The South Santo Butterflies have kept their winning streak and championship dream alive after defeating Rusties in the first semifinal of the Santo Hardware – Forney Enterprise Santo Women’s T20 Super League.
The Rusties being sent in to bowl first by the Butterflies, achieved their goal of restricting their opponent to a total below the 120 runs mark leaving the match to a nail-biting finish as the Butterflies fought to defend their lowest total of the competition after only scoring 117 runs in their inning.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Butterflies had an unusually slow start with a constant fall of wickets in the power play adding pressure on the team to score runs. Ruth Kaltongga (31) stepped in with the bat and with support from Shania Kenni (21) and Micheline Rara (19) led the team to over 100 runs.
Rusties needing only 118 runs to win hoped to cause an upset by knocking the undefeated Butterflies out of the grand final. The Butterflies had the momentum on their side as Melissa Fare took two wickets in the opening over of the second inning. However, Rusties fought back with Vicky Mansale scoring 29 runs and Nasimana Navaika’s 30 runs off 17 balls but just as they had the ball rolling all over the park, the Butterflies once again responded with a tightened bowling and fielding attack which left the Rusties 9 runs short of the winning target.
The South Santo Butterflies defeated the Rusties by 9 runs to claim the first spot in the grand final and Micheline Rara was awarded the Forney Enterprise player of the match for her 19 runs contribution with the bat.
The second semifinal between the Malampa Eagles and the Santo Eastern Steelers was another thriller as the two teams faced off in a showdown worthy of a semifinal match. The Santo Eastern Steelers won the toss and elected to bowl first sending the Eagles to bat.
However, after the exciting first inning which featured outstanding batting from Salome Meltesalet (25) and Rachel Andrew (49) and bowling from Selina Solman (4/19) and Lizzie Avock (4/11), rain interruption meant that the result of the semifinal had to be determined by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.
Steelers with a target of 138 runs to win lost 6 wickets for 51 runs in the first 8 overs of the second inning leaving the DLS result in favour of the Malampa Eagles allowing them to advance to the grand final of the Santo Hardware – Forney Enterprise Santo Women’s T20 Super League.
Regardless of the result, Lizzie Avock was awarded the Santo Hardware player of the match for her contributions with the bat (13 runs) and ball (4/11).
The results from the semifinals mean that the South Santo Butterflies will be facing the Malampa Eagles in the Grand Final while the Rusties and Santo Eastern Steelers will be playing in the third place play off.
The grand final and the third place play off of the Santo Hardware – Forney Enterprise Santo Women’s T20 Super League will happen at the Sanma cricket on Friday December 18 with the grand final starting at 1:00pm and the third place play off starting at 9:00am.
The Vanuatu Cricket Association would like to acknowledge Santo Hardware and Forney Enterprises for being the major sponsors for this competition and Leomala Medical and Tasinga Telehealth Service for sponsoring the livestreaming of the competition through the Storian Blong North (SBN) Facebook page.