Sano Cricket Club has successfully defend the SriLankan Airlines Japan Cup over the long weekend of October 6th – 8th.
Five teams from around Japan converged at the Sano cricket grounds, and Tanuma High School, over the weekend to play in the tough competition. Teams included Sano CC, Nagano Hokuriku Region, University XI, Wyverns CC and Kansai Region.
Sano CC faced Hokuriku Nagano and won convincingly by 6 wickets in the Twenty20 game. Hokuriku Nagano batted first, making 113/6 off the allocated overs. Sano were too strong, chasing down the total in the 18th over.
Sano CC captain Naoki Alex Miyaji was thrilled his team was able to defend the title. "Winning the SriLankan Airlines Japan Cup is the ultimate goal for a club in Japan, so we are very excited to have been able to win it two years in a row,” he said.
The competition has been running for three years and each year Miyaji thinks the competition gets tougher. “The standard has risen considerably over the last year and it has been a very tough competition.”
It wasn't all easy sailing for the Sano CC team however. The weather played its part and caused the cancellation of games, which threw the door wide open regarding what teams would make it to the final. “After losing our first match and the second being canceled due to rain, our chances of making it to the final were getting slim. However, the team stuck to our game plan and performed well,” Miyaji said. ”I'd like to congratulate all our members as they have showed huge improvements during the competition. It will be even harder to defend the title next year, but that will be our goal for the next year.”
The competition would not have been possible without the help of principal sponsor SriLankan Airlines. “I'd like to thank SriLankan Airlines for their generous support, the competition organisers and volunteers who did a fantastic job, and Sano City and the Sano City of Cricket Supporters' Club for their outstanding support which made it possible to play at such fantastic facilities," Miyaji concluded.
Other outstanding performances from the recognised as well. Tomoki Ota from Wyverns CC was awarded the MVP prize as he proved he is an outstanding all-rounder scoring 213 runs, taking four catches in the field and claiming two scalps with the ball. Hanif Khan from Sano CC was recognised as being the tournament's best batsman, scoring 171 with an average of 85.50 and Kazuyuki Ogawa from University was the best bowler, claiming 13 wickets during the tournament, including a 4/11 haul.
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