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Sandy’s 6 Wickets lead dominant Mighty Saints as Tafea and NE Bushpigs Claim Big Wins in Port Vila T20 Championship.


Round 3 of the Port Vila T20 Club Cricket Championship saw Tusker Panthers, Paama Sharks and Splashe Mele Bulls clashing with formidable opponents Tafea Cricket Club, North Efate Bush Pigs and Mighty Saints respectively. The matches held recently at the Vanuatu Cricket Grounds (VCG) 2 and VCG 1, and Independence Park saw the top clubs begin to pull away from the pack.


Independence Park played part to the performance of the round as the Mighty Saints led by McMillan Markia took on the Splashe Mele Bulls boosted by the return of superstar national player, Patrick Matautaava. Batting first, the saints, put on 191 for the loss of five wickets with Markia (61) and Simpson Obed (54) setting the platform for them as the bulls struggled to put things together with the only notable performance with the ball belonging to Roro Kaltanak, taking two wickets for 33 runs, as even Matautaava was put to the sword.


It would turn into national player Steve Sandy’s day though as the 19 year old ran through the bulls. Sandy’s unbelievable six wickets for just nine runs helping the saints produce a massive win over the bulls. In his first over Sandy delivered with a first ball wicket followed by his fifth ball dismissal of Matautaava which unofficially dismantled the bulls hope of chasing down the total with only captain Jacky Bangalulu managing a respectable 34 off 28 as his side were bowled out for 65 handing the saints a 126 run win.


At VCG 2, Tusker Panthers faced a formidable challenge from Tafea Cricket Club. Opting to bat first, the Panthers struggled with a reduced lineup of 7 players, with injuries and travel disrupting last weekend’s winners and Despite a valiant effort, they were bowled out for 84 runs in 17 overs, with stand in captain,Tony Tamata, top-scoring with 32 runs. The relentless bowling attack from Tafea, led by Darren Wotu (1 wicket for 7 runs) and Wamejo Wotu (1 wicket for 8 runs), kept the Panthers' batters in check and provided a stellar platform for the second innings.


In response, Tafea batsmen wasted no time in chasing down the target. Williamsing Nalisa (31 not out) and Wamejo Wotu (54 not out) put on a masterclass display, guiding their team to victory with ease in just 5 overs. Despite a solitary wicket from Suria Rajen (1 wicket for 41 runs), Tusker Panthers couldn't contain the onslaught from Tafea’s batsmen, who reached the target with 9 wickets in hand.


At VCG 1, Paama Sharks battled it out against North Efate Bush Pigs in a one-sided affair. Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Sharks faced early setbacks with a reduced lineup of 8 players. Despite a valiant 31-run effort from MVP leader Curran Kendrick and last weekends centurion, they were bowled out for 64 runs in 12.3 overs. Kelton Paul and John Tonga starred with the ball for the Bush Pigs, picking up 2 wickets each.


In their chase, the Bush Pigs got off to a steady start before John Tonga (33 not out) played a blistering innings to steer his team to victory in 9 overs, despite some resistance from Sharks' bowlers, Justin Sarginson (1 wicket for 15 runs) and Tevita Kolopa (1 wicket for 16 runs), Bush Pigs' batters held their nerve to clinch the win by 7 wickets.

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