The National, Wednesday June 18th, 2013
THE final round of the men’s Hebou Shield was completed over the weekend with the top four finalised for the finals this weekend.
Only one match was able to be completed over the weekend, with the matches on Saturday between BSP Hearts-Hebou Hammers and Digara Diggers-Brian Bell Bulldogs washed out by heavy rain.
Assad Vala stole the show again as he blasted his second century to lead Pacific MMI to a 28-run win over a spirited Air Niugini Jets.
Marlins won the toss and did not hesitate to bat with run machine Assad Vala and Alfred Amini opening the innings. They were unable to continue the start they have shared over the past two matches as Alfred fell cheaply in the third over.
Vala, as usual, continued where he left off as he paired with Kupana Amini to rebuild the innings.
The pair put on 58 for the second wicket before Kupana was run out for 9. Vala then added 40 for the third wicket with Charles Amini (20) as they continued to build their innings.
Emmanuel Karo then joined the party to take the score past 200. Karo finished on 41 as the Marlins were bowled out for 220 in the 48th over.
Vala’s second century included 11 fours and three sixes. Inoa Baeau was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 4/53. Arina Lahari chipped in with 2/36.
In reply, the Hebou Garamuts, Kiplin Doriga got his men off to a good start with Jeremiah Nigani. Nigani (11) fell with the score on 22.
In form Greg Baeau then paired up with Doriga and the pair went about rebuilding the Jets innings.
They were aided by some uncharacteristic dropped catches by the Marlins.
Doriga was finally dismissed for a well compiled 51 after a 66 run partnership with Baeau. Baeau soon followed for 17 and soon the Jets were behind the eight-ball.
A late flurry in the end from Arina Lahari (37) and John Baida (21) gave them some hope but the Marlins held their nerves to close off the match and seal a place in the final.
Spinners Pegi Pegi 3/23 and Charles J Amini 3/46 were the pick of the bowlers, with Maru Hobart chipping in with 2/37.
The finals heat up this week with second placed, Hebou Hammers taking on third placed, Pacific MMI at the colts ground on Saturday. Minor premiers, BSP Hearts take on fourth placed Brian Bell Bulldogs at Amini Park. The winners will meet in the grand final on Saturday, June 29.