Match Report: 2nd Semi-Final, Division 1, Japan Cup Kansai – Royal Osaka Tigers vs. Kyoto Super Lions (09/03/2023)
The second semi-final of the Division 1 Japan Cup Kansai saw an exhilarating contest between Royal Osaka Tigers and Kyoto Super Lions. Royal Osaka Tigers won the toss and elected to bat first on a sunny day at Kaizuka Cricket Field.
1st Innings – Royal Osaka Tigers
Royal Osaka Tigers got off to a cautious start with Harshpreet Singh and Deven Kale taking their time to settle in. However, Sachin Karunarathna provided the first breakthrough for Kyoto Super Lions by dismissing Harshpreet Singh for 9 runs. Sunny Singh and Abhinav Mahajan followed quickly, both falling to Karunarathna as well, leaving Royal Osaka Tigers at 33/3 in the 7th over.
Sachin Yadav, despite suffering an injury and retiring hurt at 20, was the anchor for the Tigers. Kunwar Mahender played a crucial role in stabilizing the innings, scoring a brilliant 42 off 34 balls, which included five sixes. Sandeep Krishnan’s quickfire 13 off 5 balls boosted the total.
Kyoto Super Lions bowlers put in a disciplined effort, with Sachin Karunarathna being the standout performer, taking 3 wickets for just 15 runs in his 4 overs. Dananjaya Perera and Mohamed Althaf also chipped in with important wickets. Royal Osaka Tigers managed to post a competitive total of 123/6 in their 20 overs.
2nd Innings – Kyoto Super Lions
Chasing a target of 124, Kyoto Super Lions got off to a disastrous start as they lost their first wicket, Ajith Ganepola, without a run on the board. Charith Kodokara and Mohamed Althaf tried to stabilize the innings but found themselves struggling against the disciplined Royal Osaka Tigers bowling attack.
Rangana Cooray was the only batsman who managed to make a significant contribution for Kyoto Super Lions, scoring 32 runs off 34 balls. Prameeth Hansika Thewarapperuma contributed 19 runs, but wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.
Kyoto Super Lions required 9 runs off the last over to win, with Dilan Silva and Devendra Sanka at the crease. Silva held his nerve and struck a boundary off the penultimate ball to seal a thrilling victory for Kyoto Super Lions.
Kunwar Mahender was the star for Royal Osaka Tigers with his exceptional performance, taking 3 crucial wickets for just 22 runs in his 4 overs.
In a nail-biting encounter, Kyoto Super Lions managed to chase down the target of 124 with just 2 balls to spare, securing a place in the final of the Division 1 Japan Cup Kansai.
Player of the Match
Kunwar Mahender’s all-round performance, scoring 42 runs and taking 3 wickets, earned him the well-deserved Player of the Match award.
This thrilling semi-final showcased the competitive spirit of both teams and set the stage for an exciting final in the Division 1 Japan Cup Kansai.