Japan squeeze out Cook Islands

Japan claimed their first ICC cricket title with a six-run victory over the Cook Islands in the final of the East Asia-Pacific (EAP) Cricket Cup tournament in Vanuatu.

Japan, sent into bat, scored 161 off 48 overs with opening batsmen Tetsuro Chino top scoring with 51 off 120 balls and Cooks' wicketkeeper Ioane Tangimetua claiming five catches. The Cook Islands fell just short, dismissed for 155 with Tuakana Marukore top scoring with 55 and Chris Brown chipping in with 45. Japan's paceman Patrick Giles-Jones finished with 3 for 31 off 10 overs.

Japan and the Cook Islands, by finishing first and second, qualified for the EAP Cricket Trophy to be played in mid-2006 to claim a place in the World Cricket League in early 2007.

Final placings 1 Japan, 2 Cook Islands, 3 Vanuatu, 4 Tonga, 5 Indonesia, 6 Samoa.