Country keen to seal series

Monday January 30, 2017 Written by Published in Cricket
Pita Ravarua of Town watches his hit against Country in the Vaka of Origin series opener last week at Turangi Field. 17012754 Pita Ravarua of Town watches his hit against Country in the Vaka of Origin series opener last week at Turangi Field. 17012754

THE VARO Media Maroons (Country) men’s team don’t want to leave it too late to seal the win in the 21South Group Vaka of Origin II Twenty20 series.

 

They are keen to clinch the series today when they take on the Sky Pacific Blues (Town) in the second leg at Turangi Field at 2pm.

The Osolai Akai-skippered side won the opening leg by four wickets last week and remain on track of claiming the series for the first time after Town made a clean sweep in the inaugural tournament last year.

Akai said while they were wary of a rejuvenated Town in today’s clash, they were keen to continue their perfect run from last week.

“Our intention is to win the series in the second leg. We don’t want to wait for a decider,” he said.

“We know it will be tough, especially with Town hurting after the earlier loss and they will want to level the series. But we will give our best to seal this series in the second leg.”

Country will miss the services of Tiri Toa, who scored 36 runs and managed a wicket, in the opener last week.

Team manager Tereinga Maoate said they have capable players in the squad to fill the void left by Toa.

Town skipper Wayken Punga said it would be a do-or-die clash for them.

“We were a bit disappointed after the loss last week but, then again, that wasn’t our best team,” he said.

“We will have the services of our top players in the second match and we are hoping they will boost our chances of leveling the series.”

Town is likely to have the services of former national skipper Davis Teinaki and Kunta Ritawa, both from the Tupapa side.

“We will also change our batting order to ensure we get maximum runs in this match,” Punga said.

Akai said the focus would once again be on their fielding and restricting Town to 150 runs.

“If we manage to restrict them around 150, or less than 200 runs, it will be easy for us to chase the target,” he said.

“We are just pleased to play on such a well maintained field that makes us feel like we are playing on an international pitch.” Meanwhile sponsor Grant Walker is pleased with the progress of the series.

“We’ve sent some of the Varo Media imagery from the first event out to Digicel Sky Pacific, and they are extremely pleased with the promotion,” Walker said.

“Moreover they are thrilled that a local agent is willing to promote their brand directly.

“We are now in discussions for future sponsorship at the corporate level, so the integration for my two companies is a direct benefit to 21South Group.” The second leg of the Vaka of Origin II Twenty20 series will kick off with the women’s match at 10am followed by the men’s clash at 2pm.

Entry to the event is free.

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