The third round of the Isuzu National One day Cup wrapped up on Monday with Isuzu Black defeating Red by 48 runs to remain undefeated after six games and sit comfortably on top of the table.
In a low scoring affair young Barra Gaudi Toka was the star top scoring with 36 runs including six boundaries and then incredibly taking 7/37 with the ball. Fittingly, the player of the match grabbed the last wicket of Damien Ravu in his ninth over to seal the victory for Isuzu Black. Toka was supported in the first innings by S Atia (25) and S Arua (20) and then by Assad Vala in the second innings who took 2/25 off his 8 overs.
Isuzu Red got off to a good start with an opening partnership of 42 between Tony Ura (30) and Dogodo Bau (17) but both were bowled by Toka as he tore through the top order taking the first seven wickets including three ducks. Damien Ravu (26) provided some fight at the end but the game was all but over when he arrived at the crease with Black too strong again.
The Injury ravaged Isuzu Yellow lost both games on the weekend and now sit on the bottom of the ladder. After losing Sunday’s game by eight wickets their young players must step up in the fourth round to help cover the injuries to key members of that side. Alei Nao was player of the match in this game taking 3/7 of his seven overs including four maidens, CJ Amini also took 3/10 as the Isuzu Red Bowlers dominated this match.
Coach, Carl Sandri, shared his observations and thoughts at the halfway point of this important tournament. “ Isuzu Black are dominating at this point, we were hoping to see a more balanced, competitive tournament but other factors come into play, particularly with Isuzu Yellow who have several key players either out injured or carrying niggles. This was anticipated to some degree after a long lay off, so we have management plans in place and will continue to tinker with the sides”.
“The players outside of the Barras squad have had even less time on the training paddock over the past eighteen months so we have to be realistic with expectations and results. I have used the Isuzu Cup as an opportunity to expose the Barras to different playing roles particularly in the battting order.These are roles they may not be accustomed to so that allows valuable exposure and experience in this tournament which is great”.
“The Isuzu Cup is wonderful opportunity to experiment and to place the up and coming players in front of selectors. It allows them opportunity to be mentored by the senior group and get a taste of what is required. We need to create more opportunities for these players and coaches as pathway events to ensure the longer term strength and depth of cricket in PNG. I’m looking forward to the second half of the Isuzu series, seeing more consistency develop and individuals showing what they are capable of”.
The fourth round continues at Amini Park this weekend.