Nikao has emerged the favourites in the Rarotonga Cricket Club men’s competition after an unbeaten run in round one.
The Deacon Teapa-led side defeated the previously unbeaten Turangi by a wicket in the feature match last Saturday to lead the points table on 22 points.
Turangi, who won the toss, decided to bat first and scored 135 runs for nine.
Nikao bowler Akaala Neiao was impressive with his throws after managing two wickets in four overs. Neiao conceded only eight runs in the overs he bowled.
In reply, Nikao guided by Teapa, who top scored with 35 runs, managed to reach the total with an over to spare.
“We have had some close wins in this competition and hats off to the players who keep fighting until the end,” Teapa said.
Davis Teinaki, the chief executive of Cook Islands Cricket, hailed Nikao for their superb performance in the competition.
“They managed close wins in the past three matches. It’s good to see the team keep pushing until the end to get the win,” Teinaki said.
“Turangi fielding was excellent on Saturday but they gave away too many extras which is consistent with most of the losing teams this season.”
Teinaki said some teams recorded 20-30 wides in the weekly competition.
“Its freebies to the winning teams, they don’t have to work that hard to get their total score. There are a number of factors; it can be the pitch that is not good so even if you bowl straight, it diverts into a wide.
“I think it’s a matter of adapting to the pitch but then again we have seen some who have been bowling for years and are still having the same issue.”
Defending champions Matavera remain in the run for the title after beating Avana by nine wickets.
Avana batted first and were all out for 79 runs in 15 overs. Matavera’s Junior Korua and Moni Uini grabbed three wickets each.
In reply, Matavera reached the total in eight overs with only a wicket down. Ben Vakatini continued his fine form smashing 57 runs not out.
Alister Webb’s superb bowling saved the day for Arorangi against Takuvaine.
The side batted first and managed 160 runs for five with Hori Miller hitting 55.
In reply, Takuvaine were all out for 135 runs.
Webb, who bowled four overs, picked four wickets for Arorangi.
In the women’s competition, Avana ended Takuvaine’s dream start with a 49-run win.
Avana batted first and scored 122 runs in 20 overs and in reply Takuvaine were all out for 73 runs.
Annie Taufahema was the star for Avana after picking five wickets in four overs. She conceded only three runs.
Defending champions Matavera defeated Tupapa by three wickets while Turangi overcame Nikao.