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Tupapa K-11, Muri claim cricket titles

Monday 30 January 2023 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Cricket, Sports


Tupapa K-11,  Muri claim  cricket titles
Tupapa K-11 players celebrate after taking a wicket in the Rarotonga Cricket Club competition final against Arorangi Redbacks on Saturday at Raemaru Park. Picture: RASHNEEL KUMAR/23013005

Tupapa K-11 were crowned the new men’s champions while Muri retained the women’s title in the Rarotonga Cricket Club competition finals on Saturday.

Arorangi’s Raemaru Park hosted the 2022 competition finale with Muri taking on Arorangi Red Hot Babes in the women’s showdown and Arorangi Redbacks battling Tupapa K-11 in the men’s final.

Defending champions Muri won the toss and elected to field first – much to the surprise of their fans.

However the decision worked in their favour as the Red Hot Babes struggled to form a decent partnership and were all out for 70 runs which included 13 extras in the 16th over.

Muri’s Tina Mato and Apii Tangata bowled superbly managing three wickets each for the loss of nine and 12 runs, respectively. They bowled four overs each. Punanga Kaveao and Paula were also impressive grabbing two wickets each from the remaining six overs.

In reply, Muri easily managed to overcome the target in the 11th over with a wicket down to record a whopping nine wicket win.

Muri openers Mato with 24 not out and skipper Philica Maruariki, who scored 27 runs, formed a solid partnership in the run chase to record an easy win.

“I’m just happy and so proud of the girls especially with the back to back win. We went there hungry and ready for the win and we are pleased that we managed to come away with the win,” coach Mato said.

“We have a team of experienced and young players and we all worked together as a team to get this win. The players encouraged each other and apart from the experience that we had in our team it was the technical knowledge of the game that guided us through.

Muri’s Tina Mato bats against Arorangi in the final on Saturday. Picture: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/ 23012917

“Hats off to our captain (Maruariki) who is a youngster but led by example on the field. We would also like to thank all our supporters for supporting us throughout the season.”

In the men’s final, opener Ben Vakatini put on a brilliant performance with his bat for Tupapa K-11, smashing 71 runs which included seven fours and six sixes. The team managed a total of 137 runs before losing all their wickets in 16 overs.

Dan Simpson, the skipper of 2021 champions Redbacks, bowled exceptionally well claiming five wickets in three overs, and giving away only 17 runs.

In reply, the Redbacks including their opening three batsmen lost their wickets in quick succession giving Tupapa K-11 an upper hand in defending their total.

The Redbacks were all out for 88 runs in the 15th over, handing a jubilant Tupapa K-11 a 49-run win.

Osolai Hagai of K-11 rattled Redbacks’ middle order picking up four wickets in four overs he bowled.

Tupapa K-11 president and player Ray Roumanu said they had set a target of 180 runs but fell short after their openers failed to establish a partnership.

“The plan was to keep our openers going until atleast 12 overs but unfortunately we lost Osolai early. But Ben held on until eight overs and formed a good partnership with Tikove which stabilised our run count. The target was to reach atleast 180 runs,” Roumanu explained.

After settling for 137 runs, he said the team planned to go all out in the opening overs targeting the Redbacks openers including hard-hitting Simpson who lost his wicket in the first over.

Tomasi Vanuarua, who scored 27 runs, got the Redbacks chase on track but lost his wicket to Hagai.

Roumanu said: “The club was formed to give our young players an opportunity to play cricket and we are very proud of their effort. They are the future of Cook Islands cricket and we hope other clubs include more young players into their teams.”