One Short: Finals Report – Takada Fireworks Blast Sharks to Title
- One Short - Cricket Reports
Tsuyoshi Takada played an innings for the ages to fire the Chiba Sharks to their second Japan Cricket League title in three years as they overcame the Tokyo Falcons on a perfect day at the Sano International Cricket Ground.
Takada, who was also MVP in the final two years ago, came to the crease with in the 21st over with his team 51/3 after the top order had battled to come to grips with both the pitch and some accurate Falcons bowling.
Successive boundaries in the 26th and 29th overs upped the momentum during a partnership of 66 from 64 balls with Ibrahim Takahashi (41). The end of that partnership seemed to spur him on further, and a ramped six over fine leg brought up his half century from just 42-balls.
He saved his best for the last three overs, in partnership with Debashish Sahoo (21* off 16) as they took 42 runs from 18 balls to propel the Sharks to 197/5 after 40 overs and Takada to a career best 80* from 55 balls including two sixes and eight fours.
For the Falcons an excellent season ended in a blur as the Sharks tore into their batting, momentum clearly with them after the pyrotechnics from Takada.
At six down for 34 the contest was as good as over, and captain Sameep Dewar, who said he would have bowled first had he won the toss, was the only batter to make double figures, holding out as long as he had partners to finish uneaten on 28.
Three wickets each for Muneeb Siddique (3/13) and Mahes Kumar (3/10) did the bulk of the damage as the Sharks bowled Falcons all out for 79 to earn a 118-run win and the third JCL title in their storied history.
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Elsewhere it became a season to remember for the Men In Blue who, having never won a JCL title before, collected two in two days as they first defeated Tokyo Rangers to win the Division Two title, before getting the better of the Falcons in the Division Three showdown.
The Division Two victory was largely built on a solid innings of 42 by Ankur Kumar at the top of the order which helped the team post 167 all out. The Rangers were entirely indebted to Milinda Sanjaya who took an incredible seven wickets for just 16 runs in his eight overs, the second best figures ever in Division Two.
Sanjaya’s heroics were not enough however, as three of their top five were run out in a disastrous start to the chase left their title hopes in tatters. Kumar chipped in with two wickets, including that of Sanjaya to secure victory by 66 runs as the Rangers were all out for 101 sparking joyful celebrations for the Men In Blue.
Those celebrations were brought out again on Sunday as Saurav Bhowmik made 72 at the top of the order to lay the foundations for a total of 213/8 in the Division Three Final, the highest across the three finals. Much like the previous day the top scorer then took the final wicket, as Bhowmik’s three for 15 helped shoot down the Falcons for 123 to earn MIB a 90-run win and a unique Division Two and Three double.
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With that the 2021 Japan Cricket League season draws to a close, with the team that finished fourth in all three divisions ultimately going on to claim the title, which just proves that timing is everything!
Congratulations to all the players involved in the finals and once again a big thank you to the umpires:
Division One Final: Mihindu Perera and Uddika Pradeep
Division Two Final: Chris Thurgate and Amit Phadke
Division Three Final: Kris Bayne and Rob Newman