News & Articles

Gorillas Win Futures League II

  • 2023-05-01
  • News & Articles

The fast bowling of Ryan Drake inspired the Gorillas to victory in Futures League II at the SICG, defeating the Turtles in a rematch of the 2022 Final. 

Over the course of two matches Drake took combined figures of seven for 29, including a competition best five for 17 in the final to earn him the match and tournament MVP awards. 

Drake, and new-ball partner Zubair Khan, vindicated the decision to bowl first by reducing the Turtles to 15 for five inside the first four overs, and despite a battling 23 from Charlie Matsumoto-Hinze, there was no real recovery from there. 

Bowled out for 75 in 17.4 overs, the match looked like it could be over quickly as Lachlan Yamamoto-Lake took 13 off the first over in the chase. However his dismissal slowed things down dramatically and it took a measured 17 from Aditya Phadke to break the back of the run chase. 

Ultimately the Gorillas squeezed home with five wickets and 15 balls to spare, giving coach Vinay Iyer plenty of reason to celebrate after stringing together three successive victories. 

The Gorillas had earned their place in the final virtue of a win in a de facto semi final against the Vipers, which was reduced to 13 overs-a-side due to morning rain. 

Drake and Khan again set the tone with the ball, conceding just 20 runs in their six overs to restrict the Vipers to 70 for even despite an anchoring 25 from Kento Ota-Dobell. 

Despite a wobble at 33 for three, a 38-run stand between Hugo Tani-Kelly and Daniel Panckhurst was enough to ensure Gorillas a six-wicket win and genuine confidence in their ability to chase. 

That win for the Gorillas condemned the Vipers to the third-place play-off for the second year running, once again against the Dragons, who suffered a third loss in succession when the Turtles beat them by nine-runs in the shortened morning match. 

The Vipers, looking to avoid a second successive wooden spoon, fancied their chances after posting the highest score of the weekend thanks to a 39-ball 49 from Kento Ota-Dobell in an 87-run partnership with Koji Hardgrave-Abe (33). 

A total of 131 for seven looked imposing, but with nothing to lose the Dragons, just like a year ago, dug deep to grab their only win of the weekend to snatch third place. Ashley Thurgate (26) and Shu Noguchi (22) gave a great platform that was finished off by stand-in captain Kazuma Kato-Stafford who’s 18* was enough to get his team home by four wickets with three balls to spare.

Once again the Futures League has provided a wonderful opportunity for young players aged under 23 to showcase their ability and practise playing on the turf pitches in front of the cameras, all of which will hold them in good stead going forwards. 

The JCA would like to thank everyone involved in the weekend, from players to families, coaches and volunteers who all played a vital role in making Futures League II another memorable weekend. 

Match Summaries:

  • Vipers, 70/7 (Ota-Dobell 25), lost to Gorillas 74/4, by six wickets
  • Turtles, 88/4 (Suzuki 39*), beat Turtles, 79/7 (Tiwari 3/6), by nine runs

*both matches 13 overs-a-side

  • Final: Turtles, 75/10 (Matsumoto-Hinze 23, Drake 5/17), lost to Gorillas, 76/5 (Tiwari 3/20), by five wickets.
  • 3rd Place: Vipers, 131/7 (Ota-Dobell 49, Hardgrave-Abe 33) lost to Dragons, 134/6 (A.Thurgate 26, Noguchi 22), but four wickets

Individual Awards:

  • Best Batter: Koji Hardgrave-Abe (106 runs, average 35.33)
  • Best Bowler: Zubair Khan (7 wickets, economy 3.46)
  • Most Valuable Player: Ryan Drake (11 wickets, economy 5.18)

Final Standings:

  • Winners: Gorillas. Captain Lachlan Yamamoto-Lake, Coach Vinay Iyer
  • Runners Up: Turtles. Captain Declan Suzuki, Coach Makoto Taniyama
  • Third Place: Dragons. Captain Kazumasa Hiratsuka/Kazuma Kato-Stafford, Coach, Raheel Kano
  • Fourth Place: Vipers. Captain Marcus Thurgate, Coach Reo Sakurano-Thomas