Contrasting matches in Samoa
The South Pacific Games continued yesterday, and the games were right on opposite ends of the cricketing result spectrum, with Fiji thrashing New Caledonia, and Samoa beating Tonga in a very close match.
Whilst no-one was expecting New Caledonia to win the tournament, it was still surprising to see them lose as heavily as they did.
Fiji reached the huge total of 403/8 from their 50 overs, Colati Tupou top-scoring with 73, Kida Jikoivanualevu also making a half-century with 67. New Caledonia didn't exactly help themselves, giving away 65 in extras. Fiji had no problems bowling New Caledonia out for just 20 runs, winning by 383 runs. Jone Seuvou, Sakaraia Lomani and Kiti Tavo all took three wickets each for practically nothing.
If that match wasn't exactly the best advert for how exciting cricket can be, the match on the ground next door certainly was, featuring twists and turns and a close finish that all cricket fans enjoy.
Tonga batted first, and whilst no batsmen made a big score, a few made a start and they reached 144 before losing their last wicket in the 45th over. Winston Mariner and Pio Faalogo both took three wickets. Samoa's inning started terribly for them, Tevita Taulani taking three wickets as the top six were all dismissed for single figure scores. But the lower order rallied, led by an unbeaten 47 from Pritchard Pritchard. Taulani took a fourth wicket, but the Samoan batsmen, cheered on by their home fans, crawled over the line to win by one wicket.
Fiji now top the table after two days of play, and they get a day off tomorrow. New Caledonia will hope to do a little better against Tonga, whilst hosts Samoa will hope to take some confidence from their win on day two into their match against favourites Papua New Guinea.