PNG begin with a strong win, Samoa fall short in run chase
ICC Media Release
Papua New Guinea has reinforced its status as pre-tournament favorites after a strong display leading to a 33-run victory on Day 1 of the Pepsi ICC EAP Women's Cricket Trophy 2010, being played from the 3-7 May in Sano, Japan.
PNG won the toss and elected to bat on a fine and sunny day at Sano Cricket Ground, with Samoa to take the field for the very first time in a Regional ICC Women's Event.
The Samoans were confident of a good showing in this tournament, stemming from its 3-0 defeat of Fiji in the qualifier in February. Samoa began brilliantly, with star opening bowler Lily Mulivai taking a return catch early on to dismiss the talented Norma Ovasuru. This was followed by two more quick wickets to Fou Charteris and Julia Vito, and PNG were struggling at 36-3.
Samoa continued to apply pressure, however thanks to some disciplined batting from Mabel Igo (27) and Ura Rigana (33), PNG scored steadily, eventually reaching a competitive 126 from 35 overs.
Samoa, with several overseas-based stars, had the target score of 127 well within their sights. While the innings began slowly, extras began to mount and Samoa reached the lunch break at 33-1, needing just 94 more runs to win with nine wickets in hand.
Unfortunately, opener Tina Macumber fell in the first over after the lunch break, caught behind from the bowling of Pauke Siaka. Samoa's middle order continued to battle away against an extremely tight spell from the PNG bowlers, however when star bat and captain Melinda Hodgson was knocked over for 14, PNG gained plenty of confidence.
Lily Mulivai was patient in the lower order, however the consistency of the PNG bowling attack was the difference in the end, Samoa eventually dismissed 33 runs short for 94.
Player of the Match Kila Leka (4-10 from six overs) and Boni David (2-19 from 10 overs) were the best performers for PNG.