Barras Captain Assad Vala put on a batting masterclass on Saturday in the opening round three match of the Isuzu Cup between Isuzu Black and Isuzu Yellow.
Vala showed why he is regarded as one of the best batsmen this country has produced in an innings balanced between control and power as he scored the first century of this years Isuzu Cup.
Batting first Black got off to a steady start and were 2 for 40 when Vala strode to the crease after Yellow opening bowler Bobby Diho grabbed the wickets of both openers.
Vala took 10 balls to get off the mark but from there batted with authority, domionating the Black scoring falling as the 9th wicket for 123 at better than a run a ball. He hit 15 boundaries including 3 sixes, he was supported by L Siaka (20), S Atai (23) and Boge Arua (20) who shared an important 88 run 9th wicket partnership with Vala.
The bowling honours were shared for Isuzu Yellow with Norman Vanu, Bobby Diho, Jason Kila and Riley Hekure all picking up two wickets each. Black were eventually bowled out for a tournament high score of 269 in the 47th over as Vanua bowled B Aura.
It was a sizeable chase for Yellow particularly as they are still without one of their inform players, Sess Bau, who is out for at least another week with a finger injury.
Their Captain, Kipling Doriga opened the innings and was showing great fight after seeing his opening partner and then Jason Kila dismissed cheaply.
When Doriga was dismissed for (53) with the score at 6 for 98 Black were in control and seemingly cruising to a big win.
Resistance came from Norman Vanua who took to the black attack hitting 5 sixes and 4 fours as he found some touch with the bat finishing 60 not out. He had help from Junius Ani (20) in a 56 run 9th wicket partnership and then put on another 31 runs with Gari Dairi for the last wicket with the team eventually dismiised for 187.
Big Barra, Nosaina Pokana, bowled an impressive spell with 3/35 off his eight overs and Boge Arua, 3/32 off ten, had another great game with the ball to go with his batting effort in a superb all round performance. However, it was the dominant innings of 123 from Isuzu Black Captain, Assad Vala, that won him his third player of the match award for the tournament to date.
Tournament Director, Rodney Maha, speaking after the game said “ Isuzu Black are beginning to take a strangle hold on this tournament, they are well coached by Podi Vai and of course have some individuals like Assad, Lega, Nosiana and young Boge Arua playing well at the moment. Isuzu Yellow had some stanouts with Kipling and Norman but Black were far too strong today”.
The third round continued on Sunday and will be completed today at Amini Park