Defending men’s champions Matavera made a strong comeback in the Rarotonga Cricket Club competition after a big win on Saturday.
The side smashed former champions Tupapa by 10 wickets in round five clash at Matavera cricket ground.
The win was a major relief for Matavera who lost to Nikao earlier in the weekly competition.
Tupapa, who finished in second place last year, batted first and were all out for 65 runs in 11.5 overs.
In reply, Matavera reached the total without losing any wicket with all-rounder Ben Vakatini hitting 44 runs while Ray Roumanu managed 19.
Vakatini, who is a medium pace bowler, was also brilliant with his throws, picking five wickets, including a maiden, in three overs. He conceded 20 runs.
Davis Teinaki, the chief executive of Cook Islands Cricket, hailed Matavera for a superb comeback.
“It was a great performance from all-rounder Ben Vakatini. If Matavera continue playing like they did against Tupapa for the remainder of the season, they will stand a good chance of retaining the title.”
Table toppers Nikao, who share the lead with Turangi, continued their unbeaten run in the competition after beating Takuvaine at the Happy Valley.
Takuvaine batted first and scored 177 runs for nine with Vinegar Richards, who hit a century a week ago, scoring 35 runs.
In reply, Nikao chased the score with an over to spare. Melody Melota after scoring a century against Tupapa in round four put on another brilliant performance, scoring 88 runs.
Akaala Topetai and Ngaro Wuatai bowled well for Nikao, managing three wickets each.
Arorangi defeated Avana in the other men’s match. Turangi, undefeated from four matches, were on bye last weekend.
Teinaki said: “Nikao and Turangi are unbeaten from four games with one round rained out so all teams received two points each.”
Matavera with three wins and a loss is placed second followed by Tupapa.
In the women’s competition which started a week ago, Takuvaine is proving the team to beat after a big win on Saturday.
The side thumped Nikao by 10 wickets.
Nikao batted first and scored 74 runs for nine. In reply, Takuvaine chased the total without losing any wicket.
In other women’s clash, Matavera defeated Avana by nine wickets. Avana batted first and scored 55 runs all out.
In reply, defending champions Matavera reached the total in 7.5 overs with a wicket down. Matavera’s Toko Pana picked five wickets including two maidens in four overs. Pana conceded only eight runs.
Davis Teinaki said: “There were some issues in the scoring of the match between Turangi and Tupapa. We are sorting out the scores of that match.”