Tupapa I, which were runners-up last year, finished on top of the preliminary round of the Cook Islands Cricket weekly league while defending champion Turangi managed the second spot. When the two teams met earlier this season, it was Turangi that walked away with the win.
A lot is at stake in the top-of-the table clash with the winner of the match heading straight into the final.
Tupapa I will be relying on their batsman Melody Melota, who is the leading run scorer this season, and bowlers Junior Korua and Daniel Vailoa.
For Turangi, Vane Tangimetua Sr and Osalai Akai will lead the charge in batting while Vane Tangimetua Jr and Tiri Toa will be their trump card in bowling.
Cook Islands Cricket Association chief executive officer Davis Teinaki predicts an intense match between the two teams.
“These are the top two teams in the competition and surely they will be putting on their A game to win this match,” he said.
Turangi’s Amoa More said the side was keen to retain their unbeaten run against Tupapa I.
“Tupapa is always a tough opposition and this will surely be an interesting match.” In the other top four knockout playoff, Muri Creeps will take on Titikaveka Titans in another exciting clash.
The winner of this match will take on the loser of Tupapa I and Turangi for a place in the final.
The Creeps will rely on their hard-hitting batsman Polly Ieremia and leading wicket taker Mike Hoff while Titans will be looking at batsman Hori Miller and bowlers Shane Phillip and Matt Beasley to guide them to victory. In the bottom six men’s competition, Matavera will take on Avana, Tupapa II will play Arorangi in Turangi and Nikao will host Takuvaine.
In the women’s top-of-the- table clash, the unbeaten and defending champions Muri will take on Turangi for a place in the final.
Muri will be led by their hitters Punanga Kaveao, Deana Kataina and Phillica Maruariki and bowlers Jasmanda Tuaputa and Memory Kauvai.
Turangi will have the services of their opening batting partner Mona More and June George and bowlers Teaukura Kaukura, Josephine Maoate and Stephanie Vaiimene. In the other women’s match today, Nikao will play Matavera.
The women’s matches will kick off at 12.30pm while the men’s at 3.15pm.