The champion in the Kilikiki Competition 2017 is the team from Lakepa who defeated Alofi in the finals. The competition this year had 11 teams in total playing in two pools with the top teams from each meeting in the finals.
On a clear autumn morning at the Vaiea Oval, Lakepa won the toss and elected to bat first. Come to think of it, in Niuean cricket, if you win the toss, you bat. In the two hours allocated for batting, Lakepa scored 243 runs with Huggard Tongatule scoring the highest runs of 65. Top wicket-taker for Alofi was Tony Edwards.
Following a short break for lunch, Lakepa launched their attack with their normal duo of bowlers Zac Smith and Huggard Tongatule. When Smith and Tongatule dismissed the first 10 of the Alofi line-up for 70 runs, Alofi was being pushed to the limit.
Despite a spirited run-chase by Alofi with top batsman Pao scoring 63 runs, time caught up with them. At the end of two hours Alofi had scored 223, just 21 runs short of a victory with 5 wickets remaining. Top wicket-taker for Lakepa was Zac. The after-match function where the shield and trophies were awarded was held at Okimai at Tamakautoga.
While the game of Niue Kilikiki has undergone some changes there are some who still think that more fine-turning is needed. The time-limit set for an inning has gone some way in addressing the issue of dragging and bowling too many wides, but it is still posing a problem for the team batting last. Some teams are calling for a return to the 3-hour time limit while others feel that an innings should be based on the number of balls bowled, with the first team to bat setting that limit. Most people agree though that the essentials of the game should remain true to its original form.