Air Force secure Japan – Sri Lanka Friendship Baseball title

Japan - Sri Lanka Friendship Baseball Cup 2022

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Air Force Baseball Club put aside their defeat in the first phase of the tournament, getting one back on Army Baseball Club to defeat them in the all-important final, 7-3 to go on to win the Japan – Sri Lanka Friendship Baseball title on the 17th September 2022.

In commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Baseball ground and 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Japan, the Sri Lanka Baseball Association, with the support of the Japanese Embassy, hosted the Japan – Sri Lanka Friendship Baseball tournament during the last month at the Diyagama Japan – Sri Lanka Baseball grounds with the participation of 13 baseball clubs.

Army qualified to the finals unbeaten. However, the story was different for Air Force as they took a harder route to the final.

The final was a tight one as Air Force managed a single run in the first inning, and then holding out Army for 5 innings, before they levelled proceedings in the 6th innings courtesy skipper Sameera Sampath.

The game was tied 1-all at the end of 9 innings and remained tied at the end of 10 innings as both teams scored 3 runs each during the 10th. (AF 4-4 ARMY)

The 11th innings was the game changer as Air Force managed to score 3 unanswered runs to secure a famous win and with it the championship.

Air Force 07 defeat Army 04 at the end of 11 innings.

His Excellency Mizukoshi Hideaki the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka graced the occasion as the chief guest while Mr. Yamada Tetsuya, JICA Chief Representative of Sri Lanka started the game delivering ceremonial first pitch.

Sri Lanka Baseball President Mr Asanga Seneviratne, Secretary Sanka Abeywickrama and executive Committee members participated the event.

The tournament commenced on the 6th of August 2022 with the participation of 13 teams as the best crop of Baseball players went head-to-head to battle it out for the trophy.

Individual award winners.

Best batter – Chinthaka Indunil (Captain Air force team, National team player)

Best Fielder – Roshan Samaraweera (Air Force, National player)

Best Pitcher – Sampath Ruwan Kumara (Army, National player)

Most Valuable player – Sameera Sadaruwan (Air Force, National Player)

Best batter – Chinthaka Indunil of Air Force receiving his award from VP Manoj Fernando

Best Fielder – Roshan Samaraweera of Air Force receiving his award from National Team Head coach Mr. Kazuto Nonaka

Best Pitcher – Sampath Ruwan Kumara of Army Receiving his award from former National team Coach Mr. Watanabe

Most Valuable player – Sameera Sadaruwan from Air Force receiving his award from VP