JCL Round 3: Sharks Still Unbeaten
- One Short - Cricket Reports
As the rest of Japan turned their thoughts to the Golden Week holiday, four teams locked horns in JCL Division One to see who could close the gap on Chiba Sharks at the top of the table.
The Sharks had comfortably beaten Wyverns in the first match of the round a week previously, recovering from 45/5 as fine 59 from Higashimoto helped them to a score of 227, before dismissing the Wyverns for a mere 165. Wickets were spread around with Matsumura (2/26) doing the damage at the top of the order, including a stunning return catch off his own bowling.
With the Sharks maintaining their 100% start to the season and the Wombats sitting out the round, it was left to the rest to take up the charge and so all eyes turned to the clash between two traditional powerhouses of the JCL in MAX and Sano.
In the closest match of the round, it was Sano who edged a thrilling contest by just six runs at the Watarase River Ground 3. Left to defend a lowly 137 after a fairly timid batting performance, Sano summoned great strength to mop up MAX for just 131. Despite a second consecutive half-century from Iyer (58) at the top of the order, nobody else could handle Destroyer-in-Chief Sankalpa as his 4/28 moved him to the top of the wicket-takers list for the season so far.
Just down the road the final tie of the round was also taking shape, as the Tigers continued their recent form with a comfortable win over Paddy Foley’s by 80 runs, meaning all three defeated teams in the round remain without a win this season.
The Tigers had Balasubramania (71) and captain Ragesh Nair (55) to thank for their score of 231 all out while Nair was also among the wickets with 3/21 in tandem with a clinical performance by Imtiaz Khan who claimed 5/32 as Tigers strode up to 2nd in the table.
As the Sharks take a breather this weekend, it will down to the rest to close the gap, while winless Paddy Foley’s and Wyverns will come together in a game where someone will register their first points.
In Division Two Paddy’s are having a much better time with two wins from two after a comfortable beating of Sano 2nd XI by 136 runs. After posting 213 courtesy of a run-a-ball 71 from Wewalagamage, despite the best efforts of Mai Yanagida (4/47), Sano offered little resistance in being dismissed for 77.
The Tigers 2nd XI recorded their first win of the season by 80 runs against Fuji Far East, Anuraj Singh hitting 81 while Ryoya Tsutsui offered the only resistance for Fuji Far East, smashing an aggressive 54 before being controversially run out after colliding with a fielder.
It is Adore however who top the table after a tight victory against the Chiba Sharks 2nd XI. Late hitting by Shinichi Takase (61 off 47) took Adore to 210 all out from 37.5 overs, even after Samoa women’s team captain Regina Lill’I took 3/15 on debut. Lill’i the anchored the chase with 51 but did not get the required support as the Sharks fell 17 runs short thanks in part to 3/24 from Shun Hashiba.
The 2nd Division take a break now until the end of May.
*A little reminder that the JCA would gratefully receive any match photos, especially of Division One matches. Please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.