Associates January 10, 2009

EAP rue missed opportunities in defeat

Western Australia Country (WAC) scored a two-wicket win over the ICC East Asia-Pacific (EAP) team in Round 3 of the 2009 Australian Country Cricket Championships.

Western Australia Country (WAC) scored a two-wicket win over the ICC East Asia-Pacific (EAP) team in Round 3 of the 2009 Australian Country Cricket Championships.

Defending 209, EAP were confident of taking some early wickets to expose the WAC middle order, however Raymond Haodo Jnr and Sakaria Lomani didn’t get the early break through of the first two rounds. WAC lost their first wicket with the total at 36 when Rarua Dikana removed Cooper.

WAC continued to fight hard against the disciplined and relentless EAP bowling attack, and when part-timer Vani Vagi Morea struck with the score at 6 for 134, EAP had their tails up and were pushing for victory. A 50 run partnership ensued for WAC, and with the tail wagging somewhat they continued to move closer to the required total, before passing 209 with just two wickets in hand.

The best bowler for EAP was Dikana, who worked hard all innings to collect 4 for 50 from 18 overs.

In the second of the two-day fixtures, EAP won the toss and elected to bat on another good batting deck. They started positively, with Vani Vagi Morea and Masaomi Kobayashi taking their time to settle at the crease before compiling an outstanding opening partnership of 86. Morea was dismissed for a swift 63 from just 77 balls, which unfortunately was the catalyst for a batting collapse of 5 for 34 to leave the EAP team in a precarious position at 5 for 120.

In-form young gun Kila Pala and compatriot Mahuru Dai went about rebuilding the innings, but once Pala was dismissed for a quick-fire 25 and captain Dikana followed quickly after, the EAP tail was exposed. EAP were eventually bowled out for a competitive 209 from 64 overs, Morea (63) was the main contributor with assistance from Dai (31), Kobayashi (28) Pala (25) and Ipi Morea (19*).

EAP now look forward to a one-day fixture against Victoria Country at Eudunda Oval on January 10.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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