Friends United and Western Tigers Left To Battle for Last Semi Final Place
Western Tigers and Australian club Friends United will battle it out for the last semi final place at Cricket Fiji’s Easter tournament after Day 3 matches were completed on Saturday.
Suva Warriors confirmed their place at the top of Pool 2 with a hard fought win over Moce, who finished second in the pool.
The Lau Islanders will now play Suva Crusaders in one semi final on Monday while the Warriors will play the winner of tomorrow’s re-scheduled match between Friends United and Western Tigers which was abandoned Friday because of rain.
The Crusaders had a morale boosting win over Friends thanks to some explosive batting from Colin and Joe Rika.
Colin Rika’s unbeaten 34 included three consecutive sixes late in the innings, while brother Joe (33) set the scene some hard hitting at the top of the order.
They piloted their team to an impressive 7 for 135 off their twenty overs to give Friends a tough target to chase.
Mark Nisbet and Shiva Venkteshwar took two wickets each for Friends to help stem the run flow and keep their team in the game.
However, the run chase was beyond them on the day as they crashed to be all out for 49.
John Hussain (10) was the only batsman to reach double figures as Iniasi Cakacaka (5 for 7) and Greg Browne (3 for 20) worked their way through the Friends batting line up.
The bowling was assisted by some spectacular catching.
A brilliant one handed outfield catch, taken at full speed after covering 30 metres was matched an over later by a spectacular diving one handed take at first slip by captain Waisake Tukaha.
The quality of the catching was a highlight of an impressive all round performance by the Crusaders which will see them move into the semi finals high in confidence.
Friends United will need to improve on their performance against Western Tigers tomorrow if they wish to find a place in the semi finals.
The match between Suva Warriors and Moce was for top spot in Pool 1, so plenty was on the line for both teams.
Warriors batted first and posted a respectable score of 107, however, they would have been looking for more to give themselves some breathing room against a determined Moce outfit.
Joeli Mateyawa led the way with 47 while Taniela Naulivou chipped in with 20 runs in a moderate but competitive total.
Filimone Vuli took 4 for 9 off three overs while Cakacaka Sau continued his good form with the ball to take 3 for 18.
The Warriors got off to a good start when bowling and soon had Moce in deep trouble as early wickets fell.
With Moce struggling at 6 for 22 the match looked to be all but over.
However, Sekope Biaunicava stepped up to play a lone hand that brought his team back into the match.
His unbeaten 60 was almost enough to steal the game from the Warriors, however the continual fall of wickets left him stranded with the team total on 95, just 13 runs short of their target.
The win assured the Warriors of of top spot in Pool 1, while Moce finished second.
Western Tigers kept their final hopes alive with a tight win over Komo at the Army Barracks Ground.
Batting first, the Tigers scored 8 for 100 off their 20 overs with Vakarau and Jackson top scoring with 26 runs each.
Sukabula was the best of the Komo bowlers taking 3 for 16.
In reply, Komo, who have been competitive in each of their matches without recording a win, fell 17 runs short.
Qalo scored 25 and Bale 11 while Vakarau and Jackson backed up their batting performance with good bolwing figures taking four and three wickets respectively.
In the day’s final match West Sharks recorded their first win of the tournament a they beat Oneata by 113 runs.
Salusalu scored a half century while Ravula smashed his was to 40 to help set the platform for a good total.
Kautioga and Kotobalavu took two wickets each for Oneata who were cheered on by a large crowd of supporters at Albert Park.
However, the Oneata bats couldn’t muster the necessary runs with only the experienced Seci reaching double figues on the day.
Sharks bowlers Senilagokali took 4 for 12 while Viliame Mana claimed 3 for 5.
We now await the result of Sunday’s match between Friends United and Western Tigers to see who has claimed the last spot in the semi finals.
MORNING MATCHES – SATURDAY APRIL 3RD
Albert Park Suva Crusaders 7/135 (C Rika 34 not out, Joe Rika 33, Nisbett 2 for 17, Venkteshwar 2 for 36) defeated Friends United 49 (Hussein 10, Cakacaka 5 for 7, G Browne 3 for 20) by 86 runs.
Army Barracks Ground Western Tigers 8/100 (Vakarau 26, Jackson 26, Sukabul 3 for 16) defeated Komo 83 (Qalo 25, Bale 11, Vakarau 4 for 16, Jackson 3 for 12) by 17 runs.
Albert Park Western Sharks 5/160 (Salusalu 50 not out, Ravula 40, Kautioga 2 for 35, Kotobalavu 2 for 32) defeated Oneata 47 (Seci 11, Senilagokali 4 for 12, Mana 3 for 5) by 113 runs
Army Barracks Ground Suva Warriors 107 (Mateyawa 47, Naulivou 20, Vuli 4 for 9, Cakacaka 3 for 18) defeated Moce 95 (Biaunicava 60 not out, Tavo 3 for 4, Qaloula 2 for 19) by 12 runs.
SUNDAY’S MATCHES DAY 4 MATCHES
MORNING MATCHES – 9:30 am Albert Park Friends United v Western Tigers