India XI Win Third Embassy Cup
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For the third time in as many years the India XI took home the Embassy Cup thanks to four victories across two days in the 2023 event at the Sano International Cricket Ground.
India went unbeaten through the group stage and were the only team to pass the 100 runs total in their ten overs, something they achieved twice.
The Japan XI finished second in the top group but 79 for seven in the final did not look enough, despite the best efforts of Wataru Miyauchi who struck two sixes in his 34 from 23 balls.
The match MVP Shubham Shukla anchored the innings for his team, finishing 31 not out from 19 balls as they total was passed with 3.5 overs and seven wickets to spare.
The Indian team were imperious throughout, showing fierce determination and stringent desire that was unmatched by the other teams.
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In the third place play-off the Sri Lanka XI did just enough to hold off a Pakistan XI who experienced a wretched weekend and will now play in Division Two from 2024.
In one of the closest games of the weekend Sri Lanka posted 98 for six from their ten overs and were made to worry while Hanif Khan was bludgeoning sixes in his 11-ball 21, but with six needed off the final ball to send the game into a Super Over, Nalin Priyadarshana kept his cool to keep Sri Lanka in the top division with a four-run win.
In Group B it is the Australia & New Zealand combined XI who finished top and will play in Division One next year, thanks to a win over the previously unbeaten Bangladesh Embassy XI.
After failing to depend 82 in the opening fixture of the weekend, the ANZ XI had their revenge as the leading wicket-taker for the tournament, Anthony Hoang, took three for just six runs to take his tally to nine across the two days, as Bangladesh were kept to just 71 for five.
It was then down to Richie Bracefield ease his team home with seven balls and seven wickets to spare thanks to a 26-ball 37* to give the New Zealanders in the team a reason to smile after a tough morning in the Rugby World Cup Final.
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Elsewhere in Group B the British Embassy finished in third as Alex Shirai-Patmore helped them chase the 75 runs required to condemn Nepal to a winless weekend, passing the total with two balls remaining.
During the weekend there were activities aplenty as the Cross Party Parliamentary Cricket Association attended on Saturday, along with numerous dignitaries from most of the Embassies participating, while the Furosato Matrui on Sunday brought thousands of guests to the facility with many enjoying cricket for the first time.
The JCA would like to formally thank all those who participated as players, staff and volunteers for making this such a memorable weekend, as well as lead partners GTN and all the other businesses who came to showcase their products.
Please make sure to check the JCA Facebook page for plenty of photos to be shared in the coming days.
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