Vala’s ton steers Barras to victory

Main Stories, Sports

The National – Wednesday, July 6, 2011

PNG Hebou Barramundis opener Assad Vala hit the championship’s first century yesterday blazing 116 off 59 balls against a hapless Japan on day two of the citifon EAP T20 event at Colts oval in Port Moresby.
In the day’s first match, PNG (9-152) dispatched Fiji (108) winning by 44 runs after setting their fellow Melanesians 153 for victory.
The Barras batted freely with Vala continuing strong form at the top of the order making 40 off 30 balls, but the star for PNG was Mahuru Dai with some clever stroke play scoring 61 off 33 balls.
The Fijians never looked like making a charge and were all out in the 18th over.
With only one score over 20 the Fijian batsmen looked out of their depth against disciplined bowling. Spinner Jason Kila bagged four wickets (4-17) and paceman Joel Tom (2-20) picked up a two-for to complete the rout.
But it was in the day’s second match which saw the promised fireworks eventuate with Vala plundering a ton which included 14 boudaries and five 6s helping his side to a massive 225 runs.
Day one hero Tony Ura cracked a classy 53 in the imposing total but to Japan’s credit bowler Naotsune Miyaji (2-53) captured both opener’s wickets as his team tried valiantly to contain the onslaught.
In response Japan managed to score 73 runs in losing by a wide margin (146 runs) but claimed a moral victory by completing their innings.
In the matches Vanuatu (3-185) and Samoa (5-180) fought out a thrilling contest with Andrew Mansale’s men claiming a close five-run victory.
Mansale (85 not out) and Simpson Obed (71) scored the bulk of their runs but Samoa were just as destructive with the bat with Ben Mailata unbeaten on 98 while former New Zealand Test bowler Murphy Sua making a cameo knock of 34.
Vanuatu (4-113) accounted for Japan (7-109) in the morning session with a six-wicket win.
Today’s matches sees the end of the pool stages with Japan taking on Samoa and Fiji and Vanuatu clashing this morning before the semi-finals in the afternoon.