Hearts, Dogs in main Shield semi

Normal, Sports

The National, Friday June 21st, 2013

 BSP Hearts and Brian Bell Bulldogs lock horns in the Hebou Shield cricket 50-over semi-finals tomorrow with the Hearts tipped to progress through to the final. 

It was a thriller in their last match with the Bulldogs coming out on top. 

Tony Ura (pictured left) also scored a blistering 139 in the same match. 

The key for Hearts will be their in-form duo, skipper Jason Kila and Ura. 

Both have been carrying the Hearts with the bat and will be looking to do the same in the semi. 

They will need the big hitting Kila Pala, Daniel Kila and Michael Rawali to provide some support as well. 

Rex Albert and Junius Ani will need to get them off to a good start with the new ball. 

Spinner Gia Kapa who took career best figures of 6/29 against the Dogs will be the man to look for in the spin department along with Kila.

The young Bulldog Raho Sam has improved out of sight at the top of the order and skipper Dogodo Bau will be looking at him to get them off to a flyer once again. 

Bau will be looking to the experienced Andrew Hicks and rising star Riley Hekure to provide some stability in the middle order as well as with the ball. 

Their bowling will need to improve from their last match and they have the bowling stocks to tame the strong batting prowess of the Hearts. 

Bau will be looking to leg spinner Allen Joseph and his paceman Alei Nao and the two left-armers Nosaina Pokana and Kabua Vagi Morea to provide the breakthroughs.

The Colts Ground will also have some fireworks with another blockbuster between Hebou Hammers and Pacific MMI Marlins. Marlins hammered Hebou in the round matches but it won’t be easy this time around with the Hammers looking for revenge. 

Hammers batting has been consistent throughout the tournament with Vani Vagi Morea and Mahuru Dai providing solid starts at the top of the order. 

They’ve been backed up by skipper Jack Vare-Kevere and Anthony Vare in the middle order. 

They’ll be looking to set a good total for their star studded bowling attack to defend. 

Willie Gavera has bowled well without luck and has been backed up by fellow Barramundis teammates Joel Tom, John Boge Reva and Raymond Haoda Jnr. 

Dai’s finger spin has been a great asset for skipper Vare-Kevere and can be a match-winner if the paceman can’t provide the breakthroughs.

Marlins have been riding on the back of their run machine, Assad Vala (pictured right) who has amassed 441 runs at 88.2 in his five innings with two centuries to his name. 

He’ll be looking to give the Marlins a fast start with Alfred Amini at the top and will be banking on his skipper Chris Amini, Charles Amini Jr, Ratu Maha and Vivian Maha in the middle to set up a match-winning total. They will need to use the new ball well with pace bowlers Maru Hobart, Kali Ila and Chris Amini to break through the Hammers strong top order. Skipper Amini also has the services of his slow bowlers with the in-form Pegi Pegi and Charles Jr who were instrumental in their win against the Hammers in the round matches.

With the rain threatening to ruin the weekend, Marlins and Bulldogs will be hoping for clear skies. Hammers and Hearts will advance if the matches get washed out. Both matches start at 10am.