- Match Report
AXI DENTS FALCONS, BAGS MICHELLE PFIEFFER
by Ian Gason
Despite the usual doom and gloom weather forecasts, and some Gunma rumours, The Tokyo Wombats rolled up to and all over Edogawa. The Falcons failed to take the chances we gave them throughout the first session, and The Wombats cruised to a 7 wicket victory inside 29 overs.
Lives a plenty were given to Edogawa Falcons by a clumsy Wombats unit. Stand-in ‘keeper Zulu the first culprit, fourth ball of the day spilling a chance from the gloves of The Beard, Mohammed Rizwan, not a bloke you want to drop. With me determined to use every part of the pitch, especially the legside, it might well have cost us dearly.
A switch to round the wicket produced an(other) edge, this time from the leftie, and this one stayed in Z’s gloves, not on the turf. As I expanded my bowling horizions wider and wider, it was back to basics time, so I trotted in and lobbed a harmless ‘warm-up’ ball (in me 5th…) at captain and number 3 bat Rowan. An obliging bloke Rowan, he saved me the trouble of bending down to pick it up, and just lobbed it back to me for the easiest caught and bowled you’ll ever see. Thanks Rowan.
The trap ball to Sheikh first up was off line (ie on the stumps) and he let us know that he’s “making runs now, every game”. The Axidental tourist Robbie Mann soon came on, disgusted with the Wombats catching so far, said “I’m going alone here”. Sheikh (5) was happy to set the Falcons dominoes tumbling, by returning the trap ball to the safe hands of Axe Mann. Safe hands were in short supply as The Beard enjoyed a further 2 chances, as easy catches went to ground. In all, 5 nominations for The Herschelle Gibbs Award.
In contrast to the aerial disaster work The Wombats engaged in, ground fielding was red-hot. Lots of effort went in to depriving The Beard of those extra runs he habitually steals, and the pressure took its toll. Building succesful partnerships like Jennifer Lopez, Falcons fell to The Axe. No other Wombat played a hand in Axe’s 5 wickets, as he followed his caught and bowled with 4 bowled, including the prize scalp of The Beard. Off stump, middle stump, one stump, 2 stumps. Axe felled so much tall timber, it was a wonder Bob Brown didn’t chain himself to the stumps.
With some help from South Australia’s finest, NIKKA and Shax, and a late wicket from Alex, Falcons were all out for 105. Rob finished with 5 for 24, the best ever return for the Wombats, and the Club’s first ever ‘michelle’ (5fa).
Rowan continued his captain’s effort when he opened the bowling with an over the shoulder no-ball to Steve Burke, who promptly hooked it for 4. An 8 run opening over wasn’t the ideal start for The Falcons, and any pressure on The Wombats’ batting was soon gone. Promoted up the order, NIKKA Hall was a steady and entertaining junior partner for Burkey. Not letting a couple of bruises worry him, NIKKA danced like some kind of demeneted Muhamad Ali.
Bowlers stares were bounced back with remarks like, “oh yeah, that was good… but I hope you brought your bathers”.Once he found the gaps in the fieldsman’s hands, but generally it was a good straight knock from NIKKA, whose 26 means he has won a colourful bet with The Dinosaur. Falcons’ simply didn’t have enough men to contain Burkey and his made-for-Koiwa front foot batting. With the timing of champion, he guided the ball through the field like Kiwi in the ’82 Melbourne Cup. The opening partnership of 75 created a new record stand for The Wombats. Burkey was eventually out, Serendib Before Wicket, for 44.
Chuck spanked a cow corner 6, should have 2 more, and was in and out for 13, before you could say “let’s piss of to the pub”, which is what we did a few overs later. With Shax and Axe at the crease, it would have been nice to see Axe hack a footwork-less boundary out to win the game, but instead the winning run came off a leg-side wide.
All in all a strong win, but still not an entirely convincing effort. We can and will do better. Thanks to all the supporters too, especially – all the way from Ballarat – Yukari Hayes. Good luck and best wishes to Masayo who is due to pop out the future captain of the Japan Women’s team any minute.
Lastly, our thoughts and prayers are for all our friends at The Sri Lankan Lions.