Champions Muri and Turangi retain titles

Wednesday December 07, 2016 Written by Published in Cricket
It’s all happening out in the middle as a Turangi batsman is almost run out It’s all happening out in the middle as a Turangi batsman is almost run out

DEFENDING champions Muri and Turangi retained the Cook Islands Cricket women’s and men’s domestic league titles, respectively, after a spectacular show in the showdown over the weekend.

In the women’s final, the unbeaten Muri escaped unscathed despite a strong challenge from the wayward Turangi who conceded 41 extras in the match. Muri batted first and managed 122 runs for three, thanks largely to the extras, which included 30 wides, 10 byes and one no-ball.

Openers Phillica Maruariki and Matina Pittman started well, but were unable to remain on the crease for long after the former was bowled out for 15 runs.

Pittman maintained her stand and top scored for the side on 37 runs before dropping her wicket.

Deana Kataina and skipper Punanga Kaveao, who scored 13 runs each, carried the team through to the final over.

Turangi led by their opener Teremoana More headed to the pitch determined to overcome the score. But an early wicket saw Ina out for a run and put their campaign in doubt.

The middle-order batting led by June George, who scored 43 runs from 39 balls, tried to maintain their run count but fell short, managing 92 runs for four in the end. Muri retained the title with a 30-run win. “We are very pleased with the win. The girls stuck to the game plan and most importantly played as a team,” Muri skipper Kaveao said. “We prepared well. We went into the match with the intention to win and we did it. We thank our supporters, club management and sponsors for helping us throughout this season.” In the much anticipated men’s final, it was defending champions Turangi that elected to bat first after winning the toss.

The side scored 184 runs for all out in the 19.4 overs.

Big hitter Osalai Akai top scored on 36 runs followed by youngster Mapu Maoate on 29.

Openers Tereinga Maoate and Tutu Tangimetua were unable to establish a good partnership after the latter was out for a duck.

The middle order led by Vane Tangimetua Sr came away with some big hits to amass their total.

Tupapa’s fast-paced bowler Daniel Vailoa took three wickets including a maiden and conceded six runs only, in 3.4 overs.

Tupapa also had a poor start with their top batting pair Wayken Punga and Melody Melota heading home early.

Davis Teinaki top scored for the side on 41 runs, but that was not enough as Tupapa were all out for 164 runs in 19.1 over, handing Turangi a well-deserved 20-run win.

Akai was the hero for the Turangi side after he took three wickets and conceded 18 runs in 3.1 overs that he bowled.

“It was a grand season with some good cricket throughout the competition. We have some young players doing pretty well which is good for the sport here,” Cricket Association chief  Davis Teinaki said.

“Congratulations to the winning teams. A big thank you to Grant Walker for supporting us financially and also to individual club sponsors for helping them throughout the season.”

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