11 Jan 2016

Sport: EAP women's cricketers advance to final, men stay winless

12:16 pm on 11 January 2016

The East Asia Pacific women's cricket team are through to the final of the Australian Country Championships in Mount Gambier.

The composite team, featuring players from Papua New Guinea, Japan, Vanuatu and Samoa, beat Queensland Country by four wickets in the second semi final to advance to today's title decider against South Australia.

PNG's Kaia Arua was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3 for 9 from four overs as Queensland were restricted to 77 for 8 from their 20 overs.

The first ever East Asia Pacific Women's Cricket Team.

The first ever East Asia Pacific Women's Cricket Team. Photo: ICC East Asia Pacific

In reply, Japan's Etsuko Kobayashi and Vanuatu's Selina Solman both scored 22 to help the EAP team reach their target with seven balls to spare.

This is the first time a womens team has represented East Asia Pacific but head coach Andrew Mansale says the squad has made fast progress.

"It's good that when we come together just the bond was already there [from] when they play against each other. As soon as they got here, the first game it was like they've been playing a number of times now. It was a good sign for us and apart from that the way they performed this week they did really really well, both fielding and batting. I'm really proud of them".

The East Asia Pacific men's cricket team remain winless after slumping to a fourth successive defeat at the weekend.

Papua New Guinea's Jason Kila top-scored with 50 as the EAP side were dismissed for 104 in the 34th over, with New South Wales Country cruising to their target with seven wickets and 34 overs to spare.

The EAP men are yet to win in both the two-day and 50-over formats but have one last chance to end on a positive note in todays final round clash against Queensland Country.

Head coach John Ovia is in his third year with the team and says it's been tough going.

"We have only one day to meet each other and then game next day. Especially in the two-dayers we did not do really well. [It's] no excuse but compared to our region we never play two-day cricket. For the limited [overs] games it was ok - we managed to do well but for putting a team together and playing in this championship there is lots of work to be done in terms of bowling, batting, fielding - all this stuff".