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Redbacks get their fairytale ending in cricket comp

Monday 15 November 2021 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Cricket, Sports

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Redbacks get their fairytale ending in cricket comp
Turangi’s Vane Tangimetua Jr loses his wicket against Arorangi Redbacks the Rarotonga Cricket Club men’s final in 2021. RASHNEEL KUMAR/ 21111408

An outstanding performance from man of the match Tuakana Mataiti saved the blushes for the Arorangi Redbacks in the Rarotonga Cricket Club men’s final on Saturday.

Mataiti, flown in weekly from Aitutaki to play in the domestic competition, proved his worth against former champions Turangi, helping the Redbacks win the match by four wickets at Raemaru Park. The Redbacks also finished the season unbeaten – a rare feat achieved by only a couple of clubs in the history of the competition.

In an intense affair, Turangi who won the toss elected to bat first and after losing wickets at regular intervals, they were all out for a mere 87 runs in the 15th over.

Rahul Patil who opened the bowling for the Redbacks grabbed a big wicket after taking out Turangi skipper in his second over.

The Redbacks struggled to get some early wickets from their fast bowler Tomasi Vanuarua but took control of the inning when Mataiti stepped in grabbing four wickets, including two maiden wickets, in his four overs.

Gabe Raymond also contributed to the Redbacks bowling managing three wickets from two overs.

With their key batsmen out, Turangi found some hope in youngster Vane Tangimetua Jr who top scored on 23 runs but he lacked support from the middle and lower order hitters to add on their run count.

Tuakana Mataiti receives man of the match prize from Cook Islands Cricket chief executive Davis Teinaki. 21111409

The Redbacks started their inning with confidence and looked set to overcome the target easily but were shocked by a rejuvenated Turangi whose bowlers crushed their top and middle order dismissing their key batsmen. Dan Simpson, Raymond and Vanuarua, the Redbacks top scorers this season, were all out for duck.

A tactical change saw Patil, who is a test batsman, promoted from bottom to middle order to stabilise Redbacks’ run chase.

After a bit of luck from a dropped catch by a Turangi fielder, Patil brought the stability the Redbacks needed and with a huge help from the man of the match Mataiti, who top scored on 26 runs that included four sixes, the home side cruised to a four wicket win in the 17th over.

Mapu Maoate and Tutu Tangimetua performed well for Turangi, taking two wickets each from their four overs.

In the women’s final, Muri defeated Turangi by two wickets in a close affair to become the new champions.

More on women’s final in tomorrow’s edition.