Philippines on Top Heading into Final Day of Tournament

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – ICC Media Release – The Philippines won on the last ball of the game against Japan Thursday to move to the top of the ladder with one day still to play in the T20 Cricket World Cup qualifiers hosted in Manila.

The thrilling win means the Philippines are now one game clear of Japan and in the box seat to win the tournament. Japan must beat South Korea Friday morning for the Philippines match against Indonesia in the afternoon to matter.

As they have done all tournament, the Philippine team were able to maintain their composure under pressure to get across the line against a talented Japan team.

The Philippines have won every match when they have won the coin toss before the game to decide who bats and bowls, so the omens were good when captain Jonathan Hill called correctly again and opted to bat.

It was Japan however, who made the better start. 15-year-old Kazumasa Takahashi (3/14 off 4) conceded runs from just five of the 24 balls he delivered, including a wicket-maiden.

Henry Tyler (30 off 28) was the star for the Philippines, striking the ball cleanly for the highest individual score of the match. Kohei Wakita (3/18 off 4) picked up important wickets at the death, but 15 runs from the final two overs lifted the Philippines to a defendable 118/9.

Japan got off to a good start, and at 2/32 after five overs they looked comfortable. However, excellent bowling from the Philippines prevented anyone from anchoring the innings. Vimal Kumar (3/14 off 4) was the most prolific wicket taker and put Japan on the ropes at 8/78 after 14 overs.

However, this tournament has shown that no match is over until the last rites are written and a 29-run partnership for the 9th wicket between Rui Matsumura (9 off 14) and Wakita (19 off 15) took Japan close to victory. The match was taken to the last ball with Japan needed four from it, but Surinder Singh (2/19 off 4) kept his cool as Wakita swung and missed.

In the afternoon, Indonesia and South Korea played for pride and this was certainly on show as South Korea’s Mudassir Iqbal took the wickets of the Indonesia openers in two consecutive balls of his second over.

South Korea continued to build the pressure sharing wickets between all five bowlers, and never allowing Indonesia to settle. The pressure was exemplified in the field as Choi Jiwon pounced on a ball at point, taking aim at just one stump and finding Indonesia’s top scorer, Arya Pastik (12 off 17) well outside his crease. Indonesia managed just 72 off 17.5 overs, a total that would always be difficult to defend.

The Indonesian bowling attack came out with intent, taking four wickets within the first seven overs. But opener Nishat Sakib (32 off 45) combined with Raja Shoaib (24 off 24) to see the South Koreans home, taking their second victory for the tournament.

Tomorrow is the final day of play, and two teams are still with a chance of progressing to the East Asia Pacific Regional Final. Japan will take on South Korea in the morning before the Philippines and Indonesia round out the tournament. A win for the Philippines will see them progress, whilst Japan need a win and a result to go their way. Live scores will be available through the ICC website.

Scores summary
Philippines 9/118 (20) – Tyler 30 (28), Takahashi 3/14 (4), Wakita 3/18 (4) defeated Japan 115/9 (20) - Wakita 19 (15), Kumar 3/14 (4) by 3 runs.

Indonesia 72 all out (20) - Iqbal 3/14 (4) defeated by South Korea 4/73 (15) - Sakib 32 (45), Shoaib 24 (24) by 6 wickets.

South Korea52340.101