Japan, Cook Islands and Samoa recorded strong wins in the opening round of the ICC EAP Cricket Trophy in Auckland.
Japan dismissed Vanuatu for 142 inside 35 overs. Vanuatu lost both openers early leaving Andrew Mansale (79 off 97) to rescue the innings, but he found little support. Mansale's 3 for 9 then gave them a glimmer, but Tetsuo Fuji (27 not out) and Munir Ahmed (26 not out) took Japan home in the 40th over to complete a five-wicket win.
Cook Islands bowled strongly and took regular wickets against Indonesia, dismissing them for 148 in the 44th over. Chris Brown (3 for 25 off 8 overs) and Mou Maururai (3 for 29 off 8.5 overs) were the stand-out bowlers. Joseph Joe took them home, with an unbeaten 44, although he was dropped early on.
Samoa won the battle of the Pacific rivals, beating Tonga by 89 runs. Opening bowler Mafi Langi (3 for 38 off 10 overs) claimed early wickets for Tonga, however Uala Kaisala (54 off 88) led the recovery where Samoa reached 191. Tonga started their run chase cautiously and were unable to build momentum, losing regular wickets. Winston Marriner took the honours with 3 for 33 off 5 overs to wrap up the innings with Tonga all out for 102 in the 32nd over.