- Match Report
Alpha Dominate Beta Wombats
by Evan Hitchman
Round 4 of the JCL rolled around and the Wombats headed down to their “Home Ground” of Fuji 1 in desperate need of a win after being subjected to an absolute caning by Max at Sano the week before. At 1-2 for the season it was a good chance against Alpha Q to get back to an even mark for the year and set us up for a run at the top 4 and a finals place come September.
After winning the toss, skipper Patmore elected to bat, and in a nod to our only spectator Mark, Ev’s step-dad who had travelled from Australia, promoted Hitchman to open the batting alongside Patmore in search of some quick early runs during the power-play. As Mark set himself on the boundary and before he could even pull out the camera to take a few shots Ev faced his first ball and was clean bowled by Nandha for a golden duck.
In came Dino and after swapping singles with Patmore decided to go for a swipe, skied one and was caught at mid-off. His length of innings was double that of Ev’s (2 balls!) but he was there long enough to pull his calf and hobble off to the boundary swearing to himself and worrying about what Etsuko might say if he needed a wheelchair to catch his flight to Korea the next day!
Regular opener Richie joined Alex to see out the first over and survived, leaving the Wommies at 2 for 3 and needing a steadying partnership. The openers were bowling well for Alpha, with Gurman looking particularly dangerous and after a few lusty boundaries from Richie he went for one too many and got caught for 15 and the score was 3/27. Many of us were wondering was this a repeat of Max from last week. Would we be bowled out for less than 100 again?! We needed someone to stand up, put on a partnership and see us to a decent total. Someone who knew the Alpha bowling inside out, and could sledge the opposition fielders in their native language to put them off their game.
Up stepped Naz! In a chanceless innings, Naren put on a fantastic partnership with the skipper for 149, changing the game on its head and putting the Wombats in with a good chance to get 200, or even push on towards 250. In the last few overs, Alex went out caught after another really solid 50, dependable as always and Deano came and went for 5 looking for quick runs late on. Jamie and new-boy Nick saw out the last over with El Pres unlucky not to hit a 6, getting dropped on the boundary with a lusty blow that almost went over the rope. The Wommies ended up with a very respectable score of 206 on Fuji 1 and if we were to bowl and fielded well, we were every chance for the win.
The second innings began in similar fashion to the first, with early wickets falling. Nigel was fired up, bowling on all cylinders with an inspired spell of fast bowling that the Alpha guys couldn’t cope with. A wicket in his first over came with an edge gobbled up by Dino at slip, going straight into his chest thankfully as he couldn’t walk or move left to right! Deano caught a Quasher in front LBW, and quick thinking by Naren and a mix-up from the under pressure batters saw Alpha down 3 for 5 after only a few overs. Nigel kept bowling really well and was very unlucky not to have got a few more wickets, but the batters survived, putting on a 50 partnership but not looking set. Dean “The Mad Monk” Abbott was rewarded for some tight bowling with 2 quick wickets to break the partnership before drinks and suddenly the Wommies were in the box seat at 5-71. Just the lower order to get through and 130 odd runs in the bank to spare. Should be easy from here……not for a minute!
Alpha, though batted deep on this day and still had dangerous all rounders Dhaka, Vellingiri, Gurman and the skipper Nandha to bat – hardly lower order batsmen and if any Wombats were thinking about reaching the Hub Happy Hour, those thoughts were put to bed quickly as Dhaka and his partners began to punish anything slightly short with a few big 6’s, and finding the gaps with ease. The total began to pile up and another good partnership saw Alpha up to 146 before Himan finally broke through, having Vellingiri caught behind by the skipper. Still with 60 runs to play with and only 4 wickets to get, Wommies were probably still favourites. A few quick wickets and it’d be game over. New boys Sam Pearson and Nick Bruce had a bowl but unfortunately couldn’t break through, leaving “insider trader” Naren to try and spin the opposition and subsequently got Dhaka caught by Sam. The boys kept trying hard in the field, cutting off boundaries and running hard, but Gurman with a quick-fire run-a-ball 40 took the game away from us, winning by 3 wickets in the end. We were about 30 runs and probably a bowler short on the day, but no shame in the loss and everyone did their best. The dice isn’t quite rolling kindly for the Wombats at the moment, but if we keep up the effort, luck will change and some wins are surely just around the corner.
Man of the match for the Wommies went to Naren for a great 76 in the first innings, a run-out, and some good bowling as well.
With Tokyo Wombats at 1-3 for the 2018 season, next-up is an absolute must-win game vs Sano @ Sano 1.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Alpha Quashers Yokohama CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2018 (Div. 1), Fuji 1, Shizuoka, May 26, 2018|
|Toss||Tokyo Wombats CC|
|Result||AQY CC won by 1 wicket|
|TWCC MoM||N Madhavan|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 206/6 (40.0 overs)|
|A Patmore*†||c S Dhanachandran† b V Jayakumar||53||102||4||0||51.96|
|E Hitchman||b N Chhajed||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|J Shearer||c N Kanungo b N Chhajed||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|R Bracefield||c N Chhajed b G Singh||15||17||2||0||88.24|
|N Madhavan||c D Dhaka b V Jayakumar||76||103||6||1||73.79|
|D Abbott||lbw b N Chhajed||5||9||0||0||55.56|
|J Payne||not out||2||6||0||0||33.33|
|N Bruce||not out||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 8, w 43, nb 2)||53|
|Fall of wickets|
|0-1 E Hitchman, 3-2 J Shearer, 27-3 R Bracefield, 176-4 A Patmore*†, 202-5 D Abbott, 202-6 N Madhavan|
|Alpha Quashers Yokohama CC Innings: 208/7 (37.5 overs)|
|S Pedada||c J Shearer b N McKay||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|S Dhanachandran†||run out (N Madhavan / D Abbott)||2||11||0||0||18.18|
|K Yelesam||lbw b D Abbott||0||7||0||0||0.00|
|V Jayakumar||lbw b D Abbott||41||33||4||0||124.24|
|D Dhaka||c S Pearson b N Madhavan||43||68||2||2||63.24|
|N Kanungo||b D Abbott||4||3||1||0||133.33|
|K Vellingiri||c A Patmore*† b H
|G Singh||not out||41||39||4||1||105.13|
|N Chhajed||not out||4||3||0||0||133.33|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 1, w 34, nb 4)||40|
|Fall of wickets|
|0-1 S Pedada, 3-2 K Yelesam, 5-3 S Dhanachandran†, 66-4 V Jayakumar, 71-5 N Kanungo, 146-6 K Vellingiri, 189-7 D Dhaka|
- Dino – nice, albeit bizarrely slow, catch early on at slip, luckily for him it went straight to his chest, as he couldn’t move!
- Sam – at cover for a much needed breakthrough, although it was a bit of an effort with belly and hands, both competing for the catch
- Ev – spilling one at Long-On in the deep, missing the ball completely, then writhing around in pain like Cristiano Ronaldo as it missed his hands and smacked into his knee
- Dino – almost a great catch, despite an injured calf muscle, letting gravity do its thing as he crashed to the ground like a felled tree, arms stretched low at first slip with ball in hand. Unfortunately, gravity won though and as he hit the ground it popped out. It would’ve been called a mark though! Japan’s Meteorological Agency felt the impact and recorded it as a minor tectonic event (the Wombats recorded it as a standard tekitoni event!).
- Usually unflappable in the ring (field), Jamie seemingly forgot how his legs work as a potential catch was lobbed just over his head at point.
- New Wombat Nick with a flatly struck opportunity at mid-on, running to his left and jumping with hands outstretched. The ball grazing his index finger before flying to the boundary.
- Sam, about Dino: “He was showing me drone shots of his house, he’s pretty proud of it. He’s got an awesome set-up down there, all he’s missing is some friends!”
- Vikram – “Sorry I’m unavailable, I need to babysit the puppy!”
- Not really a quote, but Dean’s “noise” he made upon clean bowling an Alpha Q batsman. A high-pitched squeal? Or a squawk? It didn’t sound human.
- “No AJ in the van today, cos he wanted to have sex” or something like that, when we stopped for a pee-break
Great Moments in Sport
- Naren’s fantastic innings and highest score for the wommies
- Huge, new-record 4th wicket partnership of 149 by Patmore/Madhavan that got us out of trouble. Sensible and measured batting all the way.
- That odd run-out… Amid his fruitful bowling spell (3-fa), Deano clipped the top of the bails as he delivered a ball to one of the Alpha top order batsmen, rendering the delivery a no-ball. The batsman took a wild on-side swing and ended up skying it to Naren at mid-wicket. Keeping his composure, Deano quickly notices the non-striker running toward his ball-watching partner and screams for a run-out chance at the bowler’s end. Naren takes the catch and fires it straight to Dean who coolly plucks a bail-less stump out of the ground with ball in hand to complete the run out, leaving two very confused Alpha Q batsman scratching their heads at the other end (and most of the Wombats also wondering if Deano was going for the first double play in cricket history).
- Evan announcing to the team (and to most of Shizuoka prefecture) at full volume that the ball was “Ev’s!!!” every time a ball was heading his way. Was this a new strategy to intimidate the batsman? To gee-up the Wommies in the field? Or was this a secret ploy to get the attention of the Wombats’ sole spectator, and Ev’s former step-dad, Mark?
- Patmore – for his yet-another patient innings, and yet-another 50.
- Dino – for gritting it out till the end with literally one leg.
- Nick and Sam – giving their all out in the field for their first wombats’ outing.
- Deano’s amazing opening spell, almost getting us a win.
- Nigel’s second spell – fiery
- Every wombat for giving their 100% in the field.
- Etsuko after hearing Dino will have a few beers!
- “Stop shouting at me when I’m running- I can’t hear you!” or words to that effect from Jamie to Ev after Ev yells at him to go easy on the throw.
- Jamie – “It’s not a dropped catch if you don’t touch the bloody thing! First, I didn’t touch the ball and Second, I was 2 or 3 metres away from it!!” – getting rather annoyed, and refusing to accept a dropped catch when he slipped at point, just like Steven Gerrard when he slipped to lose the title to Chelsea.
Golden Thong Nominations
- Ev’s step-dad Mark for coming down to watch Ev bat and take out the video to record the innings, only for him to get bowled first ballfor a golden duck!