Report: JCL Semi Finals
- One Short - Cricket Reports
The two dominant teams in the top division of the Japan Cricket League will contest the Grand Final this Saturday, 12th November at the Sano International Cricket Ground, after comfortable Semi Final victories.
The Tokyo Rangers finished top of the table and eased home against a Falcons side who were threatening to find form at just the right time. Vinoth Takoor was the star for the Rangers, his 97 from 99 balls holding the innings together after a shaky start.
A total of 218 for nine looked good on the turf wicket of SICG One and so it proved as the Rangers bowlers set about the Falcons, Takoor again to the fore after a steady start.
Thrown the ball in the 7th over, with Falcons comfortable at 29 for no loss, Takoor struck with his second ball to break the opening partnership, and twice more in his second over to leave the 2021 runners up in a mess from which they never recovered.
Takoor’s figures of three for 14, along with three for 18 from Kasun Gamage, helped dismiss the Falcons for just 80 to secure a big win by 138 runs and book their place in the final in their first season in the competition.
The team aiming to stop the Rangers from winning their maiden JCL title are the Tiers Cricket Club, buoyed by their recent Japan Cup victory and off the back of an absolute mauling of the Men in Blue who were making their first appearance in the last four.
Batting first the Tigers were indebted to Ranjith Mouli, one of the stars of their successful maiden title win in 2020, as he made a stunning 118 from 106 balls to lead the side to a massive 289 for four from their 40 overs.
He found excellent support in a stand of 163 for the third wicket with captain Sabaorish Ravichandran, who made a season’s best 85 from 80 balls.
The Tigers took that momentum into the second innings and simply shredded the Men in Blue right from the first over. The chase lasted just 15.5 overs as Abhijith Sasikumar (three for six), Piyush Kumbhare (three for one!) and Vikas Jha (three for five) shared nine wickets between them to bowl the Min in Blue out for just 42.
A win by 247 runs represents the ideal preparation for a team aiming to win their second title in three seasons. The Rangers vs Tigers match earlier in the season was a victim of the weather, so an intriguing contest awaits between the two best teams of the year.
The Tokyo Rangers kept their hopes of a domestic double alive, while dashing the treble hopes of the Tigers, as their 2nd XI defeated the Tigers 2nd XI by 110 runs in the first Semi-Final of Division Two. The Rangers were Division Two Runners Up in 2021 and are showing their strength in depth by now competing for both titles.
In the Division Two Final they will be up against the Tokyo Falcons 2nd XI who ended the promotion hopes of new club Kawasaki Knight Riders thanks to a 36-run win. The Falcons were indebted to 63* from Prem Keswani and five for 41 from Thisura Vindula Batagoda as they made up for the Division One disappointment. In Division Three there was more heartbreak for Men in Blue as their 3rd XI surrendered their title won in 2021, losing by 44 runs to the Alpha Quashers Yokohama 3rd XI, while Pauly Pauly took six for 15 against Keio United to help the Tigers 3rd XI keep their title hopes alive with an eight-wicket win.
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