11th Men Softball Asian Cup, Kochi, 2022 (World Cup qualifier) – DAY 1

HOSTS Japan look all set to book one of the World Cup berths from the 11th Men Softball Asian Cup, Kochi, 2022 (World Cup qualifier) being held in Kochi, Japan.

With sterling performances in the pocket with wins over India (14-0) and Hong Kong (24-0), their final Group A match against Chinese Taipei could turn well also turn out to be a breeze after the latter’s surprise loss to India (5-7). Earlier Chinese Taipei lost to Hong Kong 8-10 (tie breaker).

Another interesting day is on the cards tomorrow as Hong Kong and India battle for the second spot in Group A, while Philippines who did not play a game today is expected to join Singapore to finish among the top two in Group B, where there is only 3 teams.

Unless Thailand who lost their opening game today to Singapore (4-7) can spring a surprise against Philippines.

The tournament will move into the Super rounds on Monday where the top two teams from each Group from the preliminary rounds will play off for berths in the finals as top two finishers.


 It only took Japan four innings to defeat India 14-0 on run ahead in their opening Group A match of the Men Softyball Asia Cup 2022 (World cup qualifier) at the Shimanto Stadium, in Kochi, Japan, this morning.

Japan proved too good for India and although only scoring one run in the first inning, went to take a runaway lead with another 13 runs for a 14-0 lead.

But India prevented Japan for another two runs in the 3rd innings to prolong the game to the fourth innings to concede defeat.

India maybe prowess in the game of cricket, but coach Shakir Ali admitted softball is a totally a different game.

“Most of our players play cricket, but the technique is different. Japan are simply above most of the teams in Asia.

“We may have gone down to Japan, but we will our best for a creditable result in our remaining two games against Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.”

HONG KONG 10 CHINESE TAIPEI 8 (tie breaker win)

Chinese Taipei dug deep into their reserves to stop a determined Hong Kong team but had to bow out in a tie breaker Group B match at the Yasunami Field 

Hong Kong led 3-0 after the first inning and went up 5-0 in the third inning at the top of the inning before Chinese Taipei leveled with 5 runs at the bottom of the inning.

Hong Kong took the lead again in the fifth inning, 7-5, before Chinese Taipei equalised with two runs to force a tie breaker.

In the exciting 8th tie breaker inning, Hong Kong put the pressure back on Chinese Taipei to take the lead 10-7, but latter were limited to one run to do down.

If Chinese Taipei were let down today, it must surely be a lack of strong pitcher. Their defence was vulnerable.

This surprise defeat for Chinese Taipei really puts them under pressure to finish among the top two qualify for the Super round.

They play India later this afternoon in a must win game to keep their hopes alive before their final game tomorrow against mighty Japan.



Singapore took a cautious approach against Thailand in their opening Group B match at the  Shimanto Stadium this afternoon but all ended well although it was a close 7-4 win.

Singapore team coaches Koh Ruoh Jie and Muhammad Farhan Harahap Amiruddin, both felt that now knowing the true strength of the Thai team who had several new players, saw them take a cautious approach.

“We are in a Group of 3 teams unlike in Group A which has four teams and it was utmost important for us to win the opening match,” said Ruh Jie.

“The draw surely favoured us because we had a game today, while our opponents, Philippines did not play today and have two games tomorrow,” added Farhan 

“Thailand  kept pace with us today, but we managed to rise to the occasion when it mattered most,” said Ruh Jie.

“We came here to finish among the top two in Group and qualify for the Super round and eventually book a berth for World Cup by reaching the final. We have crossed the first hurdle and we intend improve with each passing game.”

After no runs in the first inning, Singapore took a 2-1 lead after the second inning before Thailand started to play better to Singapore within striking distance for 3-2 deficit after the 3rd inning.

In the fourth inning continued to mount pressure on Singapore to  pull level at 4-4.

With no runs in the 5th inning, Singapore pulled up their socks to regain their lead at 6-4 after the sixth inning before confirming their victory with another run in the final 7thinning for a 7-4 victory.



Japan turned the heat on Hong Kong as they went on a demolition mission as they won 24-0 after three innings applying runs ahead rgule in their mission to place themselves in the driver’s seat for the tournament to book a World Cup berth.

Japan chalked  14 runs in the first inning itself with Hong Kong’s pitcher Wong Hok Kan and catcher, both having problems and were hardly synced 

Even a change in pitcher to bring on Hung Chi Kit , did help much as Japan chalked up another 4 runs for 18 runs lead.

And in the 3rd inning, Japan  went to increase their lead by another 6 runs for a total of 24 and blocked out Hong Kong for any runs to wrap up the game.

Japan’s Yoshimura Hiroshi, the manager cum coach said the game turned out easier than he had expected.

“The weather and pitch condition (it was heavy rain night and was drizzling from time to time) was not favorable, and under the circumstances, we did well.

”I must commend the players for a determined effort and special mention to our pitchers Matsuda Hiraru in then first inning and Koyama Reo in the second inning, for their excellent pitching. 

“We have had a good day today and looking forward to another good day to keep the momentum.”



India was the surprise of the day when they defeated Chinese Taipei 7-5 to keep their hopes for a place in the Super Round to finish among the top two in their Group B of three teams 

Chinese Taipei too were a surprise to have gone down to Hong Kong (8-10) and to India, to have ruled themselves out of a top to finish.

It was Chinese Taipei who took the lead with one run in the second inning, but India turned on their power for a spicy 6 runs inn the third inning to shock Chinese Taipei.

After no runs in the 4thn and 5th innings, Chinese Taipei made come back to gather 4 runs but India added another run to lead 7-5 before shutting out Chinese Taipei for the final inning 

The India versus Hong Kong game will decide the second spot tomorrow.





India 0 Japan 14

Hong Kong 10 Chinese Taipei 10-8 (tie breaker)

Japan 24 Hong Kong 0

India 7 Chinese Taipei 5



Singapore 7 Thailand 4




9.00am: PHI v THAI

11.30am: JPN v TPE

11.30am: IND v HKG

14.00 SGP v PHI