Samoa and Philippines into final, Cook Islands claim third
ICC media release
Host nation Samoa will meet the Philippines in tomorrow's final of the East-Asia Pacific Division 2 Trophy after the Philippines secured a spot with a 23 run win over Tonga at the Garden Ovals in Apia on Thursday.
In other morning matches the Cook Islands held on for a 13 run win over the Republic of Korea and Samoa thrashed Indonesia by 92 runs.
Samoan captain Geoff Clarke admits it is a huge relief for his side to make the final after the expectations that his players and staff had put on themselves.
"We've prepared better for this tournament than ever before and we are just really happy that we are in the final tomorrow against the Philippines," said Clarke.
"The tournament has just shown that our young players are maturing as cricketers and their time playing in New Zealand has helped this, and this has then been passed on to the rest of the team," Clarke continued.
The Cook Islands finished their tournament with a win in the 3rd place classification match later in the afternoon with victory over Tonga, whilst the Republic of Korea also finished on a high with a commanding 9 wicket win over Indonesia in the battle for 5th place.
Early on the final day of round robin matches the Philippines set about destroying any hopes of Tonga making the final by piling on 151 runs from their 20 overs.
Ramandeep Cheema had a return to form making 36 and he was well supported by Vimal Kumar with 35.
The already high run chase was made even more difficult for Tonga who needed to reach the total in 11.3 overs in order to leap frog the Philippines on net run rate and meet Samoa on Friday. Despite a brave knock of 33 from Nikolasi Moala, the task was always going to be tough for the Tongans who eventually ended their innings seven wickets down for 128.
Samoa breezed through their final match against Indonesia and then spent the afternoon relaxing in preparation for tomorrows all-important 50 over final.
After powering to 5-159 from their 20 overs they bowled the young Indonesian side out for just 67.
Pritchard Pritchard was outstanding with the bat making 67 whilst Ben Mailata was stranded on 46 not out, the third consecutive innings he has been not out in the 40s. For Indonesia Rizky Tri Rubbi tried hard in a vain attempt walking away with terrific figures of 4-33.
In the final match of the morning the Cook Islands held on for a 13 run victory against a stubborn Republic of Korea in one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament.
Set 141 for victory the Koreans smashed 54 runs off their first 4 overs and looked to be cruising before Davies Teinaki bowled his side back into the match with 3-23.
The Koreans then suffered a further blow, penalised 5 runs for running on the pitch and setting the revised target at 147.
In the end despite 49 runs off 30 balls from Tahir Muhummad and a late quick fire 25 not out from Alitaf Gill the Koreans could not overhaul a much improved Cook Islands outfit, falling short by 13 runs.
After a sluggish start to the tournament the Cook Islands recovered to finish in third place by defeating Tonga in the 3rd / 4th classification match by 14 runs.
Despite the win Cook Islands captain Glenn Miller says his side were a little disappointed with their overall performance at the event.
"We had ambitions to make the final and unfortunately it didn't pan out that way, but we are looking forward to next time," said Miller.
"We got off to a slow start but managed to get better every game and definitely saved the best for last so we are pretty happy with that," he continued.
Setting the Tongans 125 for victory the patient Cook Islands bowlers withstood some huge hitting to eventually bowl out Tonga for 110.
Wayken Punga was magnificent with the ball taking 4 crucial wickets. With the bat Toala Teinaki top scored with 33 and Mamanu Emile played a nice innings of 32 not out.
Republic of Korea claimed their second win of the week with a comfortable 9 wicket win over Indonesia in the 5th / 6th classification match. Korea passed the total with more than 7 overs to spare to complete a successful tournament for the international cricket debutants.
Bowling Indonesia out for 94 Muhummad continued on with the form he displayed earlier that morning with another brilliant knock of 44 not out to top score for the Koreans.
The final begins at 9:30am on Friday Samoan time and will be a 50 over match with the winner to advance to the East Asia-Pacific Division 1 Trophy in July in PNG.