Max CC vs Wyverns may soon become one of the key matches to watch out for.
Just one day before, JCA released a note to all clubs notifying the postponement of games scheduled between Sunday 25th April and Tuesday 11th May. This was in the wake of the another State of Emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo. With Japan Premier League postponed, all were looking forward to watching the MAX vs Wyverns CC 1st XI game played at SICG1 Cricket Ground. Both teams include many players who are part of the National squad selected this year to represent ICC events.
Max CC XI Captain Supun won the toss and elected to bat first. The reliable pair of Amigo ( Masaomi Kobayashi) and Vinay Iyer came out to the middle. Amigo, with a new pyrotechnic batting stance, looked to go after bowling in the first over to Kohei Kubota. It was an off day for Vinay Iyer as he hit a shot straight to point fielder in the 3rd over of the game. At no3, Captain Supun made his intent clear with 2 clean hits over the fence. In the middle overs, Wyverns were let down by catching that let both batsmen bat freely. Both steadily built a 100 run partnership. Supun was the first to cross 50 with a strike rate well above 100.
It looked 100 on cards for Supun but a brilliant catch by Kubota at the boundary line shattered cut short his stay. Supun made a solid 75runs off 50 balls( 5x4s, 5x6s). Next batsman Hanif started where Supun left off for a quick 30 runs off 17 balls. Meanwhile, at the other end, Masaomi Kobayashi batted fluently displaying all range of shots to reach his 50. In the 38th over he departed for well compiled 87 off 128 balls. At the end of 40 overs, MAX CC posted a challenging score of 275/8. For Wyverns, Tomonishi Oki grabbed 3/66 and Kouhei Kubota and Morito Kimura grabbed 2 wickets each.
Wyverns CC chase of 276 runs | almost there..
Wyverns started their inning with Tomoki Ota and flamboyant Raheel Kano. Both looked aggressive to go after the bowling but the Max new recruit Dinesh Sandaruwan and a former Japan national player Takuro Hagihara did not let them free their arms. Both built a steady partnership of 50 in 12 over to lay a solid platform for the team. Ota was out in the 13th over for 30 runs.
At No 3, Kawashima displayed a good technique and even took on the spin bowling of Tanimaya and Vinay. With these on the crease, Wyverns looked well on track to chase 275. Raheel was in good form and played sensible cricket to reach the first 50 of the season and mocked the celebration of Amigo.
As the asking rate was getting higher, Raheel decided to take his chance but in the 26th over, a mistimed shot off Vinay bowling restricted his inning to 66 runs of 81 balls. but At No 5, Wataru Miyauchi joined Kawashima when the target was to get 150 runs in 14overs. Both batsmen started to take on the bowling attack ad with a lot of 2 and 4s. During the process, Kawashima brought his 50. As Max bowling started applying pressure, scoring became difficult and when Miyachi got out in 35th over, the target was 51 runs in 5 overs. Koji Iwasaki and Kawashima did their best but the experience of Dinesh and Takuro restricted them to 262runs.
In the end, Wyverns fell agonizingly short of the target by 13 runs. Kawashima remained not out on 72 and disappointment was visible in Wyverns camp. It could have been the match of the season.
As many Division 1 teams are taking serious note of their oppositions, Wyverns would need to improve on their catching and keeping a steady batting line-up. It might yield them good results in the remaining games.