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Opinion

Cook Islands lose to Fiji in T20 Qualifiers

Saturday 10 September 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Cricket, Sports

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Cook Islands lose to Fiji in  T20 Qualifiers
The Cook Islands national cricket squad at Rarotonga international airport before departing for Auckland yesterday afternoon. - 22090106

Cook Islands lost their second match in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup East Asia Pacific Qualifier in Vanuatu yesterday.

After going down to Samoa on Thursday, the national side lost to Fiji by three wickets yesterday.

After winning the toss, the Cook Islands elected to bat first and scored 142 runs in 20 overseas with openers skipper Ma’ara Ave and Hayden Dickson scoring 31 and 51 runs respectively.

In reply, the Fijians who were rattled by early wicket losses, managed to find their rhythm in the middle order to reach the target in 16.5 over for the loss of seven wickets.

Cook Islands team manager Rahul Patil said they gave away 30 extras through wide and no balls against Fiji.

“That was the main cause of the loss. But that’s something within our own control, we look to learn from that and make amendments to come back stronger.”

On Thursday the national side went down to Samoa by seven wickets.

Patil said against Samoa they went to bat first as planned but couldn’t put up a competitive target.

“We were 20 runs short and our bowling wasn’t good too. At 58-3, we thought we had them and a couple more wickets would have changed the game,” he said.

Patil said fast bowler Hayden Dickson injured his heel and skipper Ave, who came in to finish the over, suffered a cut to his forehead against Samoa.

“When he bowled, the batsman hit back at him and the ball bounced unevenly before hitting straight on his (Ave’s) forehead.”

Ave was rushed to the hospital where he received four stitches, “thankfully there was no fracture and the surgical registrar also confirmed there was no concussion”.

After a night’s rest, the New Zealand-based Ave was fit to lead the team against Fiji.

Cook Islands will take on tournament favourites and the unbeaten Vanuatu at 12.30pm today (Cook Islands time).

“We are probably at the stage where another loss could be the end of the tournament for us.”