Friday, June 14, 2024

Samoa make history by booking their spot at the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2025

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Photo Credit: ICC

  • Samoa have qualified for the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2025 by clinching top spot in the East Asia Pacific Qualifier
  • Historic feat marks the first time Samoa will make an appearance at an ICC World Cup event
  • Competitive tournament highlights bright future of cricket in the region, with individual stars revealed in the Team of the Tournament

There was singing in the streets of Samoa as their U19 women’s team defied the odds and booked their spot at the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2025 following the conclusion of the East Asia Pacific Qualifier on Monday.

The EAP Qualifier marked both the first time the Samoa team had played in an ICC qualifying event and the first time most of their competing players had travelled overseas. Despite the challenges, Samoa claimed victory in five of their six matches, securing progression to the second edition of the event by virtue of topping the table ahead of Indonesia, PNG and Fiji.

With strong contributions from Batter of the Tournament, Verra Farane in particular, who scored 196 runs, and a top score of 79 in the first round match against Fiji, the champion team were able to post some large totals. Excellent fielding and tidy bowling from the likes of Silepea Polataivao, Masina Faimafili Loini Tafea and captain Avetia Fetu Mapu also allowed Samoa to restrict the opposition, and defend their scores through to the end.

Avetia Fetu Mapu**, captain of Samoa** said: “It is a moment of immense pride for Samoa, reflecting the growth and development of women’s cricket in the region. This accomplishment not only brings attention to the sport within the country but also serves to inspire future generations of female cricketers in Samoa.

“For the team and myself, this qualification represents a significant achievement and a platform to demonstrate our skills and dedication on an international stage. It is an opportunity to connect with people and learn from others.

“Success, for me and my team, would be giving our best performance, leaving a positive impact, and perhaps even inspiring others along the way.”

Individual tournament awards were presented at the conclusion of the final match. Bowler of the Tournament and Player of the Tournament, Dika Lohia, showed her skill throughout the tournament with a classy 108 runs, 15 wickets, and four catches across the event. Batter of the Tournament, Verra Farane, scored her 196 runs at an average of 32.67 across the 6 matches, at a strike rate of 144.12, including 30 fours, and 5 sixes.

The tournament was a celebration of women’s cricket across the East Asia Pacific, as Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji gave it their all across the event. Despite not finishing on top of the table, each team was able to showcase remarkable talent at the junior level, which will no doubt translate to senior success in the future.

ICC Tournament Director, Emily O’Brien said: “As the dust settles on the event, and Samoa emerge as champions, we celebrate not just the outcomes, but the journey of growth, camaraderie, and spirit that defined every match.

“From thrilling victories to hard-fought battles, each game showcased the resilience and determination of the best young female athletes from across the region. Congratulations to all the teams who participated, and a special salute to Samoa, who demonstrated exceptional skill and tenacity. We wish them all the very best for the World Cup.”

In an East Asia Pacific first, players from across all teams were recognised for their on-field performance as an 11-person Team of the Tournament was selected. Captained by Player of the Tournament, Dika Lohia of PNG, the team featured the players with the most runs and wickets across the 12 matches. Each player received a Kookaburra giftpack as a memento of their performance.

Team of the Tournament

Players were selected into the Team of the Tournament based on their individual performance.

  1. Dika Lohia (captain, PNG) – 108 runs, 15 wickets. Also named Player of the Tournament and Bowler of the Tournament
  2. Verra Farane (Samoa) – 196 runs, also named Batter of the Tournament
  3. Lakshmi Rajadurai (PNG) – 130 runs
  4. Mele Waqanisau (Fiji) – 114 runs, 10 wickets
  5. Boio Vare (PNG) – 66 runs
  6. Avetia Fetu Mapu (Samoa) – 61 runs, 8 wickets
  7. Masina Faimafili Loini Tafea (Samoa) – 27 runs, 13 wickets
  8. Intan Yofentri Chantika Penun (Indonesia) – 12 wickets
  9. Ni Kadek Devi Murtiari (Indonesia) – 8 wickets
  10. Dadina Gaudi (PNG) – 83 runs
  11. Olive Lefage Lemoe (Samoa) – 62 runs, 7 wickets

Final Points Table:

Samoa – 6 matches, 5 wins, 10 points
Indonesia – 6 matches, 4 wins, 8 points
PNG – 6 matches, 3 wins, 6 points
Fiji – 6 matches, 0 points

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