Papua New Guinea run riot
The fourth rounds play at the South Pacific games produced a record breaking score as Papua New Guinea racked up 572/7 against New Caledonia in a 50 over match. Three Papua New Guinea batsman scored centuries, with Kila Pala the pick of the bunch with 146, whilst Arua Uda scored 123 and Dai Mahuru scored 105. Kapena Arua will be more disappointed than usual to have made a duck!
Amidst all the carnage, it is perhaps unsurprising that the umpires lost count of the overs, giving Steeve Boaoutho eleven overs, and only giving Papua New Guinea 49 overs. Though maybe they showed some mercy in that last miscount, as one more over could have seen Papua New Guinea reach 600.
Ludovic Waneux was the "pick" of the New Caledonian bowlers, with four wickets in between going for 146 runs. The Papua New Guinea bowlers despatched their opponents for just 62 in 26 overs, to win by 510 runs, Jacob Mado taking 3/21.
Papua New Guinea's total is the highest in an international one-day match, beating their own record of 502/9, also set against New Caledonia in the 2003 South Pacific Games. The winning margin of 510 runs is also a record.
Fiji also were in the runs, scoring what on any other day would have been an impressive 324/8 against Tonga. Seci Sekinini was the centurion in that match with 104. Tonga were then bowled out for 82 in 19 overs, Jone Seuvou taking 5/23. Fiji won by 242 runs.
These results mean that the final days play will see a gold medal deciding match between Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea are the defending champions. Hosts Samoa will pick up the bronze, unless they are comprehensively beaten by New Caledonia, which I think we can safely say is not going to happen.
Whilst their cricket team are being thrashed by all comers, the overall New Caledonia South Pacific Games team are actually performing very well. Indeed, they currently top the medal table with 48 golds, 26 more than second-placed Papua New Guinea. They have 117 medals in total, the only nation with 100.