JCL Final: MAX Win Third Title in Four Years
- One Short - Cricket Reports
MAX CC have won a third title in four years after defeating the Chiba Sharks in the JCL Final at the Sano International Cricket Ground last Saturday.
Opening batsmen Masaomi “Amigo” Kobayashi and Vinay Iyer put on a partnership of 173 in 31 overs to set up the win and start the celebrations for a team who are experiencing a golden era in the Japan Cricket League.
Kobayashi (79) and Iyer (73) set the standard at the very start, seeing off the early challenges before settling in to record another partnership reminiscent of the record 237-run opening stand they recorded in 2017.
The Sharks, desperate for their first title since 2010, threw everything at their opponents and fought their way back in the last nine overs with Muneeb Siddique taking 3/38 as five wickets fell for just 30 runs, but a total of 233/6 in 40 overs was always going to be a tough ask.
In the chase MAX did well to knock over the Sharks Captain Dhugal Bedingfield without scoring, before Davian Johnson (23) and Pavethy Velusamy (37) took the score to 70-1 before both fell in quick succession to the spin of Iyer, who was enjoying a very productive day.
Those wickets opened the door for Makoto Taniyama to burst through, taking 4/14 and the Sharks sank to the seabed finishing 141 all out in 30.4 overs to give MAX the win by 92 runs.
For Taniyama those wickets were enough for him to finish as the leading wicket-taker in the JCL this year with 21 scalps, and one of three MAX players in the top eight, while they also have three batsmen in the top eight run-scorers. Sabaorish Ravichandran had the leading scorer award wrapped up a while ago, but Supun Nawarathna came in second while Kobayashi and Taniyama also enjoyed productive seasons with the bat.
Congratulations to MAX CC and commiserations to the Sharks, who will no doubt come back fighting hard next year. Two more installments of One Short to look forward to as next week we will wrap up the Division Two and Three campaigns before finishing with “The Shorties” as we look back over an excellent season of cricket and pick our own team of the season. Definitely not one to miss that!