Monday 16 January 2012 | Published in Regional
The Titikaveka Titans cricket team took out the weekends Computer Man top four grand final in what was a fairy tale season for the newly revived club.
In just their second season back in the cricket competition after 10 years of absence the club has gone from winner of the bottom six to the champion of the top four in the Computer Man mens cricket competition.
Under the stewardship of national captain and team captain Glen Hori Miller the club outplayed the Muri Creeps who had prior to the match dominated the cricket season.
The Titans batted first and it looked like it was going to be an early day with Muri taking regular wickets.
Enter inspirational Titans captain Miller and partnered up with Ben Sexton the pair smashed the ball all over Nukupure Park and on numerous occasions Muri fielders had to take a dip in the lagoon to retrieve the ball.
The pair notched up over 90 runs between them before a total of 209 runs was posted by the team for Muri to chase.
Muri also had a slow start to their game but equally inspirational and entertaining captain Bobby Hunter was cool as a cucumber as he led his team with the bat.
With 20 overs to go Muri had posted 100 runs for the loss of five wickets and it was anyones guess as to who would take out the match.
Titikavekas Robert Samuel did the damage with the ball but the turning point of the game was when Miller made the gutsy decision to put the grandfather of cricket and possibly the oldest player in the competition Papa Sabu Matapo to have a crack at the Muri batters.
It was a decision that had many raising their eyebrows but ultimately gave the Titans their historic win.
Matapo, with 13 overs to play took out three wickets spurring the Titans on.
Matapo, who is said to be just over 60 years old, commented after the game that over the years he had faced many challenges and been in many pressure situations just like stepping up to bowl for his team at a crucial point in the match.
In the end Muri were all bowled out 22 runs shy of the total sending the large Titikaveka crowd into hysteria as they celebrated their teams fantastic rise to the top of the club cricket competition.
For Cook Islands Cricket Association general manager Alister Stevic the game was one of the best club cricket finals he had ever seen and a game that he will never forget.
It was just one of those games where every 10 over you had to rethink who you thought would win with the game swinging back and forth, says Stevic.
It was certainly one of the highest standard club games seen and Captain Moko (Steven Kamana) commented that it was the largest crowd hed ever seen at a cricket final.
The large crowd were certainly not disappointed with some outstanding flying catches, body on the line fielding and big hits keeping them on the edge of their seats all afternoon.
It was just a special game and so great to see the national captain step up when it mattered, says Stevic.
Being consistent in the big games is what matters and it was the best glove work out there and he was outstanding with the bat too.
Stevic was also impressed with the professional effort the Muri cricket club had put into preparing the pitch over what were some wet days to add to the excitement of the club final.
The clubs effort attracted a vocal crowd from all over the island and the high standard game provided an entertaining afternoon for all.
The Titans win is the culmination of two years of hard work by the club players and executive and a great leap forward for club cricket in the Cook Islands.
Statistics from the game will be highlighted over the next few days when Titikaveka return to land after some big days of celebrations.