On the strength of the first two day's play in the East Asia-Pacific Women's Trophy, Japan and Papua New Guinea are all set to meet in the final on Sunday.

Japan took on the Cook Islands in the morning, batting first after losing the toss. Their innings of 148-6 was built around a sixth wicket partnership of 65 in 8 overs between Shizuka Kabota and Ayako Nakayama. Nakayama was their top scorer with an unbeaten 29.

Punanga Kaveao dominated the Cook Islands reply, scoring 43 not out. No other batsman was able to stay with her though, with nobody else even reaching double figures. The Cook Islands were restricted to 80-6 from their 20 overs, losing by 68 runs.

Japan then played Vanuatu in their afternoon game, again batting first, this time after winning the toss. Ema Kuribayashi and Mariko Yamamoto got the innings off to a great start with an 85 run opening partnership.

Kuribayashi then shared in an unbroken 57 run partnership for the second wicket with Chihero Sakamoto, taking her score to 50 and Japan's total to 142-1 from their 20 overs.

In reply, Vanuatu captain Alvina Chilia played a fine knock, scoring 72 from just 52 balls, but no other player was able to be similarly aggressive, and the Japanese bowlers kept them to 120-4 in their 20 overs, a 22 run defeat.

Vanautu had earlier played Samoa. Batting first after winning the toss, they had a pretty wretched time with the bat. Selina Solman, with 17, was the only batsman to reach double figures. Regina Lili'i - who plays for Auckland in New Zealand's main women's domestic competition - took 3-12.

Samoa had little trouble in reply, scoring the runs required in 15.1 overs to win by six wickets.

The Samoans then took on Papua New Guinea in the afternoon, with PNG batting first after winning the toss. Mebo Ipi top scored for them with 41, but they were only able to make 99-7 from their 20 overs.

Defending that total was no problem though, as they bowled Samoa out for 75 to win by 24 runs. Boni David was the pick of the PNG bowlers with 4-12.

Tomorrow is a rest day, with the tournament resuming on Saturday. In the morning, Papua New Guinea will play Japan and Vanuatu will take on the Cook Islands. Whichever team is top of the league after that - which will be the winners of the Japan v PNG match - will go straight into Sunday's final.

The losers of that Japan v PNG match will play Samoa - already assured of 3rd place - in a semi-final match in the afternoon, whilst the fourth and fifth placed teams (Vanuatu and the Cook Islands) will also play each other.


Japan beat Cook Islands by 68 runs
Sano, Japan, 8 May
Japan 148-6 (20 overs)
Cook Islands 80-6 (20 overs, P Kaveao 43*)

Samoa beat Vanuatu by 6 wickets
Sano, Japan, 8 May
Vanuatu 61-8 (20 overs, R Lili'i 3-12)
Samoa 62-4 (15.1 overs)

Japan beat Vanuatu by 22 runs
Tanuma High School, Sano, 8 May
Japan 142-1 (20 overs, E Kuribayashi 50*, M Yamamoto 37)
Vanuatu 120-4 (20 overs, A Chilia 72*)

Papua New Guinea beat Samoa by 24 runs
Sano, Japan, 8 May
Papua New Guinea 99-7 (20 overs, M Ipi 41)
Samoa 75 (14.4 overs, B David 4-12, K Leka 3-16)