Cook Islands 74 (D Tare 21*, G Beath 4/15 ) lost to Japan 8/73 on Duckworth/Lewis method (M Kobayashi 16, M Marurai 3-16)

Japan overcame a fast finishing Cook Islands to secure a two wicket victory in round 3 of the EAP Cricket Trophy played today at Redlands Cricket Club in Brisbane, Australia.

In a rain reduced contest decided by the Duckworth/Lewis method, batting first the Cook Islands were dismissed for 74 in the 30th over. Dawn Tare top scored for the Cook Islands with 21 not out while Jonathan Kairua made 14. Gavin Beath was the best of the Japan bowlers picking up 4 for 15 from 8 overs, while Masaaki Ito provided good support with 2 for 19.

In reply Japan started disastrously against a fired up Cook Islands attack and were 3 for 14 after 5 overs. Middle order batsmen Munir Ahmed (14), Masaomi Kobayashi (16) and Ko Irie (13) provided some stability to the Japanese innings, however Mou Marurai's 3 for 16 from 8 overs kept the Cook Islands hopes alive.

At 8 for 65 in the 31st over chasing a revised target of 73, a Cook Islands victory was still a possibility however Japanese tail enders Naoki Miyaji and Masaki Ito saw their country to a memorable victory. Cook Islands captain Dunu Eliaba was a solid contributor with the ball picking up 2 for 14.

'Although it was a hard fought contest in the end, we are very happy to have achieved our first win of the tournament and now look forward to taking on Fiji tomorrow,' said Japan captain Tetsuo Fuji.

With the first round of matches now complete, Fiji remain in first place with two wins. A further win against Japan tomorrow will guarantee their qualification to Division 3 of the ICC's World Cricket League. A win by Japan would however break the EAP Cricket Trophy wide open and guarantee an exciting finish to the tournament.

Team           Pts      NRR
Fiji             4     1.39
Japan            2    -0.11
Cook Islands     0    -0.91