Samoa remain undefeated; Korea notch first win
ICC media release
Samoa has made it four wins from as many matches to claim outright top spot and a guaranteed place in Friday's final after victories over the Cook Islands and Philippines on day 2 of the Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Division 2 Trophy at the Tuanaimato Garden ovals in Apia on Tuesday.
The team who will join Samoa in the final will be decided on Thursday morning when Tonga and the Philippines meet in a match that Tonga will need to win comfortably.
The day proved to be the greatest in the cricketing history of the Republic of Korea as they notched their first ever win at an ICC event with a 4 wicket victory over Tonga. Korean Team Manager Damian Cagney was ecstatic with the win and says this is only the beginning for his side.
"We are still hungry for more," he said. "This was just breakfast."
The Cook Islands also opened their tournament account with a narrow win over Indonesia.
In the morning matches Samoa's confidence continue to rise after victory over the Cook Islands in a match the hosts were delighted to win as the Cook Islands have often posed issues for them in past events.
However it was the ease of the win that was most impressive as first the Cook Islands were restricted to 81 runs and then the hosts chased down the total for a 9 wicket victory in just over 10 overs.
For Samoa Lesuni Luteru took 4 wickets in a terrific spell to clean up the tail, whilst with the bat Ben Mailata made a quick fire 42 and was well supported by his captain Geoff Clarke with 30. For the Cook Islands this was their third straight loss.
History was made on ground 3 when Raekesh Thakur took the first ever hat trick in International Cricket for the Philippines as he destroyed a promising start from the Koreans who were dismissed for just 60 runs.
"I am really proud to achieve a hat trick for the Philippines," said Thakur after being presented with the match ball. "But for all of us this experience is new and we just need to keep working hard throughout the tournament."
The Philippines earned themselves a significant break between matches by chasing down the total in just 6.5 overs.
After being rolled for 39 runs yesterday against Samoa, Tonga continued their rollercoaster tournament against Indonesia by piling on 7-161 thanks to a magnificent 77 off 44 balls that included 10 fours and 2 sixes from Sione Holi. Indonesia could only manage 85 in reply.
In the afternoon Samoa cemented favouritism for the title with an 8 wicket victory over the Philippines.
Set a target of 105 to win, the hosts were never troubled and passed the score with 8 wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. Winston Mariner was the best of the bowlers for Samoa taking 4-15 and Ben Mailata continued his dominance with the bat notching up another 49 runs.
The Republic of Korea took advantage of an inconsistent Tongan outfit to defeat them by 6 wickets and claim their maiden victory. Restricting Tonga to 103, their second lowest score of the tournament the Koreans lost steady wickets early in the chase, but thanks to 37 from Altaf Gill and 35 from T Muhammad the Korean's passed the total with 8 balls to spare.
In the final match the Cook Islands won a thrilling encounter against Indonesia by 2 wickets set up by Toala Teinaki who took 4 wickets and made 29 runs in a complete individual performance.
Play begins again on Thursday local time at 9:30am. Wednesday will be a rest day for all teams.