Japan U19s Earn Third Win at World Cup Qualifier
- National Team (Men U19)
The Men’s Japan Under 19 team earned a third win in succession at the ongoing ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup East Asia Pacific Qualifier in Darwin, by beating Samoa Under 19s by 134 runs.
Winning the toss and batting for a second successive match, there were contributions throughout the order after Nihar Parmar was run out in the first over.
Nikhil Pol made his first significant contribution with the bat as he made 47, while captain Koji Hardgrave-Abe continued his excellent form with a well-made 52.
Vice-Captain Kazuma Kato-Stafford struck a career best half-century of his own coming in at number six, while Shotaro Hiratsuka and Aditya Phakde made 39 and 22 respectively.
All those partnerships contributed to Japan reaching 259 before being bowled out with one ball of the innings remaining, a score the team felt confident of defending.
Japan had to work hard for the win however, Darren Roach frustrating the bowlers with hard fought 40 at the top of the order, while Iefata Tautiaga held up proceedings with a handy 34 not out.
Hardgrave-Abe starred in the field with four excellent catches, one an absolute screamer at short leg to give Kiefer Yamamoto-Lake his second scalp of the day on the way to figures of two for 12 from his eight overs. That return put him top of the wicket-taker charts for the tournament at the conclusion of the match with 12 to his name.
Aditya Phadke had his first bowl of the tournament and after a nervy start chipped in with two for 12 from his four overs, while fellow off-spinner Hiratsuka added two for 23, which takes his wicket-tally for the tournament to nine.
Kazuma Kato-Stafford had started things with an early breakthrough, and returned to take the final two wickets to earn himself the Player of the Match award as Japan maintain an impressive winning run.
On Monday Japan will play Papua New Guinea and will enter the match as underdogs against the region’s traditional powerhouse, in a contest eagerly anticipated by both sides.
Be sure to tune in on the live stream and send the team plenty of support on social media for this one!