By Dugout Philippines
DASMARINAS--Japan moved to top of the table as they defeated the tournament hosts in a nail-biting encounter at the Friendship Oval on Sunday as the Philippines fell five runs short of their set target of 158.
Earlier on the second day of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup EAP ‘B’ Qualifier, South Korea held off a fast-finishing Indonesia to record their first win of the tournament defeating Indonesia by seven runs and move into 2nd place.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, South Korea lost the wicket of Sung Dae Sik in the first over to a classic one-handed catch by wicket-keeper Ahmad Ramdoni. From then, Raja Shoaib (34) and Mudassir Iqbal (36) consolidated for a 59-run second wicket partnership from 45 balls with the dismissal of Shoaib seeing the momentum swing in Indonesia’s favour as they recorded 5 for 32 between the 9th and 16th overs with the score 92/6. It was right-arm off spinner Ramamoorthy who wreaked havoc on the Korean middle order and finished up with the superb figures of 4 for 10 from his four overs.
For the last four overs of the innings, Muhammad Nadeem and Kim Yongtae combined for what proved to be a match-winning partnership of 43 to see the final score move to 139/7 with Nadeem finishing on 32* off 17 balls and Yongtae 16 off 9 balls.
When defending the total, South Korea could not have asked for a more perfect start, with a wicket in each of the first three overs including the big wicket of Indonesian captain Muhaddis (2) with a brilliant caught and bowled by Choi Jiwon. With the score after five overs at 15/4, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Indonesia.
To Indonesia’s credit, they rallied and built strong partnerships anchored around young Gamantika who ended up with 71* off 57 balls in a Player of the Match performance. However, it was ultimately not enough as Indonesia fell short by seven runs in the last over with their score at 132/7. For South Korea, it was an even contribution in the field, with Choi Jiwon being the pick of the bowlers returning the figures of 22/3.
In the afternoon match, Japan won the toss and chose to bat for the second match in a row, and were rewarded when Makoto Taniyama 61 (50) and Naotsune Miyaji 49 (43) putting on an opening stand of 120 in 15 overs.
Both batsmen departed to consecutive deliveries as the Philippines forced their way back into the contest with Grant Russ taking 2/17. Japan were unable to find the ropes regularly in the closing overs and eventually finished 157/5 with captain Kobayashi providing a handy cameo of 24* (15).
Although this was the highest score of the tournament so far, the hosts seemed confident after a good batting performance in their opening match. Japan surprised the hosts by opening the bowling with the darting off-spin of Jun Yamashita (1/12) it proved handy when he snared a wicket in his second over.
The Philippines fought hard and the dangerous duo of Kiani (37) and Biddappa (51*) gave the hosts a chance of victory, however the level of Japan’s fielding proved to be the difference with exquisite speed, catching and throwing.
Biddappa kept the local fans engaged all the way to the final over which they entered needing 13 to win and eventually became six off the last ball to tie. However, the accuracy and calmness of Kohei Wakita was enough to see Japan to a win by just five runs in the fourth thrilling match of the tournament.
The tournament continues on Monday with Indonesia taking on the Philippines, and South Korea playing Japan in the afternoon.
South Korea 7/139 (20) Iqbal 36 (30), Shoaib 34 (23), Nadeem 32 (17), Ramamoorthy 4/10 (4) defeated Indonesia 132/7 (20) Gamantika 71* (57), Jiwon 3/22 (4) by 7 runs
Japan 5/157 (20) Taniyama 61 (50), Miyaji 49 (43), Russ 2/17 (3) defeated Philippines 152/6 (20) Biddappa 51(48), Kiani 37 (33), Yamashita 1/12 (4) by 5 runs
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