The Women's T20 Championship will reach its climax this weekend, with the semi-finals and finals promising an enthralling showdown. Amidst the competing teams, Splashe Mele Bulls the undisputed leaders, with a record of 5 wins in 5 matches during the group stage putting them at the top of the table heading into the finals.
Splashe Mele Bulls - 15 points (NRR: +8.315)
North Efate Bush Pigs - 12 points (NRR: +1.359)
Ifira Black Birds - 7 points (NRR: -0.242)
Paama Sharks - 4 points (NRR: -4.283)
Tafea Sandalwood - 2 points (NRR: -3.925)
Southern Wind - 1 point (NRR: -13.046)
Splashe Mele Bulls: A Class Apart
The Splashe Mele Bulls Women's team were a class apart with an impeccable run in the round robin stage. They didn't just win; they dominated. Sporting an extraordinary net run rate of +8.315, they have unquestionably earned their spot in the finals.
North Efate Bush Pigs: The Strong Contenders
Similarly the North Efate Bush Pigs had an impressive run, securing 4 wins out of 5 matches. Their performance was marked by consistency, proving they possess the firepower to challenge the best, with their sole loss coming against the Bulls. With a positive net run rate of +1.359, they stand as strong contenders for the championship.
Ifira Black Birds: The Fighters
The Ifira Black Birds encountered some challenges throughout the round robin stage but managed to secure 2 wins. The one draw they had displayed their indomitable fighting spirit, and they shouldn't be underestimated heading into the finals.
Mighty Panther Sharks: Inconsistent but Dangerous
The Mighty Panther Sharks had a mixed bag of results, with 1 win and 1 draw. While they grappled with consistency, they exhibited flashes of brilliance. In the unpredictable world of T20 cricket, anything is possible. If they find their rhythm in the knockout stages, they could emerge as a formidable force.
Tafea Sandalwood and Southern Wind: Looking to Regroup
Tafea Sandalwood and Southern Wind had a challenging league stage, failing to register any wins. However, T20 cricket thrives on the ability to turn the tide in a single game, and both teams are eager to regroup and make their presence felt in next year's competition.
Batter of the Tournament: Lemauri Chilia
Splashe Mele Bulls Women, Leimauri Chilia, proved herself as the formidable force in the league. Scoring a total of 177 runs in just 4 matches, with an exceptional average of 88.50 a high score of 78* and a strike rate of 250.85 she vividly showcased her capacity to change the course of a game at a moment's notice and is no surprise as the "Batter of the Tournament".
Bowler of the Tournament: Tina Kalosin & Vicky Mansale
North Efate Bush Pigs ,Tina Kalosin proved why she was called up to the national team. With five matches under her belt, Kalosin showcased her skills by taking an impressive tally of 9 wickets for just 58 runs. Her ability to control the game with an economy rate of 4.64 runs per over and best figures of 2/1 placed her on par with Bulls spinner Vicky Mansale in the hunt for bowler of the tournament. Mansale was equally impressive in her season though claiming 9 wickets for just 54 runs at an average of 4.15 runs per over and a ridiculous BBI of 4/8 earning herself and Kalosin a share of the spoils.
MVP: Selina Solman
None other than Selina Solman, the dynamic captain of the Vanuatu national Women's cricket team and the driving force behind the North Efate Bush Pigs. Solman was typically brilliant in the T20 Championship.
With the bat, she, boasted an astounding batting average of 167.00, amassing 167 runs in just three matches, including a breath-taking 92* not out, which underscored her ability to single-handedly take charge of a game. Added to this her explosive strike rate of 187.64, Solman well and truly put on clinics showcasing her dominance on the domestic scene.
Solman also made a significant impact with the ball, proving to be a valuable asset for the Bushpigs, taking five wickets for just 29 runs across three matches with her best bowling figures of 3/1 displayed alongside an economy rate of 5.80 and a miserly average of 12.40.
Following this exceptional all-round performance, Solman, not only earned her the title of T20 Championship MVP but also solidified her reputation as a true cricketing sensation, inspiring aspiring cricketers and leading her team to remarkable success on the cricket field off the back of her success with the national side.
The Road to the Finals:
With Splashe Mele Bulls and North Efate Bush Pigs leading the pack, the semi-finals promise to be intense battles, with IFira and Mighty Panther Sharks hoping for a resurgence, knowing that T20 cricket is tailor-made for comebacks.
In the first semi-final, North Efate Bush Pigs will face off against Ifira Black Birds, setting the stage for a thrilling encounter between two determined teams.
In the second semi-final, Splashe Mele Bulls will take on the Mighty Panther Sharks, promising another exciting match filled with suspense and the potential for upsets.
The Women's T20 Championship has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions, skill, and determination. While Splashe Mele Bulls are the clear favourites cricket has a way of springing surprises when it matters the most. The first ball is set to be bowled at 9 am this Saturday, September 30th, with the Grand Final following at 1:30 pm at the Vanuatu Cricket Grounds. Stay tuned for what promises to be a spectacular climax to an unforgettable season!