- Match Report
A Genuine Case of Blue Balls
by Vignesh Bandi
After putting in some decent groundwork with the bat, we left the Sano River Ground feeling a juxtaposition of impotence and knowing that euphoria is only a couple of maidens and a bit more leather against middle stump away.
The Wombats descended upon Sano eager to get one on the board after a mixed performance against the Tigers in round 1. We also welcomed back Naz into the XI. I was led to believe he now plays slightly more competitive cricket in Switzerland.
To be honest, the signs were ominous from the beginning with an unusual train delay from Shinjuku leaving Alex, Richie, Luke, Himan, Naz and I with just enough time to run a not insignificant amount of gear (including a pair of briefs Ken mistakenly took to be trousers from It’s Just Cricket) up and over a set of tracks only to see our connecting train leave. Himan continued the self-mortification on the next train by attempting to sleep through a strange mix of classical music emanating from earphones on max volume with treble booster.
The pain and suffering paid off, and Alex won the toss for the second time in a row and decided to bat.
Alex and Richie started well – Richie effortlessly accumulating the four runs he needed to surpass one hundred (100) runs across two innings, and Alex showing all the signs of maintaining a strike rate closer to one hundred (100) than fifty (50).
The innings was ultimately marred by our succumbing to the great Aussie tradition of a middle order collapse. Alex led from the front with a classy 78 with Nige and Solaiman’s last wicket stand (28, a record 10th wicket partnership with Solaiman also taking out the top score by a No 11 by 650%) a distant second and wide deliveries a close third culminating in a respectable 187 all out.
The innings raised the following questions (from least to most important):
- can we defend this?
- is Luke’s new bat any good?
- can an umpire who twice failed to recognize that an over constitutes six (6) fair deliveries during the first ten overs the game be trusted to judge a Wombat facing his first ball in the Japan Cricket League leg before wicket?
- should AJ have played the reverse sweep instead of trying to drive the ball, which took his off stump?
Unfortunately, the answer to all of the above was no.
The Men In Blue got off to a flying start and as was the case in Round 1, the eight (8) Wombats given the ball were unable to get past the No 5 or contain the flow of runs. AJ, Danny and Rasi were the pick of the bowlers – AJ for putting away two in quick succession, Danny for actually delivering a spell under the required run rate and Rasi not letting getting driven one bounce into his own car stop him from keeping us in the field for at least less than half the allotted overs.
All in all, a day to forget for the Wombats and a good win for the Men in Blue. However, I can’t help but think that all that is needed is a couple of balls in the right places to get the season back on track.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Men in Blue CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2019 (Div. 1), Sano 1, Tochigi, April 20, 2019|
|Toss||Tokyo Wombats CC|
|Umpires||Alpha Quashers Yokohama CC|
|Result||Men in Blue CC won by 7 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||A Jacob|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 187 (38.4 overs)|
|A Patmore*†||c A Vaidya† b S Pandhari||78||93||11||0||83.87|
|R Bracefield||c ? b S Pandhari||14||25||3||0||56.00|
|D Mee||c A Vaidya† b A Jaiswal||6||8||1||0||75.00|
|N Madhavan||c S Pandhari b P Manvi||19||38||2||0||50.00|
|L Eyes||b H Akabari||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|V Bandi||lbw b P Manvi||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|A Jacob||b V Ranjan||10||22||1||0||45.45|
|R Ethugala||lbw b S Pandhari||4||12||0||0||33.33|
|H Bugalia||lbw b M Thouseef||4||5||1||0||80.00|
|N McKay||not out||10||13||1||0||76.92|
|S Haque||b A Jaiswal||13||15||2||0||86.67|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 5 w 22, nb 1)||29|
|Fall of wickets|
|29-1 R Bracefield, 43-2 D Mee, 92-3 N Madhavan, 93-4 L Eyes, 98-5 V Bandi, 137-6 A Jacob, 148-7 R Ethugala, 155-8 H Bugalia, 159-9 A Patmore*†, 187-10 S Haque|
|Men in Blue CC Innings: 191/3 (23.2 overs)|
|D Sapra||c V Bandi b A Jacob||15||13||3||0||115.39|
|A Telang||c R Ethugala b V Bandi||62||59||10||1||105.09|
|A Vaidya†||c D Mee b A Jacob||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|S Pandhari||not out||64||59||13||0||108.48|
|S Petkar||not out||24||8||4||1||300.00|
|Extras||(b 2, lb 0, w 23, nb 1)||26|
|Fall of wickets|
|48-1 D Sapra, 48-2 A Vaidya†, 144-3 A Telang|
- A great catch at the covers running backwards, over head and all that, by the new boy Vig.
- Sharp one by Daniel at the slips. (He was beaming even before the ball thundered into his palms)
- A tough chance by Sulaiman at square leg.
- Daniel to Patmore: there are a whole bunch of things you can do after 40, Patmore.
- Luke to the Brown guys, fairly enough: (including the new wombat Vig, who is brown from Down under.) You guys of all people shouldn’t be talking about accents lads. (After being quite disappointed that Himan felt Oz (read: Tasmanian) accent was the most difficult among all the accents in the team).
- Patmore to Richie (& Luke): Are you guys staying in the same room at the hotel?
- Sulaiman to AJ: I have never been used as a 7th bowler in any team.
- AJ on his wicket: I wanted to reverse-sweep him. (All of us thinking: the bat went for a drive and the off-stump got rooted.)
- Naren at 2nd drinks: “Keep me on skip, I’ve gotta get this bloke. I’ve figured him out. Once I’ve got him you can take me off”. Next over, bloke hits Naz for 5 boundaries.
Great Moments in Sport
- Daniels fielding effort. Live wire on the field.
- Vig’s debut bowling for the Wombats. Killer.
- Rasikas tight bowling and AJs come-back over that gave us a glimmer of hope.
- Himanshu’s dive at fine leg to save a boundary, when they just needed a few runs for victory. Commitment.
- Nige and Sulaiman thumping the last wicket partnership record for the wommies.
- Shout out to Richie and Luke for staying overnight at Sano to umpire a game the following day!
- Opponent batsmen, Sanket, smacking 5 fours off Naz’s over, toying with the set field.
- Nigel going nuclear after the opening batsmen scored some streaky boundaries off him.