Thursday 19 January 2012 | Published in Regional
The Computer Man Rarotonga mens cricket final was an epic battle that kept the decent sized crowd entertained all afternoon and right up until the Titans took out the match.
The action packed match is still the talk of the cricketing community as players dissect each wicket, bowl and catch on the day.
The Titikaveka Titans got off to a great start winning the toss against their host and Computer Man finalist the Muri Creeps.
Electing to bat first on a spicy wicket that looked likely to do a lot early on for the bowlers Titans skipper Hori Miller got it right as the wicket provided little assistance for the fiery Muri bowlers.
With the wicket giving little assistance, line and length proved the key for Muri opening bowlers Mike Hoff and Arthur Emile as the two put massive pressure on the Titans top four batting line up.
Mike Hoff continued his brilliant form, handing his captain an outstanding performance and getting the Muri Creeps off to an electrifying start by collecting the wickets of the big hitting Pa Zekaria (0 runs) and key Titans playmaker Rob Samuel (2 runs), who miss-timed a genius slower ball from Mike Hoff.
Muri were in hunt mode and turned fierce as their bowling became even tighter, and Mark Larsen battled through the torrent of brilliant bowling in an effort to establish a partnership in which the Titans could build off.
With Cameron Thorp at the other end the partnership worked as it provided some momentum for the Titans batting side.
Thorp looked sensational off the front foot and played some superb shots off the back foot, however Muri captain Bobby Hunter stepped up and delivered a miracle ball that did everything including taking Thorps off stump on the last ball before drinks.
With Muri squarely in front it was going to take something special from Titans captain Hori Miller to claw the momentum back in the Titans favour and the little master didnt disappoint as he picked off bad balls with ease dispatching the leather to all areas of the park in what proved to be a match winning innings of 68 including 7 massive sixes and 5 fours.
Miller had great support at the other end in Ben Sexton, who despite struggling early on with the bounce and pace of the wicket hit back hard in a man of the match performance to notch up 65 runs. Once Miller and Sexton departed the Titans tail provided little in the way of runs but had taken the team total to a very competitive 208. Hunter proving superb to take 3 wickets from his 6 overs while Mr Consistent Mike Hoffs 8 overs for only 27 runs, including 2 key wickets, was a brilliant performance.
A quick change of innings and enter Muri batters Bobby Hunter and stroke maker and coach Space Raumea.
The pair started well against a tight effort from Titans bowlers Chancey and Eli however once Raumea had been dismissed for 17, the wickets kept tumbling for Muri.
Despite Hunters best efforts he couldnt establish a partner at the other end and while he dug out a magnificent 58 to keep his side in the match it wasnt until the 7th batter Rama Taikis entrance that the Muri side got any forward momentum.
Sexton, the key for the Titans side, only went for 15 runs off 8 overs and collected 3 wickets.
Papa Sabu Matapo proved cricket is just as much mental as it is physical when the legend was given the nod by the Titans captain to bowl the next over.
In what proved an ingenious move, if not altogether very ballsy, Matapo didnt disappoint putting over 30 years of experience into each and every delivery, walking away with reward as he collected three important wickets.
Taikis big hitting proved a turning point for Muri and the momentum of the match quickly swung in the favour of the Creeps, especially once joined at the crease by Tiri Toa who pushed the ball around feeding the strike to Taiki.
However it was too late for the Muri side.
Creeps batsmen Taiki and Toas innings ended in spectacular fashion including a brilliant catch from man of the match Sexton and a skier taken by Daniel Tutai on the long off boundary.
Muri captain Bobby Hunter acknowledged the brilliant performance of the Titans and congratulated his team, rightly so, on a massive season which included winning the Computer Man Round Robin Cup and the Computer Man Mid Week Sadaraka knockout challenge. Hunter added that he was proud to lead such a special side full of talent and plenty of heart.