Samoa have won the first ever gold medal in womenís cricket in the Pacific Games by beating Papua New Guinea in the tournament final today.

Batting first after winning the toss at Amini Park in Port Moresby, Samoa had a poor start to their innings as the top three all fell for single figures. Regina LiliíI got the innings back on track with a patient 30.

The final Samoan total was 103-9, Tanya Ruma taking 3-11. It didnít look enough at that halfway stage against a strong Papua New Guinean batting line up.

The Papua New Guinea reply was initially led by the in form Norma Ovasuru, who scored 36 before she was bowled by Marita Paulo. The run scoring soon dried up, and the home side found themselves needing 15 from the final two overs, by which point Paulo had taken 4 wickets.

It wasnít an insurmountable target for those final two overs, but PNG found themselves panicking, losing three wickets to run outs in the space of 8 deliveries. They fell just short of their target, restricted to 100-9 from their 20 overs.

Papua New Guinea may have dominated the menís cricket tournament throughout Pacific Games history, but this first womenís cricket tournament has gone the way of Samoa, with the hosts having to settle for silver.

The match was actually Samoaís second game of the day, as earlier they took on Vanuatu (not Fiji as I incorrectly reported yesterday) in a qualifying match. They won that rain effected contest by 40 runs in relatively simple fashion.

That result meant that Vanuatu took on Fiji in the afternoon with the tournament bronze medal at stake. Fiji won that match by 12 runs thanks to a sensational 72 from 36 balls by Ruci Muriyalo.

In amongst all this was the fifth place play-off between New Caledonia and the Cook Islands, a match the Cook Islands won easily by 8 wickets.

The menís tournament begins on Tuesday.

Gold medal qualifier: Samoa beat Vanuatu by 40 runs
Amini Park, Port Moresby, 11 July
Samoa 84-8 (18 overs, L Chilia 3-9, V Langiatu 3-12)
Vanuatu 44 (14.5 overs)

5th place play-off: Cook Islands beat New Caledonia by 8 wickets
Colts Cricket Club, Port Moresby, 11 July
New Caledonia 59-9 (13.5 overs, M Kaukura 3-19, J George 3-19)
Cook Islands 60-2 (9.5 overs)

Gold medal match: Papua New Guinea lost to Samoa by 3 runs
Amini Park, Port Moresby, 11 July
Samoa 103-9 (20 overs, T Ruma 3-11)
Papua New Guinea 100-9 (20 overs, N Ovasuru 36, M Paulo 4-23)

Bronze medal match: Fiji beat Vanuatu by 12 runs
Colts Cricket Club, Port Moresby, 11 July
Fiji 118-8 (20 overs, R Muriyalo 72, S Solman 3-3)
Vanuatu 106 (19.1 overs, R Andrew 43)