JCL Round 11: Semi’s Set Up as Tigers Top Final Table
- One Short - Cricket Reports
A wet outfield caused Tigers final game of the regular season to be called off, and keep them top of the table at the end of the final round of JCL Division One matches. The result was also good news for Paddy Foleys, as it meant they avoided the ignominy of finishing the season with a 100% loss record.
The cancellation came the day after Alpha Quashers had surprisingly slipped up against the Wombats who finished their own season on a high. Batting first the Quashers were struck down by a disciplined Wombats performance in the field an some miserly bowling, particularly from Dan Mee.
Making his Wombats debut, Mee collected 3/14 as the Yokohama boys were rolled over for just 116, Rohit Kumar top scoring with 25 before becoming the first of Mee’s victims. Richie Bracefield then marshalled the chase with 40* to give Wombats a bonus point win by seven wickets and leave them 5th in the table.
Quashers still had enough to finish 2nd despite Chiba Sharks winning against Wyverns. Going in first the Sharks were indebted to Tsuyoshi Takada (26) and Arata Ueda (23) for helping them set any kind of target as they were dismissed for just 129 in a match reduced to 30 overs.
Takada then opened the bowing and used his off-spin to charge through Wyverns top order, taking out three of the top four and finishing with figures of 3/14. At 17/4 there looked no way back for Wyverns and despite some late defiance they finished 96/9 as Sharks won out by 33 runs.
As Sano and MAX also failed to take the field in Round 11 this means Tigers will take on MAX in Semi Final 1 while Semi Final 2 will be contested between Quashers and Sharks. Wombats finish as best of the rest, with Wyverns sixth after a mixed season. Sano and Paddy’s will have a nervous wait to see if they survive in the top flight
Much of that survival will depend on the lower divisions which have provided some entertaining cricket this year. Division Two has had eight centuries scored so far, surely a record, and Tokyo Falcons are guaranteed top spot even with a game to spare.
Division Three has also had some competitive teams fighting it out with the Tigers 3rd XI matching the deeds of their 1st XI in finishing top, just edging out the Rising Stars. Given the amount of new teams across the divisions this year it was always going to be likely that a reshuffle would happen come the end of the season to even out the quality, how that affects teams remains to be seen.
A huge thanks must go to the JCL Committee; Takuya Kudo, Ragesh Nair and Vasanthan Jayakumar for their tireless work in keeping these competitions going so well.