Impressive performance by Shotarou Takahashi with 2 consecutive 50s (57, 56*(25)) on the day was good enough to help team win over Tokyo Falcons by 54runs to be crowned as Japan U15 Champions. Tokyo Falcons had some brilliant individual all-around performances but the mounting run rate and exceptional fielding from Braves made the difference. Both teams parent’s presence on the field of Sano International Cricket ground and their support, cheer throughout out the day was outstanding to watch.
Shotarou Takahashi was judged MVP of the tournament with exception batting performance.
From Falcons, Nihar Parmar was the standout player with an all-round performance.3/25 with the ball, 25 runs of 19 ball (4×5) with bat and 2 runouts. Sano Braves won the toss opting to bat First, Takahashi 56(25) and Kiyo Fujikawa 25 (32) built a solid foundation of 80 runs. In the middle order, Hirotake Kakinuma 27(19) played an aggressive inning. 2 big sixes only added joy in the Sano braves camp. Later on, Chihaya Arakawa 21 (18) paced the inning to post 168 runs on the board in 20 overs.
Chasing 169, with 8.5 runs per over, Falcons heavily relied on Ayush Jha, Nikhil Pol, Murali Krishna and Ritvik Shivakumar. In the first over trying to steal a run, a rapid throw from outfield caught Ayush short of the crease. After first 4 overs, top4 quickly perished dashing the hopes of Falcons. Lower order batted well for 20 overs an especially last pair of Aakarsh Batnagar and Ariya Narayanasamy who played last 4 overs with ease.
Earlier in the season, The tournament had numerous challenges amidst COVID and bad weather. Japan Cricket Association did an excellent job to organize the tournament towards the end phase of the season ensuring the safety of everyone to provide an opportunity for kids to showcase their skills. There were some excellent batting and bowling skills on display which must have caught the attention of national team selectors.