In a day that culminated in the official announcement of the ICC T20 World Cup Barras squad, the final was a fitting entree.
Vala won the toss and elected to send the Legends into bat with the decision paying dividends immediately as Ura was dismissed by Bobby Diho without scoring. CJ Amini (5) was the next to go before L Siaka (14) and S Bau (16) put on a steadying partnership.
However, the Legends lost regular wickets with the Board XI bowlers running through their middle order. Damien Ravu was the last man out after he had added an invaluable 25 runs to lift his side’s total to 110.
Bobby Diho continued to show his skill, taking 3/13 with Hiri Hiri also picking up 3/25, Sema Kamea and Jason Kila also multiple wicket takers with two each in a dominant display by the Board XI bowling attack.
The opening pair of Toka and Vanua got the Board XI off to a steady start in what seemed to be a very achievable run chase before Vanua (16) was dismissed with the score on 31.
Vala joined Toka at the crease and progressed the total to 52 before Vala (10) was bowled by Bau. The Legend bowlers then got a spring in their step, removing the next five wickets for a combined 31 runs to put them back in the frame with the Board XI 8/83.
Nosaina Pokana (22) and Bobby Diho (18) then dug in and frustrated the Legends’ attack, wrestling back control, when Pokana was eventually dismissed by Kabua Vagi on the second last ball.
The equation was simple, the Board XI needed two runs to win off the last ball. Bobby Diho on strike, facing up to Kabua Vagi, crashed one square to the boundary to secure a dramatic 3 run victory.
All six Legends bowlers took wickets with the spin of Bau and Amini getting two wickets each. Although they all toiled hard, it was not to be with the Board XI winning the nail biter.
Nosaina Pokana was named player of the final in what must have been a very close decision over last ball hero, Bobby Diho!
Speaking after the game, National Assistant Coach, John Ovia, said it was a fitting final to a very good Isuzu Bash tournament.
“You can’t get any closer than that, sometimes it is the lower scoring games that are more exciting and tense.
“The bowlers were on top today for both sides and today’s results showed that our Barra’s lower order batsmen can produce important runs under pressure.
“Well done to Bobby Diho, always a great feeling to get the job done under that type of game situation, last ball!”
The Barras’ World Cup squad’s next game will be a One Day International against Nepal in Oman on the 4th of September.