ICC EAP Media Release
After two heartbreaking losses in a row, the Cook Islands have broken through to defeat Japan by 26 runs in the final match of the EAP Cricket Trophy played today at the Peter Burge Oval at Redlands CC in Brisbane, Australia.
Producing their best batting effort of the tournament, the Cooks, anchored by a 76 run third wicket partnership between Chris Brown (43) and William Browne (38) showed intent and discipline to compile 168 before Ngatokorima Kairua was caught behind of Naoki Miyaji for a swashbuckling 34 off 27 balls to end the innings in the 44th over.
Medium pacer Gavin Beath was the best of the Japanese bowlers with 4 for 19 off 9 overs and Naoki Miyaji bowled with good pace to claim 2 for 18 off 7.5 overs.
After the change of innings, an aggressive Chris Brown started the rot early with two quick wickets in a testing five overs before lunch as Japan entered the break two down with only eight runs on the board.
Tetsuo Fuji and Tetsuro Chino worked hard to steady the ship for Japan and their fighting 32 run partnership gave a glimmer of hope before Chino s run out started a middle order collapse and at 8 for 79 the game was all but over.
Naoki Miyaji and Patrick Giles-Jones had other ideas and their 61 run partnership for the ninth wicket raised the unlikely hope of a Japan victory. The reintroduction of Chris Brown into the attack saw the dismissal of Miyaji and when Masaaki Ito was unluckily run out at the bowler s end the game was over and the Cooks duly celebrated in style. Brown claimed the bowling honours for the Cooks with 3/9 off 9 overs and Dawn Tare completed a fine game with 3 for 28 off 8 overs.
This is a great result for us stated a jubilant Cook Islands skipper Dunu Eliaba straight after the game We have worked hard and improved over the course of the tournament and it is great to finish the week with a victory .
The Cooks victory elevated them to second place in the tournament above Japan on net run rate with the unbeaten Fiji claiming the title as EAP Cricket Trophy champions.
EAP Cricket Trophy final ladder
P W L Pts NRR Fiji 3 3 0 6 1.03 Cook Islands 3 1 2 2 -0.33 Japan 4 1 3 2 -0.63