Paama Sharks celebrating the fall of a Dolphins wicket .Photo credit: Ron Zwiers

Paama Sharks and Ifira Black Birds have secured their spot in the women’s Independence knockout semi-finals ahead of the last quarter final round which will be played this Saturday the 15th of July.

Paama Sharks took on Asia-Pacific Totalisator Dolphins in the first quarter final round of the women’s Independence knockout last Saturday the 8th of July at Club Hippique Adventure Park in what would be another semi-final qualifier for the team.

Dolphins won the toss and elected to bat first sending in skipper, Meriel Kenni and Rachel Tari to open the batting for their side. Kenni and Tari got off to a good start setting runs on the board for their side until Sharks skipper, Melissa Fare produced a good ball delivery which saw Meriel Kenni lose her wicket when she was bowled for just 13 runs. Rachel Tari (14 runs) and Linda Kenni (16 runs) managed to hold their team together until Vanessa Vira (2/11, 4 overs) and Maeva Vira (2/13, 3 overs) did the last damage with the ball and both claiming two wickets each to get APT Dolphins all out in the 18th over of their inning leaving Dolphins with a final score of 7/92 on the scoreboard.

Sharks with a target score of 93 to win had a good start with Judy Avok and Maeva Vira opening for their side. Maeva Vira who is the second youngest player in the Sharks team did not fail to impress everyone with her batting techniques and ability to back Judy Avok on the pitch by putting on a great display of cricket until she was unfortunately caught behind by the Dolphins’ Skipper and Keeper, Meriel Kenni.

The fall of young Sharks player saw Melissa Fare enter the pitch to try her luck with the bat. Fare (34) and Avok (30) immediately created a strong batting partnership which saw both women smashing every loose ball over the boundary line. The strong partnership resulted in Sharks catching up to their target score in just 14 overs and winning by 9 wickets with 36 balls remaining.

While Sharks and Dolphins were battling it out for a spot in the semi-finals at Club Hippique, Ifira Black Birds and North Efate Bush Pigs were also going head to head at Independence Park.

North Efate won the toss and elected to field first sending in skipper and big hitter, Rachel Andrew to open the batting alongside Valentina Tari. Andrew who is known for her big hitting and fast bowling wasted no time smashing boundaries and living up to her big hitting reputation when she smashed a six and scoring a total of 87 runs and not out while Tari contributed 14 runs before losing her wicket bringing their team’s final score to 1/123 on the scoreboard at the end of their inning.

The North Efate Bush Pigs knowing that they have to perform extremely well to beat Ifira sent in captain, Mahina Tarimala and team member Melody Johnny to open for their team. Tarimala started the North Efate inning on a high note after smashing two fours and scoring runs for her team while maintaining a good run rate until an unfortunate turn of events saw her retiring hurt after sustaining an injury to her jaw. North Efate not letting the turn of events get to them kept fighting with Edna Mansale scoring 16 runs and Kathy Chilia scoring 17 runs. However, the lack of a strong batting partnership saw North Efate falling 15 runs short from defeating Ifira Black Birds allowing Ifira to secure a spot in the semi-finals by 15 runs.

While two out of the four spots in the semi-finals have been booked, Mele Bulls, Tafea Sandalwood and rookie teams, Mighty Saints and Power House, are the four teams left to fight for the last two coveted spots in the semi-finals.

Tafea Sandal wood will take on newcomer, Power House women’s team, in the second quarter final round this Saturday the 15th of July at Club Hippique Adventure Park while Mele Bulls will take on other newcomer, Mighty Saints, at Independence Park.

Both matches will start at 9 am and the winners of these matches will be through to the women’s Independence knockout semi-finals.

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