After two false starts due to the Moresby North West by-election and overnight rain, the Isuzu National One Day Cup got started on Sunday. Friday’s and Saturday’s postponed fixtures were moved to Monday and Tuesday respectively, leaving the Isuzu Black v Yellow as the official opening game of the tournament.
Isuzu Black won the toss and Captain Lega Siaka had no hesitation in sending Yellow into bat on a new pitch. Isuzu Yellow opened with experienced pair Captain Kipling Doriga and fellow Barra Norman Vanua, Doriga however fell early for 1 and was quickly followed by his Barra team mates Sese Bau (1) Riley Hekure (4) and Jason Kila (7).
Vanua, the mainstay with 36 of 56 balls, put together a valuable partnership with Kieth Griffin (19) to steady the ship and although Yellow received handy contributions from Colin Amini (21), Mavara Hekure(14) and some heavy hitting from Bobby Diho (28) Yellow were bowled out for a disappointing 141. Bowling honours were shared in the Black attack with Nosiana Pokana, Eddie Alewa, Lega Siaka & Boge Arua all grabbing two wickets each.
In reply, Isuzu Black after losing the early wicket of Travis Vuivagi (6) had Barramundi batsmen Gaudi Toka 49 of 65 balls and Lega Siaka 51 of just 37 balls put together what proved to be a match winning partnership. Altough Isuzu Black lost quick wickets in a mini collapse in the middle of the innings, including three ducks, Boge Arua & Michael Charlie both 6 not out collected the winning runs in the 29th over.
It was the two Barramundi spinners that caused the damage, Sese bau 4/35 of 10 overs and Jason Kila 4/35 of 7.1 overs and provided some hope of a comeback win. They brought excitement into the second innings but with a small total to defend it was always going to be too difficult.
Lega Siaka was rightfully named player of the match with his quick fire fifty and two wickets in a wonderful all round performance by the Isuzu Black Captain.
Tournament Director, Rodney Maha, was asked about the opening match said “ it was great to see the boys back playing competitive cricket, the first game was always going to be interesting to see how they played.
There was a chance some may have been a bit rusty and with the wet weather of late the pitch would play a part. Some great performances from Siaka, Bau, Kila and Vanua and I’m sure you will see the others Barras who missed out today step up in their next match.”
The postponed games will be completed and then the competition will continue to Round two on Friday.