January 7, 2009

East Asia-Pacific

East Asia-Pacific bounce back in style

Tony Munro

The ICC East Asia-Pacific (EAP) team have bounced back from a humiliating outright defeat in Round 1 to overcome South Australia Country (SAC) in Round 2 of the 2009 Australian Country Cricket Championships (ACCC).

With Round 2 being the first of the one-day fixtures, EAP were confident that the talented batting line-up would succeed second time around, and that they did.

With SAC electing to bat first on a good wicket, it was Haodo jnr and Fijian Lomani to take the new ball. After a solid opening stand of 25, youngster Haoda jnr ripped through the top order with a scintillating spell of pace bowling, taking 3 quick wickets, and with Lomani knocking over dangerous opener Knight, SAC was reduced to 4 for 46.

SAC continued to fight against a disciplined EAP attack, eventually dismissed for 181 in the 47th over. Haoda jnr followed up his outstanding form in Round 1 to claim 4 for 38 from 9 overs, while Lomani, Dikana and Ovia chipped in with 2 wickets each.

Chasing 182 to win from 53 overs, the EAP innings began disastrously losing Vani Vagi Morea for 0. Kobayashi and Ovia steadied the ship somewhat but wickets continued to fall regularly, reducing EAP to a precarious 5 for 51.

Enter young guns Kila Pala and Andrew Mansale, who added 100 runs with some deft stroke play, excellent running between wickets and powerful hitting. Mansale was eventually dismissed for an outstanding 43, however with still 31 runs to win the match was in the balance.

Pala continued his aggressive approach, slamming home his tenth six to finish the day unbeaten on 113, with Captain Dikana holding up an end to ensure victory was reached with reasonable comfort.

EAP now look forward to a two-day fixture against Western Australia Country at Eudunda Oval on January 8-9.

The ICC EAP squad for the ACCC: Rarua Dikana (PNG, capt), Andrew Mansale (Vanuatu, vice-capt), Josaia Baba (Fiji), Raymond Hoada Jnr (PNG), Masaomi Kobayashi (Japan), Trevor Langa (Vanuatu), Simione Latu (Tonga), Sakaria Lomani (Fiji), Mahuru Dai (PNG), Vani Vagi Morea (PNG), Ipi Morea (PNG), Vani Vagi Morea (PNG), John Ovia (PNG), Assad Vala (PNG), Kila Pala (PNG)

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