The Suva Capitals scored their first win in this season s EPL with a 63-run victory over the Sigatoka Dunes in Nadi last Saturday. The win was sparked by a 75-run partnership between Inoke Cama and Colin Rika, while a quickfire 51 off 38 balls by Greg Browne sealed the winning total.
The Capitals batted first and after the loss of Tomasi Nawaciono in just the third over, Cama and Rika settled in for a sparkling batting partnership that threatened to take the game away from the Dunes. Their partnership featured some excellent cover drives and good running between the wickets in the face of an impressive opening spell from pace bowler Tukana Tavo (1 for 34).
They moved to 81 for 1 in the 15th over before the partnership was broken by Waisake Sivo in his first over as he trapped Rika in front for 23. He followed it up with the wicket of Rukesh Patel with the next ball to bring the Dunes back into the game.
When Cama (34) was run out after a mid-wicket mix up with Browne the Capitals had quickly slumped to 84 for 4. The wickets continued to tumble and when Anare Tuidraki was run out the Capitals found themselves with just one wicket in hand and the score on 137.
However, Browne combined with Metui Yalimaiwai to put on 37 for the last wicket to boost the team s score to 174. While the young Yalimaiwai may not have scored many of those runs his ability to keep his wicket intact provided the Capitals with the opportunity to post a defendable total.
Tharinda Premasiri (2 for 14) and Gaurang Patel (2 for 38) were the best of the Dunes bowlers. In reply, the Dunes were well placed to chase the total as they quickly moved the score to 63 for 1 thanks to some patient batting by Tharinda Premasiri.
However, when Anare Tuidraki (3 for 32) produced a wicket with his first ball claiming Bruce Phillip the rot set in for the Dunes. There was no support for Premasiri and when he was dismissed by Viliame Yabaki (3 for 21) for 30 the Dunes chances of victory went with him.
A spectacular running catch on the boundary by Sakaraia Lomani that dismissed Ilikena Bula was the final straw for the Dunes and they succumbed shortly thereafter for 111. The result gives the Capitals their first win of the season while the Dunes remain winless after two rounds.
In Lautoka, the Lau Voyagers recorded a comfortable victory over a disappointing Western Bulldogs team. Batting first the Bulldogs were dismissed for a paltry 52 runs, with only Joe Rika (19) showing any resistance.
Joe Dabea claimed 3 for 11 from five overs, while legspinner Rajeev Patel was the best of the other bowlers taking 2 for 9. The Bulldogs chased down the total in just the ninth over thanks to opener Sekove Ravoka s innings of 31.
The result leaves the Voyagers on top of the EPL ladder with two wins from two games, while the Bulldogs will have to regroup quickly if they are to be a real threat in this competition.