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Intense Battle for MVP as Tafea Cricket Club Crowned Minor Premiers; Sharks and Saints Dominate in Final Round Matches

Minor Premiers Tafea Cricket Club

In the battle for MVP and in the first match of the round, Tafea Cricket Club faced off against fellow title contenders the North Efate Bushpigs. With both sides having players in the MVP standings it was always booked to be a fiery clash.


Opting to bat first, the North Efate Bush Pigs posted a competitive total of 148 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs. Aaron Strid provided a brisk start with 20 off 15 balls, but early setbacks saw them reeling at 3 for 2 with the dismissals of Samuel Strid and John Conneley. Nick Venables played a pivotal role, anchoring the innings with a well-crafted 45 off 44 balls. Tim Cutler's aggressive 29 off 19 balls, featuring two boundaries and two sixes, and eventual MVP Ronald Tari's explosive 17 off 9 balls further boosted the total all the while providing an opportunity for Tafea's MVP hopefuls to claim the title. Tom Adams and Mark Hurley remained not out, contributing 14 and 5 respectively. Extras contributed a significant 19 runs, helping the Bush Pigs to a respectable total.


Tafea Cricket Club's bowlers, led by Darren Wotu with 2 for 21, and Rodrick Lekai, who delivered an economical spell of 1 for 11 in three overs, effectively restricted the Bush Pigs. Shay Narai and MVP hopeful Williamsing Nalisa also chipped in with key wickets pushing the leg spinner through to claim the most wickets award, despite conceding runs. Vakessa Nauni made a crucial breakthrough, taking 1 for 1 in his solitary over, rounding off a disciplined bowling performance.


In response, Tafea Cricket Club's innings was anchored by a series of composed and strategic knocks. Wamejo Wotu set the tone with a rapid 21 off 13 balls, including three sixes, before falling to Nick Venables, who was the standout bowler for the Bush Pigs with figures of 3 for 33, dampening Wotu's hopes of claiming the MVP title and almost gifting it to Tari. Junior Nirua contributed a valuable 20 off 14 balls, laying a solid foundation. Remondo Lekai played a match-winning innings, remaining unbeaten on 48 off 31 balls, striking three boundaries and three sixes, ensuring the chase was always under control. Captain Rodrick Lekai provided stability with an unbeaten 42 off 32 balls, featuring three boundaries and two sixes, guiding Tafea Cricket Club to the target with 19 balls to spare claiming the minor premiership.

Ronald Tari wins the T20 MVP for the North Efate Bushpigs

In the second match of the round and In a commanding performance, the Mighty Saints clinched a decisive eight-wicket victory over the Tusker Panthers, chasing down a modest target of 105 with ease in just 10.2 overs.


Opting to bat first, and much like their season the Tusker Panthers struggled to build momentum, finishing at 105 for 5 in their 20 overs. The innings began disastrously with the early dismissal of captain Joshua Rasu, caught by Edwin Quai off Selwyn Garae for a duck. Suria Rajen followed soon after, stumped by Simpson Obed for 3, leaving the Panthers reeling at 23 for 2. Christopher Laffan stood out as the lone warrior for the Panthers, playing a resilient innings of 63 not out off 61 balls, including three boundaries and three sixes. His efforts were crucial in pushing the Panthers past the 100-run mark. However, the rest of the batting line-up failed to support him adequately. Christopher Nasak contributed 15 off 16 balls, but the middle order crumbled under pressure, with only minor contributions from Daniel Nathaniel and Neto Wotu.


The Saints' bowlers were disciplined and effective, with Simpson Obed leading the charge with figures of 2 for 20 in his four overs. Jack Neven also impressed, taking 2 for 16, while Nalin Nipiko bowled economically, picking up a wicket for just 15 runs in his four overs. The Saints' bowlers maintained tight lines and lengths, supported by sharp fielding, which included two crucial stumpings.


In response, the Mighty Saints' put the panthers to the sword with a display of aggression and precision. Opening the innings, Simpson Obed set the tone with a blistering 73 off just 36 balls, featuring seven boundaries and five sixes. His explosive innings ensured the Saints were always ahead in the chase. Sebas Richard, although dismissed for 7 by Joshua Rasu, provided adequate support, while Nalin Nipiko added a quickfire 11 off 4 balls to seal the victory. Selwyn Garae remained unbeaten on 4 as the Saints comfortably reached 108 for 2 in 10.2 overs.


Joshua Rasu and Suria Rajen were the only bowlers to make inroads, each picking up a wicket. However, the rest of the Panthers' attack struggled to contain the free-scoring Saints, with Neto Wotu conceding 48 runs in his 3.2 overs as the Saints knocked out the reigning champs.


In the final match of the round Paama Sharks secured a dominant nine-wicket victory over Splashe Mele Bulls in a one-sided affair.


The match began with Splashe Mele Bulls opting to bat first but facing immediate setbacks. Captain Jacky Matautotau’s quickfire 20 off 12 balls, featuring three boundaries and sixes, was the only highlight in an otherwise dismal batting performance. The Bulls struggled to build partnerships, with wickets falling at regular intervals. South Santo born, Waane Sirovulu, led the charge with the ball for the Sharks, claiming three crucial wickets for just 13 runs in his two overs. He was well-supported by Obed Yosef, who took 2 for 29, and a disciplined effort from Jamal Vira, Justin Sarginson, Kalsai Aaron, Brennan Meyer, and William Laumae, each chipping in with a wicket.


Despite a brief resistance from Marshal Mete, who scored a rapid 27 off 11 balls, the Bulls were bundled out for a mere 81 in 11 overs. The extras count of 17, including eight wides and four no-balls, added to the Bulls' woes, underlining the Sharks' disciplined bowling and sharp fielding.


In response, Paama Sharks made light work of the chase, reaching the target in just 9 overs with nine wickets in hand. Needing to score more than Tari in the Bushpigs game,CTW Kendrick played a match-winning knock, remaining unbeaten on 42 off 22 balls, striking five boundaries and two sixes and in turn securing the title for most runs in teh comp. He was well-supported by Obed Yosef, who contributed 12 before being dismissed by Marshal Mete, and Stephane Sandy, who remained not out on 12 off 10 balls. The extras again played a significant role, contributing 16 runs to the Sharks' total.


The Bulls' bowlers struggled to make an impact, with Kaltongga Numalo, Marshal Mete, Rashid Bangalulu, and Jacky Matautotau unable to contain the Sharks' aggressive batting. The lack of wickets and the high extras count further compounded their problems, allowing the Sharks to cruise to a comfortable victory.


With the standings set, the semifinals are scheduled for next weekend. The top four teams will compete for a place in the final:


  • Semifinal 1: Tafea Cricket Club (1st) vs. Mighty Saints (4th) (VCG 1)

  • Semifinal 2: North Efate Bush Pigs (2nd) vs. Paama Sharks (3rd) (VCG 2)


REGULAR SEASON AWARDS


MOST RUNS:

Rank

Player

Club

Team

Hand

Mat

Inn

NO

100's

50's

4's

6's

HS

Runs

Ave

BF

S/R

1

R/H Batters

9

9

3

1

1

31

12

121*

359

59.83

255

140.78

2

R/H Batters

9

8

3

0

3

27

22

89

333

66.60

208

160.10

3

R/H Batters

10

9

3

0

2

22

18

68

263

43.83

144

182.64

4

R/H Batters

10

9

4

0

2

16

24

68

250

50.00

119

210.08

5

R/H Batters

7

6

1

0

2

16

11

70

231

46.20

188

122.87

MOST WICKETS

Rank

Player

Club

Team

Hand

Mat

BB

M

R

W

5WI

10WM

BBI

Ave

S/R

Ecn

1

R/A Bowler

10

229

0

185

18

0

0

3/11

10.28

12.72

4.85

2

R/A Bowler

10

198

1

158

15

1

0

5/11

10.53

13.20

4.79

3

R/A Bowler

10

191

2

140

14

0

0

2/5

10.00

13.64

4.40

4


7

111

0

107

12

0

0

4/25

8.92

9.25

5.78

5


10

123

0

115

12

0

0

3/3

9.58

10.25

5.61

Most Valuable Player

Rank

Player

Club

Matches

Batting

Bowling

Fielding

Overall

1

North Efate Bush Pigs

9

50.24

24.04

10.71

85.01

2

Tafea Sandalwood

10

37.67

36.48

8.97

83.13

3

Tafea Sandalwood

10

37.73

36.87

5.07

79.69

4

Paama Sharks

7

31.67

2.97

26.38

61.03

5

Paama Sharks

9

51.11

3.03

1.25

55.39


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