The East Asia - Pacific (EAP) team today fell agonisingly short of victory against Australian Country Cricket Championships (ACCC) ladder leader South Australia (SA).

SA came into the Round 4 clash at Mildura's Aerodrome Oval undefeated and full of confidence against the EAP team who had recorded mixed results in the early rounds of the ACCC.

SA won the toss and elected to bat in what appeared to be perfect batting conditions.

EAP opening bowlers Kitione Tavo (4/45 off 17 overs) and Hitolo Areni (2/33 off 14) had SA on the back foot early with the latter dismissing both opening batsmen via outside edges that were neatly snapped up by wicket-keeper and EAP debutant Tatsuro Chino.

With the score at 2/25 left-arm swing bowler Patrick Giles-Jones (1/27 off 11) was introduced into the attack with immediate effect, claiming the 3rd wicket of the day with just his 2nd ball.

Under pressure, the SA middle order consolidated after the first drinks break but lost their 4th wicket just prior to the main break when Tavo found the outside edge to take the score to 4/73 off 30 overs.

Refreshed and sensing an opportunity to take hold of the game, the EAP team pounced after lunch. Leading from the front was the in-form Tavo who claimed 3/5 in his first 2 overs following the break to leave SA reeling at 7/76.

Consistent performers Jamie Brazier (1/12 off 10) and Captain Rarua Dikana (1/39 off 12) chimed in as SA crawled to 9/119 before a 64 run partnership halted EAP's rampage.

With some aggressive stroke play the final SA pair wrestled the game back from EAP who turned to part-time leg-spinner Mahuru Dai (1/23 off 3.4) to claim the 10th wicket and close the innings at 183.

With 23 overs still to be bowled in the day the EAP batsman had a golden opportunity to play SA out of the game and set up their second win of the ACCC. The SA bowlers had other plans however and took only 3 overs to claim their first wicket.

It was exactly the start SA wanted and from here the disciplined attack tore through the EAP top order to leave the latter on their knees at stumps with the score at 7/65. Brazier provided brief resistance during his innings of 21 however at the end of Day 1 the hopes of the EAP team were left in the hands of not out batsmen Assad Vala and Captain Dikana.

With temperatures set to soar above 40 degrees, Vala and Dikana began cautiously on Day 2. Just as it appeared as both had settled Dikana fell defending outside the off stump for 7.

This brought the experienced Ipi Morea to the crease, and with Vala playing nicely at the other end, the pair progressed steadily. Runs slowly began to open up for both batsmen however with 15 minutes to go before lunch disaster struck for the EAP team when Vala was caught behind for a gallant 58.

Still requiring 34 runs for victory, a mix up between Morea and last batsman Tavo saw the latter run out and SA maintain their unblemished record.

SA chased quick runs in their 2nd innings as EAP rotated bowlers in the afternoon heat. Kida claimed 2 wickets in his first outing at the bowling crease while Dai, Dikana, Morea and off-spinner Andrew Mansale picked up 1 wicket each, with SA finishing the day on 6/305 off 70 overs.

Ladder After Round 4:
1. South Australia 48.92 points
2. Queensland 43.95 points
3. Victoria 43.83 points
4. New South Wales 35.75 points
5. East Asia - Pacific 29.24 points
6. Western Australia 21.52 points

Round 5 Matches:
South Australia v Queensland at City Oval (Mildura)
Victoria v East Asia - Pacific at Mildura Secondary College
New South Wales v Western Australia at Sarah Oval (Mildura)