Japan Friendship Cup

August 20, 2004

by Ian Gason


Chuck, Jarrad, Alex, and myself (Curls) were lucky enough to participate in this great weekend of cricket, testing our mettle with not only Japan’s best cricketers, but also young and upcoming Bangladeshis, some of whom will one day make the grade as Test cricketers. With perfect views of Fuji-san, a U-beaut curry and 150 cricketing J-shielas on Saturday, what more could a Wombat ask for?

Day One: Board XI v Bangladeshi Academy.

Board XI went in to bat, and a fiery leftie from Bangladesh soon had first blood as a bruised Joel (Kytes) was back in the pavilion. The backbone of the Board innings was our man Jarrad who made his maiden century, highlighted by consecutive 6s in the death. I joined Jarrad for a 60 run 8th wicket stand after a mid innings wobble. All Out 250.

Like a Wombats game, my second ball was dropped at slip. Salt in the wound from Matt, who spilled one at backward square same over. Next over he got one, and so did the recalictrant slip in my next. I grabbed me 2nd with a Little Richard style running belly flop c&b. From 3fa f**all, the teenagers showed great maturity to fightback, and looked like wrestling the game from The Dream Team (that’s us, OK?). Another couple of wickets and we looked to be home at 8/150. Again the kids showed that really DO have what it takes to play for their country, by putting together 2 big stands and getting Grumpy grumpy. “Curly, get me a wicket!”. So I did, bowled.

The last pair took the score into the 240s before Shariful Islam told Jarrad “Give me just one over”. With the other game finished the Bangladeshi treated everyone to a nail-biter, before Matt took a good catch in the deep with just 3 runs to spare.

Day Two: Board XI v Japan.

Japan batted first and started off by handing the Dream Team a fair spanking, helped along by some more poor catching, and run of the mill bowling. Things started turning our way when Ken (Tokyo Bay) started taking wickets (3fa). A couple of run outs and some good bowling from Naem (Friends?) and we had done really well to restrict the national side to 200.

No worries, right? Wrong. Andrew King (British) got The Dinosaur for a duck. Naem went on the attack and had his fifty before we knew it, but couldn’t go on with the job.

A couple more wickets thrown away and we had a hole to extract ourselves from. I went out to join Yoshi (Millenium) and stopped the rot. The young Japanese lad was great, valuing his wicket and slowly we approached the top of the hole. Sadly, he didn’t middle a loose ball and was caught. A couple of partners came and went til I joined the lemmings on 22. 8fa not enough and eventually a costly loss, all out 150.

Day Three: Board XI v KCL All-Stars.

The much anticapted Wombat-on-Wombat show down, both teams a chance to take the Friendship Cup. Naem went cheaply, bringing Dream Team secret weapon Shariful “The Sherrif” Islam to the crease. The Sheriff had played in the U-19 World Cup for Bangladesh. Jarrad made amends for his dinky duck, with a quick fire 28. It was completely overshadowed by The Sherriff’s magnificent century. He made the “All Stars” look like the “Milky Bar Kids” as he smacked them all round the ground. Some pedestrian outfielding by one C.Jones saw him come in for some harsh heckling from the batting side, and he soon lost his cool, biting back at the peanut gallery “you’re like a bunch of old ladies at a pie bake-off you are”. Trying to hide the sensitive Star, Amir tried him as a spinner. Nari (Engineers) pushed Chuck’s first ball for a single, and allowed The Sherriff to feast. The next 5 balls saw 3 6s and 2 4s, and Chuck was banished from the attack after just one 27 run over.

Later I chipped in 18, including hitting the Captain for 4 and then 6. Alex hit his first ball for 4. The Dream Team, 290 after 50.

Enough to contain the Big Guns of the All-Stars? Read Chuck’s report on their innings…..

© Tokyo Wombats Cricket Club