Samoa Win A Tight Game In Opening Match of Women's Series
The Viti Ruve, Fiji’s Women’s national cricket team, have lost a thrilling match in their first game against Samoa in Apia yesterday.
Chasing a total of 124, the Ruve were all out for 118, leaving them seven runs short of victory.
Persistent morning rain meant that the game, the first international ever played by the Ruve, was shortened to 25 overs.
Samoa won the toss and Fiji ended up bowling first.
The opening bowlers struck immediately with Marica Vua claiming three wickets to leave Samoa at 3 for 24.
However, Melinda Hodgson (38), who plays first class cricket for Wellington in New Zealand then played a match turning innings in partnership with Regina Lilii (26) that would eventually see the Samoans reach a competitive total.
Coach Steve Jenkin was happy with the performance in the field, the only shortcoming being the number of wides bowled which cost the team some vital runs.
The team took their chances and claimed three run outs with some good fielding that restricted the Samoan total.
Sera Kaukiono claimed two wickets including the vital wicket of Hodgson caught behind, while Ruci Kaiwai and Semaema Raramasi took one wicket each.
Skipper Losi Harford led the run chase with a hard hitting innings of 57 that included three 4’s and two 6’s, but couldn’t find the consistent support necessary to reach the target.
In conjunction with Sera Kaukiono the pair out on 45 runs for the third wicket, but they were the only to form a significant partnership.
When Harford was eventually run out the score was 8 for 114 with the Ruve needing 11 more runs for victory.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and the team was dismissed for 118, agonisingly short of victory.
Despite the loss Jenkin said there were some positives to come out of the game.
“We played well for most of the match, we just lacked some composure at the end of the run chase. We need to straighten out our bowling for the next game as we conceded too many wides, but for their first game at international level the team did quite well.”
The second game in the three match series will be played on Thursday with the Ruve needing a win to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the East Asia Pacific Women’s Cricket Trophy.