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The Sigatoka Dunes have stamped their mark on the Elite Player League with an impressive performance resulting in a comfortable victory over the Western Bulldogs in the competition’s first match.
The Player of the Match award was shared by the two players who led the Dunes charge to victory: David Kachor scoring an unbeaten century and Lee Waqa claimed 7 for 16.
The Dunes batted in a style expected of players aiming for selection in the national squad. Opener Joji Bulabalavu (30) got the Dunes off to a good start before a 71-run partnership between Patrick Tuidraki and Kachor set the groundwork for a big Dunes total. The pair worked the ball around well during their partnership and regularly turned the strike over to keep the Bulldogs bowlers frustrated.
With the help of some late-order hitting from Waqa (17) the Dunes were able to add 87 runs for the last 12 overs to finish on 6 for 206 from their 50 overs, with Kachor unbeaten on 100.Peni Rika was the best of the Bulldogs bowlers claiming 3 for 56 with his legspinners.
Chasing the large total the Bulldogs batsmen never got going, due mainly to an outstanding display of pace bowling from Waqa. None of the Bulldogs batsmen reached double figures as they were dismissed for a paltry 26 runs in just 12.4 overs, giving the Dunes a 180-run victory.
Waqa was on fire, bowling with pace, swing and unerring accuracy as he repeatedly worked through the Bulldogs’ defence to claim his wickets. Of his seven victims in the match six were bowled, a testament to the accuracy of his spell.
At the other end youngster Vuli Tawatautau showed that he is a player to watch for the future by claiming the remaining three wickets for just 10 runs from 6 overs.
The Bulldogs will look to bounce back next week when they play Suva Capitals at Central College, Lautoka, but there will have to be an improved commitment to batting with patience and commitment if they are to beat the Suva team.
The Dunes will now have to wait until November 28th for their next game against the Captials at the Army Barracks ground.
Sigatoka Dunes 6 for 206 (D Kachor 100 not out, J Bulabalavu 30, P Rika 3-56) defeated Western Bulldogs 26 (L Waqa 7-16, V Tawatautau 3-10) by 180 runs.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.