- Match Report
2006 Kobe Challenge – Game 1
by Gerard Brady
On Saturday morning Skip woke the Wommies at 9.30am to the tune of “Wake up, we’re bowling.”
A lot of tired boys stumbled onto the field as dry as Ghandi’s sandal, and the lackadaisical catching practice said it all. Anyhow Pup and this editor were handed the new ball. After 3 steadying overs to sober up a bit and both of us getting smacked (Russ launching the first of this editor’s third over into the Kobe skyline) it looked like KRAC were going to make a fist of it. However we finally had the break through when Thompy spooned a mistimed pull to Scottie at square leg. Three balls later Robb Mckenna nervously prodded outside off to give the Dinosaur a simple take behind the stumps, although it did require McKenna to show the umpire that he had in fact hit it by walking. This was very sporting of Robb, but proved equally disastrous for KRAC, because next over Pup steamed in and ripped one past the hapless Dave for a first baller (well catch by the Doc at first slip) and KRAC were in deep shitski at 3-20 odd.
Killer and Scotty Ada replaced the openers and had the KRAC team in 6’s and 7’s and with Russell succumbing after trying to up the scoring rate, KRAC were indeed at their number 6 and 7. Mark’s line and length was superb on a pitch that offered a little, and Scott’s bustling approach at the wicket and good action generated good pace and had the KRAC middle order literally crapping themselves. Killer knocked over the hit-or-miss “Crayfish” Mahendar a ball after being plonked into the Tennis courts, and by drinks KRAC were in trouble at 7 or so down for not much more than 50.
After drinks Killer somehow lost his line and Chucky was about to pull Scotty from the attack as the tail started to wag. The Skip asked the Wynumn-Manly lad whether he wanted a spell and promptly received a curt response of “One-more.” Chucky turned to this editor (a bowler) for advice, “Whaddya reckon, Gez”, but after seeing the burning fires of determination in the Scotty’s eyes there was no way I could shaft Scottie and the only one response, “Yeah, give him another.” The big fella stormed-in and despite his best efforts the exertion got the better of enthusiasm.
Chucky brought on the ever-dependable Shaxinator to try and entice the batsmen out and if it weren’t for Killer and this editor (sitter) he would have had his first wickets for the season. It wasn’t to be. Derek skied one to long-on where Killer spilled a tough out-field chance only after working out how to get under it. Derek then rubbed the salt in by mistiming a hoick to cow-shot for 4, and this editor’s squeezed some further lemon juice on Shacksies wound with a (as the Pres penned) “7 bites at the cherry absolute brain-fart to a nudge outside of off-stump that lobbed chest height straight to him at cover – that deservedly earned him many highlights, and thus skulls, after the game.” Russ ran out some fruit from the sideline to sooth my frustrations after throwing and kicking my hat about 20 times in the dirt, but nothing could help Shacksie’s frustration as Pup mopped the tail in successive yorkers the next over. KRAC all out for 137 off about 30 overs.
A new dawn emerged for the Wombats batting as a new opening pairing of Burkey and the debutant Bjorn strode out to run down the meagre total. A good start from the boys and Bjorn who’s first ball for the Wommies was a glorious straight drive back down the pitch which scorched the field like a tracer bullet on it’s way to the goalposts. However Japanese cricket pitches had the last laugh as Bjorn learn the harsh lesson (that we’ve all learned) and went to pull a short-pitched stinger, which innocuously shot below knee height onto the stumps. Burkey and Chuck together is always a safe combination and after seeing off the demons in the pitch being cast out by Dave and Sameer, to be 1-30 after about 10 overs drinks, but the boys then turned it on and smashed the remaining 108 runs off the next 16 overs. Burkey once again proved what a force in Japan cricket he is smashing some staggering shots in the rain (one massive straight hit and a cut shot over the point boundary just to name a few) and finished with 69 from about as many balls. The Skip ably supported and was unlucky not to post his half-century and remained not out on 43 to see the wombats comfortably home at 1-139 off in the 26th over.
Killer also contributed some classic moments during the innings. He demonstrated his boredom to those around the scorers table by pointing out the tallest skyscraper in Kobe whilst the rest of the game (umpires, batsmen, bowler and field) were waiting for him to return from the drinks break. The scorer’s table also demonstrated their boredom by recording in the scorebook (under Killer at number 11) the number of f-words Killer let rip during conversation. He had posted his own half-century within the space of 7 overs (i.e. more than a f-word a ball), which is I think is a record.
However everyone cured our boredom later by showing some awesome soccer skills – Dino’s powerful blasts and Roy’s impregnable shotstops a highlight, while Pup’s showpony-ness and Zulu running around with his shirt off a lowlight.