with the result".