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Cloudy skies and intermittent drizzle failed to dampen an exciting day’s play at the Army Barracks Ground as Suva Capitals hosted Sigatoka Dunes in the Fijian Elite Player League’s Round 3 match on Saturday.
Capitals had suffered at the hands of Western Bulldogs last week, but they managed a 148-run win against Dunes. Batting first, Capitals lost two early wickets as Lee Waqa struck twice in his first three overs to leave the home side tottering at 13 for 2. However, skipper Joe Dabea joined with Fiji Blues team-mate Kida Jikoivanualevu to steady the ship and build an 82-run partnership through confident strokeplay and excellent running between the wickets.
While Dabea was dismissed for 37, Kida continued to attack, closing in on a maiden EPL century. But as he lofted a Viliame Yabaki delivery to the long-on boundary, Waqa charged in and took a spectacular diving catch, leaving Kida seven short of three figures.
Some tidy lower-order batting from Greg Browne (20) and big hitting from Mesui Qalobula (18 not out) helped Capitals post 219 for 8 from their 50 overs. Yabaki was the most successful bowler for Dunes, taking 3 for 35, while Waqa claimed 2 for 40.
The Dunes batsmen never got going in their reply. Vilikesa Driu caused the most damage taking 4 for 25, while Inoke Cama claimed three wickets. Dunes were shot out for 71, with Sekove Ravoka top scoring with a patient 21. However, once Driu found a leading edge from Ravoka’s bat, Dunes' innings quickly fell apart. David Kachor, who scored a century in the last game, fell a four-ball duck, while Joji Bulabalavu, the team's last hope, played a poor shot to Cama.
Capitals' win leaves each team with one win from two games at the halfway mark, with each in with a chance of claiming the title. Dunes take on Bulldogs in next week’s match in Lautoka.