EAP cruise to convincing victory
ICC Development (East Asia-Pacific) Media Release
The East Asia - Pacific (EAP) squad team today cruised to a convincing victory over an Australian Sports Gateway (ASG) representative team.
ASG won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions and on a seaming wicket. The EAP bowlers took full advantage of the conditions in the first session of the scheduled two day game, claiming 6 wickets before lunch whilst conceding just 30 runs.
Another quick wicket fell when play resumed reducing ASG to 7 for 41 before a thunderous storm closed in and drenched the immaculate Brisbane Grammar Playing Fields. Play was brought to an early close despite the heavy rain lasting only 30 minutes.
Setting up the impressive performance were opening bowlers Hitolo Areni (2 for 25) and Kitiano Tavo (1 for 17) who bowled tightly and built pressure on the ASG batting line up. First change bowler Inoa Baeau capitalised on the positive start to claim important breakthroughs and finish with the rewarding figures of 3 for 12.
Fortunately sunny skies welcomed players back to Brisbane Grammar Playing Fields for the second day's play where EAP wrapped up the ASG innings for 74 runs. Gimapau Keimelo ran through the tail and claimed all 3 remaining wickets.
A highlight of the mornings play was 17 year old Vanuatu wicket-keeper Trevor Langa taking his first senior EAP catch behind the stumps. His efforts were subsequently met with jubilant celebrations by his team mates.
Tight disciplined bowling combined with enthusiastic fielding and good slips catching enabled EAP to record their best team bowling effort of the tour.
Opening bowler Kitiano Tavo said "After a couple of weeks working and training hard on our skills we were very keen to put in a good performance for the 2 day match. The ball was moving around a bit this morning so we kept the ball up, edges came and our fielders were good enough to hang on to the catches."
The EAP batting line up defied the tough batting conditions to cruise past the ASG total and go onto record a comprehensive victory.
Openers Tiko Kida and Arua Uda provided a solid start combining for 59 before the latter was dismissed for 40 runs. Assad Vala strode to the crease to join Kida and immediately found his groove with some stylish shots through the off side. Kida was dismissed for a solid 41 trying to clear the short mid-wicket boundary.
Mahuru Dai joined Vala and the pair piled on 76 as they both made quick-fire half centuries. Play was ceased at the middle drinks break with EAP on 2 for 183 in just 32 overs to allow for a Twenty20 match in the afternoon given the result of the 2 day game was beyond doubt.
Assad Vala stated "This is the format for the Australian Country Championships in January, so we all needed to play well to help our chances of selection for the EAP team. It was a very pleasing performance by the team and a great way to finish the camp."
Today's game concludes the training and playing component of the 2 week EAP Squad Camp and the players have a review session tomorrow followed by a group activity before heading back to their home countries
Hitolo Areni - 2 for 25 off 14 overs
Kitiano Tave - 1 for 17 off 13 overs
Inoa Baeau - 3 for 12 off 10 overs
Gimapau Keimelo - 3 for 9 off 7 overs
Tiko Kida - 41
Arua Uda - 40
Assad Vala - 51 not out
Mahuru Dai - 50 not out
Following the camp, ICC EAP Regional Development Officer, Ben Oliver, will select a squad of 14 players to represent ICC East Asia - Pacific (EAP) at the Australian Country Cricket Championships to be played in Mildura, Victoria from the 2nd to 13th of January 2007.