6th Straight Gold for PNG

PNG has continued their dominance of Pacific Games cricket to claim their 6th straight gold medal with a comprehensive victory over Fiji who take home the silver. In the other match Vanuatu took out the bronze medal with a 10 wicket win over New Caledonia.

PNG captain Jack Vare who starred with the bat says his team did everything he asked of them all week and it’s something he can never thank them enough for.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Vare. “I always dreamed of competing at the Pacific Games but to captain a gold medal winning team is unbelievable.”

 

Fiji won the toss and sent PNG into bat and after a couple of early wickets including the dismissal of Tony Ura the decision looked promising.

 

However a match winning partnership between Assad Vala (67) and Jack Vare (39) quickly put PNG back in control of the match and they never looked back.

 

Vala was magnificent displaying extreme power in his stroke play as he sent balls flying into the stands. Vare too was superb playing a real captains knock with terrific timing and placement.

 

In the end PNG finished their 20 overs 6-172 in an entertaining innings that had the large crowd in attendance on their feet throughout.

 

In reply Fiji never really got going with the bat and as the required run rate increased they were forced to play some irrational shots in an attempt to get quick runs.

 

John Boge Reva took full advantage of this with the best display of pace bowling for the week taking 4-8 including clean bowling Jo Rika.

 

Fiji took some pride out of the match by batting out the 20 overs but ended 9-90 a massive 82 runs short.

 

“I am really proud of the boys and what they have done this week,” said PNG coach Rarua Dikana. “They kept to the plan and performed really well and it’s great to win another gold.”

 

In the morning match, winning the toss and electing to bat looked like a good decision early for New Caledonia as they raced to 0-39 off the first 6 overs thanks to some good strokes off the Vanuatu quicks from Gatuhau Nai.

 

However things changed dramatically for New Caledonia when Vanuatu introduced the spin combination of Andrew Mansale and Jelany Chilia who triggered a collapse.

 

Simpson Obed then joined the party claiming two wickets himself and New Caledonia were lucky to bat out the overs finishing 9-85 off 20.

 

In reply openers Lenica Natapei and Damian Smith never look troubled smashing ball all over Terrain de Cricket to pass the total in 9.4 overs with 10 wickets in hand.

 

Natapei top scored with 44 not out and Smith 33.

 

“It’s a great feeling to win a medal,” said Natapei. “I would have loved to get a 50 but it was just great to be involved in one of the best partnerships I’ve ever had.”

 

 

Brief scores:

 

At Terrain de cricket N’Du: New Caledonia 9-85, 20 overs (G Nai 28; A Mansale 2-6, S Obed 2-12)

 

Vanuatu 0-87, 9.4 overs (L Natapei 44 not out, D Smith 33 not out)

 

Vanuatu won by 10 wickets to claim bronze

 

At Terrain de cricket N’Du: PNG 6-172, 20 overs (A Vala 67, J Vare 39; J Kida 2-24, V Yabaki 2-26)

 

Fiji 9-90, 20 overs (J Rika 21, S Lomani 20 not out; J Boge Reva 4-8, J Kila 2-21)

 

PNG won by 82 runs to claim gold.

 

2011 Pacific Games Cricket Table after round robin

 

Rank      Team                                     P             W           L              T              N/R        Pts          NRR

 

1              PNG                                       3              3              0              0              0              6              +3.614

2              Fiji                                          3              2              1              0              0              4              +1.699

3              Vanuatu                               3              1              2              0              0              2              +2.396

4              New Caledonia 3              0              2              0              0              0              -7.350




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