The Kansai region was proud to host 3 matches over a 2 day period with the Craigengower Cricket Club of Hong Kong from September 15-16, 2023. The Kaizuka Cricket Field is an ideal location for overseas teams to tour Japan being a short 30 minute travel time from both the airport and downtown Osaka and with the addition of practice nets added last year makes a perfect place for a training camp.
We hope to see more international teams visit us next year and enjoy both the cultural exchanges and the sport of cricket, together.
Match Report, Day 1
Craigengower Cricket Club, Hung See v Kansai Dragons, 40 Overs a side
In a thrilling encounter between the touring side Craigengower Cricket Club from Hong Kong and the local team Kansai Dragons, it was the Dragons who emerged victorious. Led by an outstanding performance from Jisei Ando, the Dragons successfully chased down the target set by Craigengower Cricket Club, Hung See, to win the match by five wickets.
Craigengower CC, Hung See won the toss and elected to bat. Anthony Marrin and Raymond Chan provided a steady start for their team, scoring 20 runs in the initial overs. However, a brilliant spell from Kansai Dragons’ Shion Uraki broke the partnership, dismissing Marrin for 13. Raymond Chan continued to anchor the innings with a patient knock of 26 runs. But the Dragons’ bowlers, led by Hikaru Kuroki and Jisei Ando, kept the pressure on the batting side.
Craigengower CC, Hung See worked to build partnerships, but lost wickets at regular intervals. Shreyans Nanavati, Louis Chan, and Bobby Chan all fell cheaply, putting their team in a difficult position. However, a late fightback from Thomas Lam, who scored 33 runs, and valuable contributions from Marco Cheung and Kelvin Choy helped the team post a total of 123 runs in 36 overs.
In response, Kansai Dragons got off to a shaky start, losing two quick wickets for just four runs on the board. However, Ando and Shion Uraki steadied the innings with a crucial partnership. Ando played an impressive knock of 18 runs, while Uraki contributed 16 runs before being caught and bowled by Bobby Chan. Hung See Kansai Dragons fought back with wickets at regular intervals, but Ryonosuke Kawai’s explosive innings of 47 runs off just 21 balls turned the tide in favor of the home team.
Despite some late drama, Kansai Dragons reached the target of 124 runs with five wickets in hand and 4.2 overs to spare. Jisei Ando was named the Player of the Match for his all-round performance, taking three wickets and playing a crucial role in the run chase.
The match showcased the growing popularity of cricket in Japan, with both teams displaying great sportsmanship and competitive spirit. It was a testament to the talent and dedication of the local players, who were fortunate to outperform their Hong Kong counterparts on the day.
This match not only provided an exciting contest for the fans but also served as a platform for the exchange of cricketing skills and cultural experiences between the two teams. The success of this match bodes well for the future of cricket in Japan and highlights the potential for further growth and international cooperation of the sport in the country.
Match Report, Day 2
Craigengower Cricket Club, Hung See v Kansai Dragons, T20
In the morning match between the touring team from Hong Kong, Craigengower Cricket Club, and the local Kansai Dragons, it was the Dragons who emerged victorious in a thrilling encounter at Kaizuka Cricket Field.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Kansai Dragons got off to a shaky start with opener Hinase Goto departing for a duck in just the third ball of the innings, caught by wicketkeeper Kelvin Choy off the bowling of Bobby Chan. However, Jisei Ando quickly steadied the ship, smashing 19 runs off just 11 deliveries, including two boundaries and a six.
The Dragons continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, with Hikaru Kuroki (6) and Riku Awaga (27) falling cheaply. However, a stunning knock from Yoshifumi Nishimoto turned the tide in favor of the home team. Nishimoto displayed his aggressive batting skills, smashing 50 runs off just 22 balls, which included five fours and four sixes.
Despite a few more wickets falling, the Dragons managed to reach a respectable total of 135 runs for the loss of eight wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing a target of 136 runs, Hung See got off to a difficult start, losing opener Anthony Marrin (2) early on. Raymond Chan (6) followed soon after, falling victim to Jisei Ando’s bowling. Hung See’s batting lineup struggled to build partnerships, with Bobby Chan (18) being the only player to reach double figures.
The Kansai Dragons bowlers found success in regular intervals, with Hikaru Kuroki and Hinase Goto each claiming two wickets. Hung See’s innings fell apart, with Louis Chan (39) being the only resistance, as they were all out for just 102 runs in 18 overs.
The Kansai Dragons’ disciplined bowling and brilliant fielding contributed to their victory, with Soshi Mizumoto running out Nigel Sun in a crucial moment of the match.
In the end, it was the Kansai Dragons who emerged as the deserving winners by 33 runs, showcasing their excellent teamwork and skill. Yoshifumi Nishimoto’s explosive batting display and the collective effort of the Dragons’ bowlers were the key factors in their victory.
The Kansai Dragons’ performance in this match will undoubtedly boost their confidence and further inspire the development of cricket in the region.
Craigengower Cricket Club, Hung See v Sano Braves, T20
On a sunny day at the Kaizuka Cricket Field, the touring group from Hong Kong, Craigengower Cricket Club, Hung See, took on the local Kansai team, Sano Braves, in a thrilling one-off match. The match proved to be a contest of skill and strategy, with Sano Braves emerging as the victors by seven wickets.
Winning the toss, Hung See elected to bat first, aiming to set a challenging target for Sano Braves. However, their innings got off to a shaky start, losing opener Anthony Marrin early on. Louis Chan stepped up to the challenge, displaying excellent strokeplay and building a crucial partnership with Bobby Chan. The duo showcased their skill and determination, with Louis retiring out after a brilliant knock of 65 runs, which included seven boundaries and a six.
Bobby Chan also retired out, contributing 33 runs, enabling Hung See to maintain a steady run rate. However, Sano Braves’ tight bowling and fielding restricted the opposition’s scoring opportunities. Raymond Chan, Nigel Sun, and Kelvin Choy were all dismissed cheaply, unable to make an impact on the scoreboard. The lower order batsmen, Ghee Peh, Shreyans Nanavati, Michael Wong, and Rob Lee, were unable to provide the late fireworks as Hung See concluded their innings at 127 for 6 in 18 overs.
Sano Braves’ bowlers demonstrated excellent discipline and accuracy, with Yuto Sato being the pick of the bowlers, taking 1 wicket for 22 runs. The support from Hirotake Kakinuma, Jisei Ando, Tomoki Kurihara, and Ryuki Ozeki was instrumental in containing the opposition’s run flow.
In pursuit of the target, Sano Braves got off to a flying start, with opener Chihaya Arakawa leading the charge. Arakawa played a patient and aggressive innings, displaying his expertise with five boundaries and a retirement score of 55 runs. Tomoki Kurihara and Jisei Ando also made valuable contributions, retiring out for 15 and 23 runs, respectively.
Despite a couple of quick wickets towards the end of the innings, Yuto Yageta and Ryuki Ozeki steadied the ship and ensured Sano Braves reached the target comfortably. Yageta remained unbeaten on 11 runs, while Ozeki provided a quick cameo of 9 runs off just 4 balls.
Hung See’s bowlers struggled to find breakthroughs, with Ghee Peh being the sole wicket-taker. The opposition’s bowling attack, comprising Shreyans Nanavati, Rob Lee, Bobby Chan, Michael Wong, and Nigel Sun, failed to contain the Sano Braves batsmen, allowing them to reach the target with four overs to spare.
Chihaya Arakawa’s outstanding performance with the bat earned him the well-deserved Player of the Match award, for his match-winning knock of 55 runs.
The match between Craigengower Cricket Club and Sano Braves showcased the growing popularity of cricket in Japan. Sano Braves’ strong victory over Hung See demonstrated their strong teamwork and skill.
The Kansai Cricket Association is grateful that Craigengower Cricket Club decided to tour Japan and chose Kaizuka Cricket Ground as their base. These matches have been enjoyable to watch and in addition to building friendships help to strengthen the bonds between our countries.