By Quinton Alomp – EM TV, Port Moresby
Irumo are the inaugural champions of the Semafoe Alukuni Cricket competition in the Central Province, after beating Ririgakele by six wickets in the grand final on Saturday.
It was the final match of the 2014 season played on the first Saturday in the new year.
Hundreds travelled from Port Moresby, including current PNG Barramundis captain, Chris Amini and PNG women’s Lewas coach, Kune Amini, joining those already on holidays, and villagers of nearby Keapara and Karawa, to witness the inaugural T20 Alukuni cricket grand final.
Irumo won the toss and elected to bat in sunny and very hot conditions, which the Ririga Kele bowlers toiled under.
The openers got their side off to a good start with Peiwa Vavine scoring well with 33, to get Irumo to four down for 129, after their 20 overs.
Disaster for Ririga started from the first delivery when they lost their opener. They lost wickets at regular intervals to some fine bowling and some outstanding fielding.
Umpires, current Barramundi’s captain Chris Amini and former PNG representative Navu Maha were kept busy throughout the day with some hard hitting and classical fours through the sand, finding the boundary and classic catching.
Irumo cleaned up the Ririga side for 46 runs with three overs remaining.
In the women’s grand final, Loke One were set a target of 104, which they easily passed with three wickets in hand and two overs to spare.
Sponsor and patron of the Alukuni Cricket Association, Veari Maha was impressed with the standard of cricket displayed.
At the presentation following the men’s grand final, the former PNG cricket chief thanked all the men, women and youngsters playing the game and assured them of his continued support when season two resumes later in the year.
Highlights of all the grand final action will be on Sports Scene tonight.