Fiji have booked themselves a place in Division 3 of the ICC World Cricket League after securing the EAP Cricket Trophy with a convincing 82 run win over Japan today at the Peter Burge Oval at Redlands CC in Brisbane, Australia.
Fiji batted first and started well with the Rika brothers opening combination running aggressively between wickets. The impressive younger brother Josefa was the first to go LBW for 14 and when his brother was also dismissed for 14 Fiji were 2 for 46 after 16 overs and primed for attack.
An arm wrestle for supremacy ensued during the middle stages of the innings with Fiji putting together a number of partnerships with Japan holding them at bay claiming wickets at crucial times to stop the score getting too far away. The introduction of Japanese medium pacers Gavin Beath (3/22 off 10 overs) and Masaaki Ito (1/35 off 10) troubled the Fijians and turned the game way and when the 9th wicket fell at 123, Japan were in control.
Tailender Kitiano Tavo had other ideas and made clear his intentions by carrying the fence for four big 6 s in the final overs to finish with an entertaining 34 not out off 32 balls. The Fijian innings was closed in the 48th over at 165 when Samuela Draunivudi was run out.
The momentum had now turned the islander s way and they were quick to capitalise after lunch with speedsters Draunivudi and Tavo continuing their fine form reducing Japan to 4 for 19 after only 9 overs. Japan struggled to stay in the game and the Fijian s bowling discipline proved too much finally bundling Japan out for only 83.
With three wins in three games we are now assured of winning the EAP Cricket Trophy commented an excited Fijian skipper Joeli Mateyawa after the game we are very proud to win and are now very keen to go through the tournament unbeaten by beating the Cook Islands tomorrow .
In tomorrow's clash, the Cook Islands will be looking to avenge yesterday s narrow loss to Japan when they tackle Fiji at the Peter Burge Oval at Redlands CC. Play commences at 9am.
Fiji 165 (K Tavo 34no, S Tuiwai 32, G Beath 3/22, P Giles-Jones 2/20) defeated Japan 83 (P Giles-Jones 23, S Draunivudi 3/12, J Dabea 2/14)
EAP Cricket Trophy at end of Round 4
Pts NRR Fiji 6 1.38 Japan 2 -0.67 Cook Islands 0 -0.91