by Ian Gason
The Edogawa Falcons’, also known as Sheikh’s team, took out the Pakistan Independence Day Cup 7-a-side tournament Sunday, defeating Sri Lankan Lions in the final. Wombats finished in 3rd place, having been narrowly defeated by the Falcons in the semi final.
The day was not without its problems, Osaka having a car accident on the way down, play delayed by late arrivals by over an hour, the losers’ final being abandoned as it was pitch dark. Nonetheless, it was a great day, the one day of the year all the KCA teams are out together, and everyone (with 1 notable exception) went home having enjoyed some top cricket. 8th man Little Richard and horse racing fan Smoking Pete were invited to help make up the numbers for Osaka, then slugged Y1500 for the privilege!
Wombats draw was agreeable, pulling Tokyo Bay in the 3rd match of the day. Fielding first, Wombats were on top in the field and restricted Tokyo Bay to 42 off their 6 overs. Highlights included Chef taking a top catch down at long off, running around to grab it above his left shoulder; Chuck’s bowling producing a mere 3 wides (tough calls the lot of ’em!) and a stumping and a run out. All round, the bowling and fielding was of the high standards we are setting and maintaining for ourselves. A joy to be part of.
Tokyo Bay had one moment of pleasure, catching Chuck on long on boundary. Tokyo never had enough in the armory and the only hiccup in the Wombats run chase came courtesy of Zulu’s mistake with the scoring. Jarrad pulled a ball to the squre leg boundary for 4, only to be felled by a bouncer next ball.
The ball was rightly ruled no-ball and the chase was over. A recount of the scores revealed that Jarrad had actually hit the winning runs with that boundary, and the ball which cracked his head was unnecessary! Great work Zulu!
Our semi final was against The Falcons, who had recently finished second in the Shanghaifs Sixes, no mean feat. The 39 runs we managed (from 5 overs, games reduced to allow for fading light) was not enough. It was remarkable for 2 things though. Dinosaur taking quick singles, drop and run. Great to watch, hope to see it more often. The last ball of the innings, Chuckie pulled over cow corner, way,way over cow corner for a massive 6.
Wombats fought hard, with good tight fielding, although it was always going to be tough after my over cost ten, which Dinosaur (encouragingly?!) described as “the worst I have seen you bowl all year”. Up stepped the Birdman! From the top of his run, our favourite Kiwi did a full Hakka, assisted most vocally by Chuck in cow corner. The batsman was rattled, and pulled Bird’s first ball in the air to square leg where Zulu pulled off a remarkable catch running and diving to knee height on his left, and coming up with the pill! Schweppes Classic Catch number one soon had a rival though, as Bird was again hit in the air where a running Chuckie lept Aussie Rules style to grab the ball 10 foot off the ground, metres from the rope!
For all its highlights though, the Wombats’ fight was in vain, as the Falcons got the runs with 3 balls to spare, but not before Zulu had satisfyingly thudded the ball into one Falcon’s ribcage. Top nut, Zulu.
The other semi-final saw Lions defeat Lalazar, who needed 4 from the last ball only see a man caught on the boundary. Doesn’t get much closer than that!
The final saw Falcons overhaul the Lions total, but I cant recall how much that was. Star of the tournament, Falcon’s man with The Beard was again dominating the bowlers, turning singles into 2, 2s into 3s, and finding plenty of boundaries as well. The total looked in reach when, on the last ball of an over, he declined to take a second, believing he was the man to get those last few runs. His partner disagreed. Words were said, and The Beard marched off the pitch. As he approached his stunned team-mates, he tossed his bat at his kit-bag, and without a word, un-padded, packed his kitbag, and took his bat and ball and went home!! He was last seen summitting the Koiwa Hill and heading off into the sunset. His premature exit blew his chances of Man of the Tournament, which was ironically awarded to his batting partner.
A big round of applause is in order for Bird, who made the first addition to the Wombats’ silver collection, when his 2 overs 3 for 8 earned him the Bowler Of the Tournament award. Later at the izakaya (and again on the train!) Wombats put the silver cup to appropriate use time and time again.
Memories are made of this.
Lastly a special thanks to Chuck, who donated a whole bunch of Pakistani World Cup memorabilia, which was auctioned of by Wombats’ Master Of Ceremonies, Smokin’ Pete. Over Y20,000 was raised for the Club coffers, so thanks to Chuck, and also to Peter.