Saturday 2 April 2011 | Published in Regional
The Telecom Cook Islands national cricket squad members are full of confidence ahead of the ICC EAP Division 2 Trophy tournament in Samoa after two excellent warm up games in Hamilton, New Zealand, this week.
The national squad played against a Waikato University invitational team boasting a couple of young Cook Islanders, future Black Cap players and players bowling 145km per hour.
Waikato University batted first and scored 150 from 20 overs and despite valiant batting performances by the local men, the Cooks fell short of the target and were all out for 80.
After analyzing Waikato’s match and polishing up the game plan – the national squad faced the newly formed Northern Districts Maori squad at the international cricket grounds at Seddon Park.
Northern Districts Maori, which includes New Zealand under 19 World Cup cricketers, dubbed the match against their big hitting visitors from the Cooks as their maiden international fixture - a ground breaking occasion as the Cooks share cultural and cricketing bonds with Northern Districts Cricket.
Cook Islands umpire Koria Patia also used the match to hone his umpiring skills before Samoa where he is to officiate.
Northern District batted first setting a target of 151 for the Cook Islands to chase down.
The national squad got off to a great start but fell agonizingly short reaching 148.
Coach Alister Stevic reports that it was a game the Cook Islands should have won but despite the slim loss the squad was still in high spirits after a great game against a quality opponent.
The team arrived in Samoa yesterday morning ready for the start of the tournament on April 4.
The team’s first game is against Tonga in the morning and Philippines in the afternoon.The national cricket squad members are Patiiamai Ataela, Matt Beasley, Manu Emile, Tino Etita, Seb Maher, Apii Mamanu, Glenn Miller, Teararo Pokoina, Wayken Punga, Rob Samuel, Vane Tangimetua, Peter Natua, Davies Teinaki, Toara Teinaki, Daniel Tutai, Tom Wicks and Kitai William.