Pukapuka earned the finals spot against Croatia having progressed to the final through the Cook Islands Premier League qualifiers.
Batting first the NZ Croatian’s found themselves in early trouble after some slick fielding from Pukapuka saw two early run outs.
Pukapuka bowlers Daniel Vailoa and Junior Korua applied plenty of early pressure with the new ball however the class of former New Zealand first class cricketer Joey Yovich shone through as he went on to record the fastest official century of any NZ Croatia representative player when he banged 113 runs off just 39 balls to lead the Croatian’s to 260 runs for the loss of 6 wickets from their 20 over’s.
The boys from Wale started well through Osolai Akai, until he lost teammate Melody Melota to a run out.
Joseph Yovich goes boom on his way to 113 from just 39 balls. 14092437
Junior Korua showed grit and timed the ball well to record Pukapuka’s second highest score however it was Patiiamai Ataela who showed his class banging the ball around the Turangi Oval on his way to 62 runs.
It was no easy task for Ataela who had to contend with a fiery spell of genuine pace from out and out quickie Josh Presland.
Croatian’s Smith-Hodgson (2 wickets for 23 runs) and Goodwin (3 for 37) did the damage, Pukapuka completing their innings 78 runs short at 182 runs, 8 wickets down after 20 over’s. NZ Croatia skipper Yovich commented at the end of the match how impressed the Croatian players were with the professionalism and natural ability of the Pukapukan side.
Rarotonga Umpire Commission member Terry William congratulated the Croatia side for their victory, presenting Yovich with the Cook Islands Premier League Trophy.