Wednesday 15 February 2012 | Published in Regional
More big hits and action packed Twenty-20 cricket drew another vocal crowd to the BCI Stadium on Friday to see the Turtles Domestic League antics unfold under lights.
The Ngatangiia-Matavera eastern studs were up for a big night drawing the double header where they needed to secure at least one win from their two games to stay in contention for the finals.
With the supporters, kids and families rocking it out in the stadium and reacting with screams of ‘catch it’ and ‘howzat’ to accompany the action on the field, Friday night proved to be an entertaining affair both on and off the field.
Their first match of the evening was against defending champions Puaikura-Titikaveka. Batting first, Ngatangiia-Matavera opening pair Space Raumea and Vane Tangimetua got off to a controlled start under some tight pressure before Tuaine Mamanu had Tangimetua caught for three.
Enter brother Sepa Tangimetua who used every ounce of his experience to play the tight bowling from Puaikura-Titikaveka, giving the crowd more to cheer about once he started launching toward the end of his innings before being bowled by bowling debutant Corey Fisher for 21.
From there the Puaikura-Titikaveka side put the squeeze on with Ben Sexton ending with figures of four wickets for 20 runs off four overs.
Ieli Takavanoa picked up from last week collecting two wickets from his one over.
Despite a booming effort from middle order batter Tereapii Monga (17), Ngatangiia-Matavera were all out for 98 runs.
Ninety-eight runs against the reining champs didn’t seem nearly enough for the Ngatangiia-Matavera team to push for a win – but no one told Ngatangiia-Matavera that as their bowling attack came out with a fury and despite a decent launching from captain Pare Rongokea the Ngatangiia-Matavera side had Puaikura-Titikaveka in trouble at 5 wickets for just 50 runs.
Iro was superb with figures of two wickets off three over’s for just 8 runs.
However, it wasn’t to be for Ngatangiia-Matavera as Ben Sexton (27) and Pa Zekaria (19) kept cool heads to post a brilliant match winning partnership, with father son combination Pa and Pastor Zekaria taking the team home in just the 14th over.
A quick competition for the fans between games with the Vaima Junior catch off and the Bond Store senior catch off won by Elliot Weir and Rochelle Cooper respectively and then it was back to live action for game two – a do or die situation for Ngatangiia-Matavera as they squared off against Te-Au-O-Tonga.
After setting up a solid 103 runs from 17 overs, the heavens opened and within 25 minutes the wicket was under water.
The match will be replayed this Thursday at 6pm at the BCI Stadium with Puaikura-Titikaveka having the double header on Friday night.
Cook Islands Cricket chief executive officer Alister Stevic said he was encouraged by the on field performances these past two weeks.
“The impetus for the Turtles Domestic League is to create an environment where players can learn and excel. Judging by the players’ approach and performances, you can see them adapting to the Twenty-20 version very well and furthermore have picked up a lot of skills from their coaches like Space Raumea. If this continues it bodes well for Cook Islands Cricket’s next international tournament in January 2013.”