The side which defeated former champions Turangi in round two last week is riding high and will give the unbeaten Nikao a good run for their money.
Cook Islands Cricket chief executive officer Davis Teinaki said both teams were equally matched in skills and experience.
“It will all come down to whoever execute its bowling well, field sharply and bat smartly. Those things will determine the win,” Teinaki added.
Host Nikao is expected to be boosted by the return all-rounder and their coach Deacon Teapa, who was away in Fiji on work commitment. His return will be timely for the Nikao side which will be hoping to maintain their winning run in the competition.
In the other men’s match today, Matavera will be hosting Tavana in an interesting clash.
Matavera will not take Tavana lightly as the side need to keep their dominance alive in order to remain in the run for the title.
“As far as the stats is concerned, Matavera is by far the better of the two sides. However, captain of the Tavana team Steven Kavana aka Captain Moko has other ideas to proof the stats wrong. He has a secret game plan for Saturday's match which he believes will topple the most superior Matavera side. It could be another upset,” said Teinaki.
Turangi after last week’s unfortunate loss to Takuvaine will be out for blood when the side takes on Nikao II at Turangi Oval.
Teinaki predicts Turangi to be on a destructive mode as they need to right the wrong from their last week’s defeat.
“Nikao II has a never-say-die attitude and will be led by their skipper Ripper Tauia. Nikao II will rely heavily on their bowlers to be accurate with their line and length for a chance of scoring their first win in the competition.”
Winless Arorangi and Tupapa II will battle at Raemaru Park in search for their first win this season.
In the women’s competition, top of the table clash between Avana I and Turangi at Turangi Oval will be the match of the round.
Both teams have scored two wins from two games each in the competition and whoever wins today will take the lead on the points table.
“On paper, Turangi look to be the dominant side however the Avana team which are all young players have caught the attention of the cricket community,” Teinaki said.
“They are overwhelmed with the progress of their development and the side is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Watch out Turangi.”
In the other women’s matches Nikao, which was on bye last week, will take on the winless Takuvaine at home while Avana II will be looking to bounce back to winning ways when it hosts Tupapa at Nukupure Park.
“Competition is getting fiercely tough as teams battle to get a spot in the top four. After the second round for the women, Turangi and Avana I sits on top of the table with six points each while in the men’s, Tupapa, Matavera and Nikao are sharing the lead with six points each,” Teinaki said.
“Whoever wins in the Turangi and Avana I game will take the top spot in the women’s competition and in the men’s, if Matavera and Nikao score wins then they both will maintain their lead as Tupapa will have a bye this weekend.”
All cricket fans, families and friends are invited to go and support their village teams.
The women’s games start at 12.30pm and men at 3.30pm and teams are requested to be on the field on time.