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Divas foil Lantau Ladies in first cricket league match in 9 months

16 October 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

 

Divas lords over their rivals in their first match after a 9-month break due to the pandemic

All-Filipina cricket team SCC Divas overtook Lantau Ladies, 92/2 in their Hong Kong Women’s Main League Division 2 game on Oct 4 to win their first T20 cricket encounter after a long lay-off due to the pandemic.

Divas captain Josie Arimas expressed relief and joy with the victory, as her team had only limited time to practice before the encounter.

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“Nag-start kami ng training only three Sundays ago with only two hours per session, not enough for training. We need more training talaga,” Arimas said.

(We started training only three Sundays ago with only two hours per session, not enough for training. We really need more training).

Playing under a new coach, Divas’ first batters Jennifer Alumbro and Jonna Eguid scored 63 runs in the second innings as they set the pace for the chase of the 91/7 first innings lead that the Lantau Ladies produced in 19.5 overs.

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Then Christine Joy Lovino and Romela Osabel combined for 29 runs in 10.4 overs to seal the victory for Divas, the first-ever Philippine women’s cricket team formed three years ago by Arimas.

The match was scheduled for two and a half hours but shortened to 75 minutes by the Divas, who returned to the pitch after a forced nine-month halt to the annual league as Hong Kong battled the coronavirus contagion.

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Arimas, who is also captain of the first women’s cricket National Team that lost to Indonesia in an international competition in Dasmariñas City last December, described the match at Po Kong Village Road Sports Centre in Diamond Hill as tense.

“Ang dami naming extras sa first game, medyo tense pero OK lang. Ganyan lang pag first match after nine months na na-stuck kami dahil na-stop ang league,” Arimas said.

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The Divas captain said the team has 29 players and two new trainees. She said the teams need more training following the long furlough.

The team in a huddle with their manager and new coach, Sher Lama 

The triumph was also a first by the all-domestic helper team under their new Nepalese coach, Sher Lama, a former player of the Hong Kong National Men’s Team.

Also at the pitch to share their jubilation were SCC Divas manager Animesh Kulkarni and assistant manager Chandra Prameswaran.

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Aside from the team that defeated the Lantau Ladies, the Filipinas have formed two teams, SCC Divas and SCC Pinay, in the Women’s Development League that opens this Sunday, Arimas said.

She said SCC Pinay will play against Craigengower Cricket Club at 9 am and SCC Divas will face Cavaliers at 2 pm.

The victory was Divas’ first in a five-team round robin in the main league Division 2 T20 tournament. The Filipinas will also play in the T10 tournament where they will face eight teams including the strongest.

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