Capitals Win EPL
The Suva Capitals have clinched the EPL title thanks to a Man of the Match performance from Jikoi Kida in their deciding match against the Sigatoka Dunes in Nadi on Saturday.
The EPL title was on the line in today’s final match with any of the three teams in the league able to win the championship depending upon the result today.
In the end the title ended up in the hands of the Capitals after a low scoring game saw them sneak home ahead of the Western Bulldogs on run rate.
Batting first, the Dunes got off to a good start, and when they found themselves at 1 for 49 after 10 overs they must have been confident of posting a good total to defend.
However, when Kida struck for the first time claiming Sekove Ravoka, who had scored a patient 27, it was the start of a string of wickets to fall.
Joe Rika, drafted into the team to cover for the absent David Kachor and provide him with some important match practice prior to his departure to Australia to play in the East Asia Pacific representative team, gave the innings some backbone with a number of impressive drives as he worked his way to 44.
When Kida found his way through Rika’s defence to remove his off stump, the innings petered out to a tame 132.
Kida was the pick of the bowlers taking 7 for 26 from his ten overs to put the Capitals in the box seat.
When the Capitals batted the innings took a similar path. Omid Saberi (22) and Sekove Vouvou (13) put on a 38 run opening stand before Saberi followed up a couple of slashing drives with one lofted shot too many and was caught off the bowling of Viliame Yabaki.
Just as it looked like the match would get away from them, the Dunes got back into the match with a spell of tandem spin bowling from Yabaki and Malcolm Bossley.
They claimed five wickets between them and when Bossley claimed the scalp of Kida the score was 5 for 79 and the game was in the balance. The Dunes knew that if they could restrict the Capitals to less than 105 they would win the EPL title on run rate.
However, it wasn’t to be and thanks to some late partnerships between Greg Browne, Tanveer Shah and Peni Rika the Capitals reached their target for the loss of just 7 wickets in 40 overs.
Cricket Fiji will shortly announce a National Training Squad for their World Cricket League Division 5 tournament in Nepal in February, with players selected based on their performances in the EPL.