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Turtles 20/20 thrills and spills

Wednesday 19 January 2011 | Published in Regional

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Magic playing conditions on Saturday saw two action packed 20/20 cricket games at the Matavera Cricket grounds where the three teams in the Turtles Domestic League II tournament put their skills on display.

Game one saw Ngatangiia-Matavera host Te-Au-O-Tonga.

Winning the toss Te-Au-O-Tonga captain Patiiamai Ataela elected to bowl first.

After a tentative start from Te-Au-O-Tonga, opening bowler Toala Teinaki soon found his rhythm claiming his first wicket in Ngatangiia-Matavera’s Space Raumea.

Te-Au-O-Tonga kept the pressure on with tight fielding and was soon rewarded with the prize scalp of Vane Tangimetua, with the big hitting Songa Monga following quickly after.

Koria Patia provided the cement of the innings with vice captain Bobby Hunter, Campbell Hockin and Nga Uka doing enough to keep the runs ticking over.

Te-Au-O-Tonga off-spinner Shane Thompson caused problems extracting turn and bounce from the wicket to assist in restricting the hosts to 92.

Te-Au-O-Tonga opening pair Wayken Punga and Ula Teinaki’s partnership didn’t last long as Ngatangiia-Matavera’s opening bowler Vane Tangimetua had Ula Teinaki out in the first ball of the innings.

Tangimetua’s and Hockin’s aggressive bowling, backed by superb pressure from the fielders, resulted in three quick wickets including that of key stroke maker Ateala.

Toala Teinaki proved why he was selected into the International Cricket Council EAP Twenty-20 All-Stars team as he set the ground alight with booming shots out of the ground scoring 49 not out off 30 balls leading Te-Au-O-Tonga to victory in the 10th over.

Ngatangiia-Matavera soon put the disappointment of game one behind them as they prepared for game two against Puaikura-Titikaveka.

Ngatangiia-Matavera captain Matt Beasley didn’t hesitate to throw the ball to all-rounder Vane Tangimetua whose first over didn’t disappoint as he picked up the big hitting Arorangi-Titikaveka captain Pare Rongokea on the last ball of his first over.

Once Rob Samuels was dismissed in the 5th over followed by Glenn Miller and Apii Mamanu with the score on 29 the momentum had swung squarely in Ngatangiia-Matavera’s favour.

Hockin continued his fine bowling in the first game as he, Beasley and Willie Tommy applied continued pressure.

It was the young 14-year-old rising star Pastor Tekana, mentored by the vastly experienced Nga Emile, who together put on a solid partnership, however the damage had been done and the visitors were all out for 57.

After a rousing speech from captain Rongokea the Puaikura-Titikaveka side hit the field with enthusiasm. The team’s fierce competitiveness provided entertainment for the Ngatangiia-Matavera crowd and nervousness for the home team.

Opening bowler Ben Sexton bowled superbly and set the stage alight with the first ball of the innings as he collected Tangimetua’s wicket, as the opener looked to drive edging the ball to Apii Mamanu at first slip.

Batting at three, Tommy proved hard work for the Puaikura-Titikaveka team as he dug in against aggressive bowling.

Tommy saw three partners leave the crease including the talented opener Koria Patia.

The relentless attack continued through Marcel Matapo and Samuels however the cool head of Rama Taike lead the team to a nail biting win in the 15th over.