January 4, 2010

East Asia-Pacific

Bowlers mastermind first EAP win

Nitin Sundar

Tony Munro

East Asia-Pacific (EAP) has won its first game of this year's Australian Country Championships, beating South Australia by 66 runs in Albury on Monday.

A combination of another good bowling display and a crucial 86-run partnership between Chris Amini and Assad Vala gave the combined team a lift, three games into its campaign.

Defending 186, EAP had South Australia in early trouble at 3-46 before Andrew Mansale (3-21) and Loa Nou (3-22) ripped through the middle order to prevent any chance of a recovery.

Amini (51) and Vala (50) earlier combined to rescue EAP from a disastrous 3-38 after Masaomi Kobayashi, Vani Vagi Morea and Mansale fell cheaply. The Papua New Guineans combined to lift EAP to 4 for 124. Vanuatu all-rounder Patrick Matautau again proved his worth with a valuable cameo of 32 as EAP reached 187 from 44.5 overs. Amini, Vala and Matautau were the only batsmen to reach double-figures. The composite side's next match is against New South Wales on Tuesday before it has a rest day.

The surprise element of the tournament has been provided by first-timers, Northern Territory, who have won all three games to lead the tables. EAP stands sixth out of eight contenders.

50-overs match:
East Asia-Pacific 187 (44.5 overs) (C.Amini 51, A.Vala 50, P.Matautaua 32) beat South Australian Country 121 (38 overs) (A.Mansale 3-21, L.Nou 3-22, S Lomani 1-25, W Gavera 1-21) by 66 runs.
Points: EAP 7, South Australia 0

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Posted by Terry Jones on (January 5, 2010, 6:07 GMT)

This is an excellent example of how associate players playing against better teams can improve the quality of associate cricket. Cricket Australia & Cricket NZ need to form a regional competition of state teams. This could include 6 Australian, 4 NZ and 1 team from each associate country. This could be done as a 2 tier competition of (eg) 8 teams. Similar regional first class structures could be done in other regions with "second" class cricket introduced to represent current domestic cricket in Associate countries.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nitin Sundar
Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.

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