Singapore this morning at the Shimanto Stadium, took sweet revenge against India, who had put them out of place in the final of the 11th Men Softball Asian Cup, Kochi, 2022 (World Cup qualifier).
However, the comfortable ‘called game’ victory of 12-5 after six innings, came with mixed feelings, as they had failed to book one of the two berths to the World Cup in Auckland in November, as that was their aim in this tournament.
All Singapore can do now as the bronze medalist, is to keep their fingers crossed and pray hard, that they may still make still the trip to New Zealand, if any qualified teams withdrew or a wild card ticket is given by the World Baseball Softball Congress (WBSC).
This morning the Singapore batters read well of Indian replacement pitcher Kesharwani Manas and went to take 7-0 lead after the third inning, before India replaced him with 3rd base player Garhe Bhupendra, who was the regular pitcher and who carrying an injury.
Then in following inning after Singapore increased their lead, India changed Grahe with second base player Patil Pritish Ramesh.
Just when the game looked heading for called game after Singapore increased their lead to 9-0 at the top of 3rd innings, Singapore’s decision to change their key pitcher Aloysius Ong with Mathew Tan, saw India back into the game with five runs to reduce their deficit to 9-5.
Singapore picked up two runs in the next inning and brought back Aloysius to pitch again and India’s trouble began as they were shut out again.
Singapore could have ended the game much earlier but had to play for two and half hours, before their one run in the sixth inning and shutting out India after much trouble, saw them win the game 12-5 on runs ahead.
Singapore coach Koh Ruoh He underlined that the heavy rain they had played India in the Super League round match where they lost 12-17 yesterday, was the cause of their defeat.
“Today on better ground conditions and the sun shinning, we showed our true capabilities. But we could have made the win much easier but took a longer route,” said Koh.
“When we changed Aloysious with Mathew, we thought we will continue to sail smoothly, but the latter had problems with his lines and we got back on track when we brought back Aloysius.
“While we happy with the win, we are sad we have lost the berth to World Cup.
“We will now make an appeal through our national association to Softball Asia to make our representation to WBSC, to consider us for a wild card entry or if any country withdraws.”
India’s coach Vari Kumar said, their had problems because their regular pitcher Garhe was carrying an injury.
“We don’t have a capable replacement for Garhe and that was our problem. On the other, we also had our chances to give better fight to Singapore but failed to capitalise on it.”
He added that their earlier victory over Singapore had nothing to do with the rain. Both teams played on the same conditions and we did well. Today too, despite the loss, I personally think we did well.
“In any case, it has been a good run for India to have finished fourth in the seven nation tournament.”
In the 5th and 6th placing match, Hong Kong defeated Thailand 5-1.
STANDINGS AFTER PRELIMINARY ROUND
- Hong Kong
- Chinese Taipei
SUPER ROUND AND PLACING MATCHES RESULTS
Japan 7 Philippines 0 (Shimanto Stadium)
Singapore 12 India 17 (Yasumani Field)
Chinese Taipei 9 Thailand 16 (Shimanto Stadium) – placing match
Japan 7 Singapore 0 (Shimanto Stadium)
India 1 Philippines 8 (Yasumani Field)
India 5 Singapore 12 (Bronze medal – 3/4th placing)
Hong Kong 5 Thailand 1 (5th/6th placing)
Japan v Philippines (Final)
Medal Awards Ceremony
- HONG KONG
- CHINESE TAIPEI