Japan Stun Hosts Malaysia in Asia Cup Qualifier Opener
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- National Team (Men U19)
The Men’s Japan Under 19 team won a nail-biting contest against hosts Malaysia in their first match of the ACC Premier Cup.
With only the top team in the group of four going through to the semi finals, and the top three teams overall qualifying for the Asia Cup, a single loss could be decisive, but Japan showed immense fortitude to squeeze home by just six runs in Kuala Lumpur.
After Malaysia won the toss and choose to bowl, Aditya Phadke (39) combined with captain Koji Hardgrave-Abe in a stand of 91 for the second wicket.
Hardgrave-Abe brought up his half century with a six and was eventually out for a well made 68.
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Malaysia seized the initiative at that point as Arif Yusof ripped through the middle order to figure with figures of five for 37 as Malaysia bowled Japan all out for 169.
Things started well for Japan as Kiefer Yamamoto-Lake struck in the second over of the innings, before Malaysia had a rebuild of their own.
It took wickets in successive balls by Kazuma Kato-Stafford to prize the opening, at which point debutant spinners Charlie Hinze and Hugo Kelly combined to take five wickets between them to turn the game on its head.
Malaysia crept towards the target with the ninth wicket falling with just 12 runs needed, but it was Hinze who had the final say grabbing his third wicket to go alongside a stunning catch and runout to mark a memorable first outing in Japan colours.
The team next take on Indonesia on Tuesday 17th October.
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