China and Japan win on opening day of Asian Games
The first Asian Games cricket tournament got started today in Guangzhou, with the Chinese and Japanese women winning their opening matches against Malaysia and Nepal respectively.
Despite organisers claiming that the match had been sold out, only around 500 people attended the match in the 6500 capacity stadium, with many needing to be told by the public address system when to cheer.
And there was something for the home supporters to cheer for, as Sun Huan's 47 led China to a score of 116-6 from their 20 overs. Mohammad Rewina was the pick of the Malaysian bowlers with 3-21. Malaysia struggled in reply, with only two players reaching double figures. Mei Chun Hua was the pick of China's bowlers with 3-8 as Malaysia were restricted to 61-8 from their 20 overs, losing by 55 runs.
The second match of the day was between Nepal and Japan, with Nepal the favourites. Japan had other ideas though, and some excellent fielding restricted Nepal to just 62-7 from their 20 overs. Japan had little trouble chasing down that target and, led by Ema Kuribayashi's 32, they reached the required target in 11.4 overs without losing a wicket.
China's next match will be on Monday, when they will play the winners of tomorrows match between Pakistan and Thailand. The losers of that match will play Malaysia on Tuesday. Japan will also be in action again on Monday, playing the winners of tomorrows Bangladesh v Hong Kong match, the losers of which will play Nepal on Tuesday.
Under the format of the tournament, the winners of those Monday matches will reach the semi-finals, whilst the losers of the Tuesday matches will be eliminated. The losers of the Monday matches will play the winners of the Tuesday matches on Wednesday for the remaining two semi-final places. Or, to put it a little less confusingly, two wins and a team gets to the semi-finals, two defeats and they go home.