East Asia Cup T20: Hong Kong gets second title, Japan broke the world record


Japan is a country which is known to everyone for various reasons like they make the most sold cars in the world, they have a vibrant capital, people just love their anime series, they play in the football world Cup and so on. But did you know that Japan plays cricket regularly and their cricket team is dominant in the East Asian regions? Normally, we don’t care about the island country in terms of cricket, but they are constantly growing their cricket culture. They have dedicated cricket grounds in their homeland as well. Aside from that, while many ICC-associated nations have a team comprised of mainly immigrants or their descendants, Japan is a different case. The majority of the players playing in that team bear Japanese ethnicity.



Again, Japan is playing this game regularly – in a country where baseball is very popular cricket is also thriving. Take the latest edition of the T20I East Asia Cup for instance. This ‘unpopular’ tournament among major cricket-playing nations was held among three teams –China, Hong Kong and Japan. China failed miserably as they failed to give a fight to any of the teams. Hong Kong became the unbeaten champion and lifted the trophy for the second time in a row. After losing the toss at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground Hong Kong was sent to bat first. Two Khans – Nizakat Khan and Aizaz Khan scored 81 (48) and 34 (20) respectively and pushed the scorecard to 219/7. In response, Japan scored 185/8 – losing the game by 34 runs.


However, before losing the final Japan created a record during their first match against China on 15 February. Without any loss, Japan accumulated 258 runs in 20 overs – claiming the spot of best-ever opening partnership in the history of T20 international cricket. Both of the openers got a hundred at the same time. Lachlan Yamamoto-Lake scored 134 runs after playing 68 balls while his partner and the captain of Japan scored 109 after playing 53 balls. These two batters had a staggering 190+ strike rate and they struck 12 and 11 sixes respectively while scoring just 32 and 12 runs with fours in serial. Moreover, Japan now has a record 7th position in terms of the highest margin of victories by runs in T20 internationals.


Previously, Afghanistan was at the top position of highest opening partnerships. Hazratullah Zazai and Usman Ghani scored 236 runs together before Usman returned to the pavilion with 73 runs beside his name. Hazratullah remained not out at 162 of 62 balls while the Afghanistan team scored 278 runs and secured a victory by 84 runs.



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