The Vanuatu Cricket Association has announced the start of the first tournament of the year with the High Performance Women’s Smash Sixes getting underway in early February.
With all the squad now finalised here’s a breakdown of what to expect:
The Smash Sixes tournament is a much shorter format of cricket with fewer players and overs. Each team has six players, and each side's batting innings will have only six overs, each with a maximum of six deliveries giving each team 36 balls to score as many runs as possible. With only five wickets to lose, any wicket for a bowler will have even more value than in longer formats
The Avengers have a mix of youth and experience fielding former Vanuatu captain Alvina Chilia and her younger, wicketkeeping, sister Gillian as the two big guns alongside Theresa Mansale well known for her efforts as an all-rounder, and without an additional experienced star though the Avengers will have to rely heavily on Alvina.
The Amigos are arguably strong favorites heading into this tournament with current national captain Selina Solman at the helm alongside quick, Melissa Fare, and all rounder Ruth Kaltongga. The Amigos should be aiming to at least make the top two, if not win the tournament.
Definitely one of the least experienced sides, Mele have all-rounder Leimara Tastuki as skipper who will have to lead from the front for her side to make a push., Daniella Malapa is the other notable team member with decent experience, but much will depend though on the form of Tastuki to see them through to a respectable position.
Valenta Langiatu headlines the Sixers side with quick Vicky Mansale alongside her. The Sixers host a well rounded squad including the likes of former national player Serah Mansale. With arguably the most destructive player in Vanuatu wearing the captain's armband the Sixers should be aiming for a top two finish
Another of the possible top three, the Thunder provide the most likely wildcard pick of the teams. When hot, Rachel Andrew will be the one to look out for, as the all rounder looks to lift her team, notable mentions include sisters Meriel and Shania Kenni whose additions with bat and ball in games could provide the right balance for a top finish.
The Islanders come in with off spinner and former national captain Marcelina Mete as the most experienced player alongside batter Netty Chilia, former league MVP Malonie Vatoko will also be looking to make a difference with the ball as her side aim to overcome the odds.
The Wicket Divers have a Top 3 bowler in Kyla Niras and top order batter Judy Avok leading them alongside Valentina Tari who enjoyed a stint playing men’s cricket at the end of 2021. The Divers will be looking to cause a few upsets on their quest for the championship.
Maiylise Carlot will lead out the Youngies alongside Stephanie Tari as the two top players in the side. The bowling effort will be where work is needed though and may require the likes of their middle order to step up to the plate
The Smash Sixes tournament is set to begin this February. The first match will get underway on the 5th, and the grand final will be held on the 26th, with 8 teams battling it out for the inaugural title.
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