Tonga defeats Japan to set up ‘semi final’ clash with
By Russel James
Tonga avenged their Round 1 defeat at the hands of Fiji,
by overcoming tournament hosts Japan by 33 runs on day
of the 2004 ICC EAP Cricket Challenge.
Tonga will now play Indonesia tomorrow in what will effectively
be a semi final encounter, with the winner qualifying
for Saturday’s final against Fiji.
Tonga won the toss and batted first on a crisp morning
Fujigawa ground at the foot of Mt Fuji. The innings
poised on several occasions, as an enthusiastic Japanese
fielding and bowling display competed well with
a determined Tongan battling line up.
Five Tongan batsmen scored over 20, while number three
Sione Pese top scored with 38. Opener Mark Ferris
was the pick
of Japan’s bowlers taking 2 for 31.
Japan’s early order batting again struggled to cope with
the new ball, with Munir Ahmed and captain Tetsuo
Fuji being dismissed with the score on 18.
A third wicket partnership of 77 between Hirokazu Takahashi
and Jummei Hanada (63) steadied the Japanese ship and
after 29 overs, 95 runs had been scored.
At this time Tongan opening bowler, and eventual man of
the match, Mafi Langi was brought back into
the attack, and with immediate effect dismissed
both Hanada and Takahashi, and number 5 batsman Mark Ferris.
Minimal resistance was shown by the Japanese lower order,
and the innings was finally closed in the 48th over for
Langi finished with 5 for 22 from 10 overs, and at the
conclusion of the game said,
“I was pleased with how I bowled today, but was more
pleased with our win. Tomorrow’s game
is now very important, and a good performance here will hopefully
see us qualify for Saturday’s final.”
Tonga who have now recorded one victory and one loss in
the tournament, will face Indonesia tomorrow
who are on the same points.
The winner of this match will take on Fiji in the final.
Japan on the other hand will be attempting to
score their first win of the tournament against an undefeated Fiji.
Full results click here