JCL Semi-Finals: Tigers Roar, MAX Hit Top Speed
- One Short - Cricket Reports
The Japan Cricket League Division One Final will this year be played between defending champions MAX Cricket Club and the 2015 Division Two Champions The Tigers.
Left ruing late season slumps are the Chiba Sharks and Tokyo Wombats, the two teams who dominated for so much of the season but ran out of steam towards the business end and were left empty handed once again.
The Tigers are the surprise package of the season and have turned in some eye-catching results, and back-to-back wins against table-toppers Chiba Sharks will send them into next week’s final in confident mood.
The Sharks, missing captain Dhugal Bedingfield who was on a coaching assignment in South Korea, were rolled out for just 90 after choosing to bat first on a sluggish surface at the Sano International Cricket Ground.
Joe George did the early damage for Tigers, claiming 3 wickets for just eight runs before the top five did the job with the bat, knocking the runs off in just 21 overs to claim a seven wicket victory.
A wet outfield caused the Semi-Final to be reduced to 23 overs-a-side, but that did not stop MAX delivering one of the highest scores of the season as they plundered the Wombats attack to all parts to register 263/3.
Supun Nawarathna, who has featured prominently in these reports throughout the season, was the star once again with a brutal 125 from just 67 deliveries, including nine maximums. He was supported by Vinay Iyer, whose 59 was his third half century this season.
Wombats started their chase brightly, with Alex Patmore finding a gear not regularly displayed as he hit 43 from 26 balls, putting on 73 for the first wicket with Richard Bracefield (55 from 37). Once they were dismissed it was always going to be a struggle to maintain the rate and MAX restricted them to 182/9 in the end, securing the win by 81 runs.
In Division Two the Tigers continued their excellent season as their Second XI completed a weekend double over the Chiba Sharks with a 50-run win, thanks largely to Sabaorish Ravichandran who scored a quick 50 before picking up 3/24 in the chase.
Tigers will be joined in the Division Two Final by Paddy Foleys, whose second team continue to shine in the lower league while their top flight team struggles – perhaps a play-off between the two sides could be organised?
Taking on Adore CC, Paddy’s won the toss and opted to bat, making light of two early wickets and plenty of dropped catches were Buddika Rohana (103) and Devinda Fernando (91), who put on a partnership of 202 in 27 overs before Uddika Pradeep plundered 62 from 29 deliveries, including towering sixes off the final two balls of the innings to take his side to 306/7.
Victory was never really in doubt with such a total, and while Umair Bhutto made some fun in making 58 for Adore, his side were bowled out for just 98 to give Paddy’s a huge win by 208 runs.
The Finals will be played on the weekend of 1st/2nd October at the Sano International Cricket Ground – so be sure to come and see who walks away with the titles!