FINAL ROUND - Morning Report
SAMOA WINS BRONZE MEDAL IN CRICKET
In Samoa's elusive quest since 2001 to win a medal at an international level competition, Samoa defeated New Caledonia to take bronze at these games.
Winning the toss, Samoa sent New Caledonia in to bat in the fourth and final day of cricket competition at Faleata Gardens. In hot and windy conditions, New Caledonia scored 58 runs against Samoa before New Caledonia were dismissed in the 29th over. Top scoring for New Caledonia was opening batsman Gatulau Nasalio with 14 runs over a period of 35 minutes at the crease. For New Caledonia, runs were also added by Fuimaono Falaone putting 13 runs on the board before he was caught by Niko Apa off a bowl by Faavae Fa'aofo. Samoa conceded 16 extras with 10 wides and 6 no balls in the New Caledonian innings.
Samoa, keen to secure a medal, sent in Niko Apa with new opening batsman Konelio Fai'ilagi. Samoa quickly moved to assert itself in the first over scoring 8 runs off the over. Konelio however was dismissed by Waneux Ludovic for 29 runs with Samoa on 1/50. With 9 runs to score to secure a win and bronze medal, Samoa's captain, Geoffrey Clarke joined Apa at the crease. Within 5 minutes however, Apa had notched up the winning runs with a loose ball dispatched to the boundary to bring an end to their South Pacific Games crusade for 2007.
The bronze medal placing for Samoa says much for Samoa's progress in the international cricket arena. The competition for bronze between Samoa, Tonga and New Caledonia has been hard fought and in the best spirit of sportsmanship for which the South Pacific Games are renowned. Tonga, though leaving without a medal, can be very proud of its performance in Samoa. Similarly, New Caledonia played in the best spirit of the game and demonstrated team camaraderie that was equal to those of all participating teams in the 2007 SPG cricket calendar.