The East Asia Cup - played last year as a women's tournament in South Korea - is being played again this year as a men's tournament, this time in Sano, Japan. The hosts beat China on the opening day, whilst South Korea beat the Hong Kong Dragons, a representative side made up of the best cricketers of Hong Kong Chinese heritage.

The hosts kicked off the tournament in the morning with their match against China, with the visitors batting first after winning the toss. Captain Zhang Yu Fei top scored with an unbeaten 53 in their innings, but to say nobody else contributed would be something of an understatement.

The next highest score was the eight contributed by extras, whilst the second highest score from a batsman was Han Junhui's 5. Kohei Wakita was the pick of the Japanese bowlers with 3-15 as China were restricted to 80-9 from their 20 overs.

At one point Japan's reply was looking like proceeding along similar lines to the Chinese innings as they found themselves on 16-3. But they managed to chase down their low target to win by five wickets with 7.1 overs to spare. Masaomi Kobayashi top scored with an unbeaten 29.

In the afternoon game, South Korea also chose to bat first after winning the toss against the Hong Kong Dragons. It was something of a new look squad for the South Koreans, with only two survivors from their Asian Games campaign of 2014.

South Korea lost opener Lee Hyosin in the first over with the score on two, but recovered with a 41 run partnership between Lee Kangmin and Lim Jeongwook for the second wicket. Top scorer for the Koreans was Choi Jiwon with an unbeaten 45, and he and Jun Hyunwoo put on an unbroken 50 for the sixth wicket, the latter clubbing 30 from 15 balls.

The final total for South Korea was 171-5 from their 20 overs, which proved to be too tough for the Hong Kong Dragons. Nobody outscored the 19 extras conceded by South Korea, and they could only manage 75-7 from their 20 overs, losing by 96 runs.

The tournament continues tomorrow with South Korea taking on China in the morning and the hosts playing Hong Kong Dragons in the afternoon.


Japan beat China by 5 wickets
Sano International Cricket Ground, 3 November
China 80-9 (20 overs, Zhang Yu Fei 53*, K Wakita 3-15)
Japan 81-5 (12.5 overs)

South Korea beat Hong Kong Dragons by 96 runs
Sano International Cricket Ground, 3 November
South Korea 171-5 (20 overs, Choi Jiwon 45*)
Hong Kong Dragons 75-7 (20 overs, Eoh Unai Khan 3-11)