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North Otago vs Fiji
Waitaki Boys Backfield, Oamaru, 22/23 January 1968


Fiji 311 ( Uluiviti 70, Valentine 47no, Heibner 36, Loganmore 27, Naquto 27no, Aria 24, Cartwright 4-32 ) & 190-7 Declared ( Apted 96no, Payne 4-67, Murray 2-51 )
North Otago 261-9 Declared ( B.R. Papps 136no, D. Ranger 38, R.J. Mason 34, Valentine 3-31, Heibner 3-90, Vodqiqi 2-63 ) & 174-5 ( K. Murray 59, J. Smith 39, R.S. Payne 34, Uluiviti 3-56, Bula 2-19 )
First innings win to Fiji
Scorecard for the match

Three years after becoming an ICC member Fiji took part in its fourth cricket tour of New Zealand. Cricket had been introduced to Fiji by European settlers with the first club being formed in 1874. The first tour to New Zealand saw the national teams debut against Auckland in 1895. During this time period cricket was the main sport in Fiji.

In the team for this tour was a player listed as I.L. Bula in the score book. Known as the Fijian Ian Botham he was limited during his playing career to nine first class matches, all during tours to New Zealand. During the 1953-54 tour he was said to have scored a century in an hour against Canterbury. He also hit 22 sixes in a club match at Suva in 1958 in which he scored 246, the highest total in Fijian domestic cricket. He is notable for his official name as I.L. Bula is only an abbreviation. His real name is Ilikena Lasarusa Talebulamainavaleniveivakabulaimainakulalakebalau, the longest name by an man to have played first class cricket. He name literally means "returned alive from Nankula hospital at Lakemba island in the Lau group". In 9 first class matches he scored 702 runs at an average of 41.29.

North Otago during the 1967-68 season was to be a successful one for the Hawke Cup qualifiers, having an outright victory against South Canterbury and first innings victories against Southland and Central Otago. In other matches North Otago was less successful but thanks to its performances in the Hawke Cup it won the right to be the first challenger for the 1968-1969 season. Papps led from the front during the season scoring over 400 runs in all matches during the Representative season at an average of 54, while all-rounder Anthony Cartwright took over 20 wickets at an average of 14.

The team that played Fiji was:
Brian Papps (Captain), Anthony Cartwright, Russell Grant (Oamaru), Keith Murray, Doug Ranger, John Smith (Albion), Michael Kennard (Country), Robert Bowman, Robert Mason, Russell Payne, Chris Taylor (Union).

Two reports appeared in the Oamaru Mail following the match, one describing play before lunch on the first day, while the second describing play up to lunch on the second.

Hard Hitting Batting From Fijian Cricketers
The touring Fijian cricketers treated North Otago to a fearless display of hard-hitting batting in the first mornings play of their two-day match at the Waitaki Boy's High School ground today.
In the two hours before lunch, the Fijians scored a swashbuckling 125 runs for the loss of five wickets. The century was posted in even time, but the first six of the match was not hit until the last over before lunch - promising better things to come.
North Otago captain, B. Papps. Won the toss and sent the Fijians in for the first use of the wicket.
The North Otago bowling attack was uninspiring and hardly calculated to allow the visitors the feast of scoring they so obviously desired. But the Fijians, nevertheless, were determined to hit out and they often took risks. In doing so they provided spectators with plenty of interest.
The most successful North Otago bowler was T. Cartwright who claimed two wickets for 29 runs.
The morning's cricket was played under an overcast sky, which augured rain for later in the day
The visitors lost no time, with the openers, H. Apted and B. Heibner pushing the score along at the rate of one a minute.
Left-hander, Apted, was on 14 when he played on a low-flying delivery from R. Mason, and Fiji was one for 29 after 30 minutes of play.
The North Otago bowling was dry and mostly pitched short of a length, but the Fijians were determined to hit out at every opportunity.
Fiji was unfortunate to lose a second wicket at 12.10am. E. Loganimoce caught a ball from T. Cartwright on his foot and B. Heibner, backing up too fast, was unable to make ground in time when he realised that his partner had collapsed and was in pain.
R. Grant flicked the ball to bowler Cartwright and Heibner was run out for 36. Fiji two for 65.
This misfortune stirred Loganimoce and the new batsman, U. Sorovakatini, into some big hitting. But it only lasted for 20 minutes until Loganimoce lofted one to J. Smith, fielding at mid-off. The catch was held.
North Otago might have had the wicket of Sorbakatini a few minutes later if the luckless K. Murray at first slip had not missed the catch. At this stage Murray had put down three possible catches.
A beautiful square cut backward of point for four runs by Sorovakatini took Fiji past the century mark in exactly even time.
M. A. Dean was the fourth batsman to fall, when he was trapped l.b.w. by C. Taylor for three. Fiji was four for 104.
Sorovakatini went in the next over, caught by Papps off the bowling of Cartwright, without adding another run to his score of 19.

Magnificent Unbeaten Century By B. Papps
A magnificent century by North Otago captain B. Papps allowed his team to avoid following-on in their two-day cricket match with the touring Fijians at the Waitaki Boy's High school ground today.
North Otago had lost nine wickets for 260 runs at lunch and Papps was still at the crease on 136. Fiji still had 50 runs in hand, but with Papps in such world-beating form, and provided his partners could retain their wickets long enough, the visitors total was no longer as safe as it had once looked.
When they declared at team yesterday the touring Fijians had knocked up the imposing total of 311 in 249 minutes, sacrificing eight wickets in the process.
The visitors really massacred the North Otago bowling after lunch with captain N. Uluiviti smashing 70 forceful runs in 51 hectic minutes. At stumps last night, North Otago, in reply was five down for 101 - a total largely due to the sixth wicket stand of captain B. Papps and D. Ranger which added 48 runs.
Papps lost his partner after 22 minutes of play this morning when Ranger took a risky single and was run out for 38. The new batsman, R Grant, hit two runs of the first ball he faced from S. Vodoqiqi, and then flicked the second delivery into the waiting hands of I. Tabualevu.
North Otago seven for 121.
The valuable captains innings Papps played for North Otago today hardly resembled the boisterous stand of his Fijian counterpart yesterday.
Both acted as sheet-anchors for their sides, but Papps, in contrast, was a batsman of elegance and calculation. Not for him the hilarious, risk-taking flair with which the Uluiviti had caught the crowds imagination. Here was an innings of care and concentration, of beautifully timed driving and cautious defence. Papps came out of his shell slightly in the morning and hit several powerful boundary shots, but the element of risk was wholly lacking.
Gone was the festival atmosphere of the Fijian performance yesterday afternoon and in its place, responsible and serious cricket. As a batsman, Papps demonstrated an undeniable superiority, but Uluiviti remained peerless as a crowd-pleaser.
A useful seventh-wicket partnership between Papps and 18-year-old C. Taylor, realised 58 runs for North Otago before Taylor was out for 18, caught by S. Naquto off B. Heibner. At 12.44 a.m. Papps reached his well deserved century and there was no stopping him thereafter. He slammed Heibner all over the ground, hitting a boundary from every ball of the over.
Then he faced up to Uluiviti and did the same thing - outdoing the Fiji captain at his own game. He hit 14 runs off the over, including three 4s. This is what the crowd had come to see.
With Papps in such a furious mind, North Otago sailed past the follow-in total of 211 and the match began to take on a new interest.
The other batsman, R. Mason, taking a leaf out of the captains book began to smash every ball he could get his bat to. Between them they scored 68 runs in the 15 minutes before lunch. Mason was clean bowled by Heibner for 34 on the last ball before the adjournment


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