EAP succumb to Queensland in round 3 of ACCC
ICC Development (East Asia-Pacific) Media Release
EAP Captain Rarua Dikana continued his good form at the coin toss and sent Queensland into bat at George Gordon Oval in nearby Dareton, New South Wales.
Unseasonal overnight rain had left damp patches on the wicket and EAP opening bowlers Kitione Tavo (1-50 off 19 overs) and Inoa Baeau (1-68 off 20) set about exploiting the favourable conditions. The pair met solid resistance from the Queensland opening batsmen who went to lunch at 0-30 off 18 overs following a reduced first session.
It took EAP until the 33rd over to break the 71 run opening stand and it was Dikana (4-30 off 17.5) who lead the way, claiming the first of his 4 wickets for the day. The wicket lead to a mini collapse of the Queensland top order as the score moved to 4-85 at the end of the 43rd over. Dikana picked up his second wicket, off-spinner Jamie Brazier (3-71 off 21) continued his good form grabbing his first, while left arm swing bowler Patrick Giles-Jones chimed in with the crucial wicket of ACCC batting legend Brian May for 10.
Two scintillating leg-side stumpings by wicket-keeper Ipi Morea kept EAP in the game as Queensland rebuilt their innings through some aggressive strokeplay from their lower order. Standing up to the stumps to pace bowlers Baeau and Dikana, Morea's first stumping left fellow wicket-keeper Steven Baker stunned as he returned to the pavilion without scoring.
As the pitch dried out the Queensland tail wagged as they pushed their score to 250 before Dikana fittingly took the final wicket following a disciplined display of pace bowling.
Opening batsmen Arua Uda (10) and Tikoivanualeva Kida (3) successfully negotiated 9 testing overs to complete Day 1 and place EAP in a solid position at the half way mark.
Day 2 saw blue skies return to the Mallee Region however the outlook turned grey for EAP as Queensland struck twice in the first 5 overs of the day to remove both openers. With John Ovia nursing a strained side muscle, Assad Vala (29) and Jamie Brazier (34) steadied the ship until 7 overs before lunch reaching 2-78 off 35 overs.
The dismissal of Brazier prior to the break left EAP vulnerable and Queensland capitalised claiming the wickets of Vala, Mahuru Dai (0) and the injured Ovia (0) for only 8 runs, leaving EAP reeling at 6-86 when the umpires called for lunch.
The in-form Andrew Mansale (17) fought hard either side of the break but received little support as EAP were bundled out for a disappointing 114 off 54 overs.
Looking for maximum points, Queensland enforced the follow-on and it wasn't long before EAP was again on the back foot at 3-38 with 40 overs remaining in the day. Openers Uda (8) and Kida (7) again fell cheaply while Vala (0) also failed to trouble the scorers.
With EAP in a precarious position, Brazier (112 not out) took the attack up to the Queensland bowlers and recorded the highest EAP score of the Championships with a defiant century. Coming off a mere 131 balls, Brazier's innings included strokes to all parts of the ground and was the backbone of EAP's second innings total of 7-180 off 53 overs.
Brazier received valuable support from Dai (25) and Giles-Jones (10 not out) as EAP escaped a potential outright defeat.
Commenting on the loss ICC EAP Development Officer and EAP Coach Ben Oliver said:
'Today's result is disappointing. We worked extremely hard on Day 1 to dismiss Queensland for 250 and overnight we felt we were in a good position to win the game.'
'Unfortunately our top order was unable to make an impact this morning and Queensland made the most their opportunities. This is however a very spirited group of players and I am confident we will play some excellent cricket in the remaining 2 rounds,' add Mr. Oliver.
EAP will take on undefeated South Australia at the Mildura Aerodome Oval in Round 4 of the ACCC.