The Kansai region Japan Cup for this year was delayed until July due to the impact of the new coronavirus, but it concluded all matches on October 4th and came to a close.
Starting this year, three new teams, the Royal Osaka Tigers, Osaka Lions, and Kaizuka Eagles, joined, making it a seven-team league (Shiga-Kyoto Cricket Club withdrew from participation this year). The Kobe Hawks, who had consistently won with their overwhelming batting power from the qualifying league onwards, defeated the Royal Osaka Tigers and secured the championship.
The participation in the Japan Cup Final, scheduled to be held in Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture from October 10th to 11th, had been confirmed, but unfortunately, it was canceled for the second consecutive year due to adverse weather conditions.
Furthermore, the Japan Cup Kansai Final, which took place on October 4th, was held as the inaugural game at Kaizuka City Cricket Field. The opening ceremony and the game itself have been uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the Japan Cricket Association! Please be sure to check it out.
Kobe Hawks T20 Clinch Victory in Thrilling Finals Clash
In a high-stakes finals clash of the 2020 Japan Cup – Kansai, the Royal Osaka Tigers T20 took on the Kobe Hawks T20 at the picturesque Kaizuka Cricket Ground. The match was filled with twists and turns, as both teams showcased their skills and determination to be crowned champions.
Royal Osaka Tigers won the toss and decided to bat first. However, their start was far from ideal as they lost early wickets, with opener Devindersingh Oberai being run out by a sharp fielding effort from Omi Malik. Suryateja Gullinkala and Deven Kale also failed to make an impact, falling victim to the bowling prowess of Syed Arif Ali and Ahmed Abbasi.
Sunny Singh and Sandeep Krishnan tried to stabilize the innings with a crucial partnership. Singh played a patient knock, while Krishnan unleashed his attacking instincts, hitting boundaries and a six. However, their efforts were not enough to dampen the spirits of the Kobe Hawks bowlers. Singh fell victim to Ali’s accurate bowling, after scoring 26 runs, while Krishnan went on to score a commendable 42 runs before being bowled by Ali.
The Royal Osaka Tigers struggled to gain momentum and lost wickets at regular intervals. They were eventually bowled out for 120 runs in 20 overs. Ali was the pick of the bowlers for the Kobe Hawks, finishing with impressive figures of 3 wickets for 14 runs in his allotted 4 overs. Abbasi and Dawood Khan also contributed with 2 wickets each.
Chasing a target of 121 runs, the Kobe Hawks got off to a disastrous start, losing opener Subhanabbasi Arshad for a duck in the very first ball of the innings, courtesy of a brilliant delivery by Umang Joshi. Arain Nazar and Umair Zulfiqar tried to stabilize the innings, but Alok Pandey struck for the Royal Osaka Tigers, dismissing Nazar for just 3 runs.
However, Zulfiqar held his ground and built a crucial partnership with Omi Malik. The duo scored quick runs and kept the scoreboard ticking. Zulfiqar contributed 24 runs before being caught by Abhinav Mahajan off the bowling of Sunny Singh. Malik also played a valuable innings, scoring 22 runs before being dismissed by Deven Kale.
With the match hanging in the balance, Javid Khan stepped up for the Kobe Hawks, playing a blistering knock of 24 runs off just 19 balls. His innings included three boundaries, providing the much-needed impetus to the team’s chase. Khan’s efforts, along with handy contributions from Syed Arif Ali and Dawood Khan, ensured that the Kobe Hawks reached the target with just four balls to spare.
In a nail-biting finish, the Kobe Hawks emerged victorious, winning the match by 3 wickets. The Royal Osaka Tigers fought gallantly, but were unable to defend their modest total. Ali was named the Player of the Match for his stellar bowling performance, which played a crucial role in restricting the opposition.
The finals showcased the immense talent and determination of both teams, with the Kobe Hawks ultimately proving their mettle under pressure. The Japan Cup – Kansai has been a successful tournament, highlighting the growing popularity of cricket in Japan and setting the stage for future cricketing endeavors in the region.