VANUATU Cricket is now host to some remarkable women’s cricket programs with the Port Vila women’s U17 club championship and the women’s island cricket program two of these outstanding programs.
The women’s island cricket program is a program designed especially for mothers and women who are aged 20 and above. It includes mothers from Ifira, Mele, Pango, Erakor and Sea Side competing with their colourful island dresses in the women’s island cricket championship while also learning about improving their health and wellbeing.
The women’s island cricket opening championship kicked off in April and lasted for a period of six weeks to allow all five teams to play a minimum of six matches each.
After round six of the competition Mele and Ifira were the leading teams and were promoted into the final of the competition. Erakor and Pango were placed third and fourth on the standings table, giving them the opportunity to play for third place since there were no semi-finals in the competition.
Erakor played Pango at Independence Park which saw Erakor’s batswoman Louis Kalopong score a total of 18 runs to contribute to their 93 runs and taking her team to a third place victory.
The final match saw Mele play Ifira to fight for the championship title. Both teams played really well with Mele setting a target score of 116 runs which Ifira then chased down and responded by scoring 117 runs giving them the victory.
“All matches were outstanding and it does not matter who wins and who loses because at the end of the day everyone has participated to also improve and maintain their health and that is all that matters,” concluded women’s island cricket program officer, Lucien Taiwia.
While the mamas have their share of cricket the Port Vila Girls U17 Club Championship also ended last Saturday with a final match between Mele Bulls and Ifira Black Birds at the Vanuatu Cricket Ground.
Four teams entered the competition however Paama Sharks and Tafea Sandalwood were unable to make it into the final leaving Mele Bulls and Ifira Black Birds to battle it out in the final for the first ever girls U17 club championship title.
Ifira Black Birds won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that backfired as Mele Bulls took no time making runs and thrashing their bowlers, with Valenta Langiatu scoring a massive 63 runs off just 23 balls to also claim the Player of the match trophy. Ifira Black Birds failing to slow the Bulls down allowed them to score a total of 132 runs in their 10 allocated overs and set Ifira a target score of 133 to win.
Ifira Black Birds with a lot of pressure on their shoulders started off their chase by facing some tight bowling from Vicky Mansale from the Bulls side. She took the early wickets of both Ifira openers leaving Rachel Tari (29 runs) the batswoman from the Ifira side to score the most runs for her team. Unfortunately her impressive effort wasn’t enough to allow them to reach their target score at the end of their 10 overs, giving Mele Bulls a 50 run victory.
“Mele Bulls are the champions of the first ever girls U17 club championship, however all four teams played really well throughout the competition and we are looking forward to running more competitions in the near future for our girls,” said women’s development officer, Judy Avok.
With all the successes of women’s cricket in Vanuatu, Vanuatu Cricket would like to acknowledge the Australian Government for funding the women’s island cricket program through the Pacific Sports Partnership Program.