It?s a three-way tie atop the leaderboard at the end of day one of play at the 2014 ICC EAP men?s Trophy in Lismore. Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Samoa notched up their second wins for the day in the afternoon round of matches against Fiji, the Cook Islands and the Philippines respectively, whilst Japan recorded their first win of the tournament against Indonesia.
The match of the afternoon was undoubtedly between Fiji and PNG over at Heaps Oval. Winning the toss PNG elected to bat, but things didn?t necessarily continue to go their way. After experiencing success in their morning match, spinner Riyad Khan was brought on in the fourth over, and claimed the scalp of opener Tony Ura. Two balls later, Lega Siaka fell to the same fate, and in the 12th over Fiji had the top ranked team in the region at 5-66.
The experienced PNG fought back though, largely thanks to Mahuru Dai who scored a Man of the Match-winning 67 runs off 42 balls. With Fiji captain, Joe Rika, being brought from the field with a back injury, and a dropped catch, Fiji began to lose momentum, but tightened their fielding in the final few overs, to restrict PNG to 8-158 off their 20.
Makutu Seru got off to a flying start setting up the Fijian innings, notching up 37 off 31 balls. However the economy of PNG with the ball and in the field was evident, particularly thanks to two handy wickets from Norman Vanua. A partnership between Maciu Gauna and Jikoi Kida Vanualevu kept Fiji in the hunt, but it wasn?t enough to overcome the might of PNG.
Man of the Match, Mahuru Dai, who on top of his 67 with the bat also took 1-23 with the ball, said that despite being two wins from two matches at the end of day one, team PNG felt they could improve on their performances from today.
?I thought we did ok?the boys didn?t play from the start with the batting, but it was great to see that the middle order could do that after the top-order broke down.?
Fijian spinner, Riyad Khan, added that despite the loss, his team were relatively pleased with their performance.
?We really fielded well and fought well. Unfortunately our captain, Joe Rika, he couldn?t make it?but we still played really well.?
At Oakes Oval Indonesia and Japan were both hunting for a win to make up for their losses in the morning session.
Batting first, Indonesia displayed a much-improved performance with the bat from their earlier game, finishing on 7-98 after their 20 overs. However when their turn came, things appeared all too easy for Japan, easily reaching the winning target in 9.1 overs without losing a wicket.
Japanese captain, Amigo Kobayasha, said his was thrilled with his team?s performance and obvious improvement.
?I am very happy to win by 10 wickets. We really batted well today and we want to keep batting like that and continue to keep improving and winning games.?
Over at Mortimer Oval the Cook Islands won the toss and elected to bat first against Vanuatu. They held on steadily for most of the innings, but were bowled out in the final over for an even 80 runs.In reply, Vanuatu easily reached the winning target in 9.3 overs for the loss of five wickets. Joshua Rasu once again dominated with the bat whilst opening for Vanuatu, scoring 34 runs of 26 balls.
The final match of the afternoon was at Blair Oval where the Philippines took on Samoa in a thrilling finish. Opening the innings for Samoa, Sean Cotter once again dominated with the bat, scoring 61 off 47, to guide his team to a competitive 6-156 at the conclusion of their 20 overs. The highlight was a hattrick from Philippines gun Manoj Gohal.
The Philippines were gallant in reply, largely thanks to a huge knock of 52 not out from Awais Mohd. In a tight finish, with the Philippines requiring 18 runs off the final over for victory, they fell just short, handing Samoa a two run win.
Man of the Match, Sean Cotter, said his team was thrilled with their performance on day one of competition.
?We are very happy with that. We came into this tournament with a lot of confidence so to get two wins from two is great. We?ve still got a lot to learn but I think two wins on the first day gives us a great starting point to work on.?
Samoa v Cook Islands
Japan v Philippines
Fiji v Vanuatu
PNG v Indonesia
Japan v Fiji
PNG v Philippines
Samoa v Vanuatu
Cook Islands v Indonesia
Scores in Brief:
At Oakes Oval:
Indonesia v Japan
Indonesia 7-98, 20 overs (B Burgess 38; C Rodrigo 2-15)
Japan 0-100, 10.2 overs (H Khan 72*, M Kobayasha 26*)
Japan won by 10 wickets
Man of the Match: Hanif Khan (Japan)
At Heaps Oval:
Fiji v PNG
PNG 8-158, 20 overs (MD Dai 67; R Khan 4-34, I Khan 2-33)
Fiji 6-136, 20 overs (M Gauna 40*, M Seru 37; N Vanua 2-27)
PNG won by 22 runs
Man of the Match: Mahuru Dai (PNG)
At Mortimer Oval:
Vanuatu v Cook Islands
Cook Islands 80 all out, 19.1 overs (T Etita 30; A Mansale 5-12, SH Obed 3-5)
Vanuatu 5-82, 9.3 overs (J Rasu 34; TT Teinaki 2-19)
Vanuatu won by 5 wickets
Man of the Match: Andrew Mansale (Vanuatu)
At Blair Oval:
Philippines v Samoa
Samoa 6-156, 20 overs (S Cotter 61, P Pritchard 38; M Gohal 3-16)
Philippines 8-154, 20 overs (A Mohd 52*, V Kumar 48; A Tiatia 3-27, F Mulivai 2-25)
Samoa won by 2 runs
Man of the Match: Sean Cotter (Samoa)
For more information, please contact Adam Cassidy Regional Project Officer ? East Asia Pacific
International Cricket council
Mobile: +61 424 081 523
ICC East Asia-Pacific
60 Jolimont Street
Tel: +61 3 9653 9925
Fax: +61 3 9653 8889