- Match Report
Big Merv Gives Engineers a Serve!
by Evan Hitchman
In what was surely the inspiration for Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, 7 dedicated Wombats showed up to YCAC, hungover and worse for wear on a very hot Sunday for the 4th Round of the Japan Cup T20 tournament. We had a line-up to put the fear of many gods and deities into the Indian Engineers though!
- “Swervin” Mervyn Payne – making his debut for the Wombats at the young age of 66, breaking a club record before the day even begun as the oldest ever Wombat.
- Mick “Dundee” Farrell – sadly playing his final game for the Wommies, no doubt being pumped up to go out with a bang.
- Jamie “New owner of the Prashant Curse” Payne – surely, with only 7 players available would be getting his first bowl for the club today?
- Sam “The Pieman” Pearson – called up for today’s game as he works in Insurance. That may come in very useful on a hot day with a 66 year old and bunch of hungover, unfit Wombats running around in 40 degree heat!
- Deano “The Mad Monk” Abbott – hopefully carrying a few tricks up his sleeve, or at least inside his massive homeless beard!
- Adam “Run the first one hard, there’s a second here!” Birss – wondering what “drunk Adam” would be ordering later on that night, as last week, post a big night on the highballs, the next morning an electric guitar and amp arrived, to a bemused and surprised family, and Adam! Happy internet shopping champ!
- Ev “TNOB” Hitchman – apparently T20’s Number One Bowler in Japan according to CricHQ! haha! Also, without a doubt the slowest, and the shortest run-up. Quite possibly going along with the shortest height as well!
It was going to be a long tough day, or actually a short enjoyable day depending on who won the toss. Luckily the skipper won the toss and we went into bat. God forbid we lost it, and had to field with 7 players in the heat for 20 overs vs a relentless Engineers line up! Adam and Mick padded up and went out to open.
What followed was Test 20 Cricket, sorry T20 Cricket at its best! Refusing to play anything outside off, and seeing off some tight bowling from the Engineers openers, Adam and Mick followed the game plan perfectly, which was just to try and see out the 20 overs and do it in wides! A few overs in, with 9 wides and 1 run off the bat, the plan was working a treat! Adam, then got a shortish ball that sat up waiting to be hit to the boundary, only to get a bottom edge off the opener Vishnu.
Jamie walked to the crease with a steely look in his eye, and determined to match his father Merv who had already broken a record before the game even began, being the oldest ever Wombat! But what record would he try to break? Fastest half century, most 6’s in an innings? No, none of that rubbish! He set out to break his own record for most balls faced without scoring!
And he made a good dash at it too, putting on a great “three-way” partnership of over 40 between J.Payne, M. Farrell and W.Ides before finally breaking the shackles and playing a shot, getting caught at square leg trying to paddle one to the short boundary. Deano came and went, getting a corking ball from “bowler #5” to be bowled for a duck, before Mick also saw his stumps fly leading not a mini-collapse as 3 wickets normally is, but seeing half the Wombats line-up back in the hutch as we only had 6 wickets in total!!
Ev and Sam were in at 4/50 still with 5 overs left, and the total looking a little low to defend with just 5 fielders! The skipper blocked the first ball, after taking a few steps down the pitch and looked a bit baffled, as did the umpire when the bowler started a 1 man appeal for LBW! The rest of the over was better though….for the bowler, as Ev looked in troubled, edging one behind to Prashant who dropped the catch and fell over. The skipper didn’t wasn’t a golden chance to sledge the keeper and let him know about it too! Next ball, again somehow Ev survived, missing the ball, seeing it hit his pads, then roll onto the stumps but not dislodge the bail! Having seen enough of this, Ev went back to Plan A, (coincidentally the only plan he has, so I don’t know what he was doing the first few balls!) and smacked the next ball for 6, being sure not to almost kill someone on the lawn bowls green unlike Richie the week before!
Sam, Ev and W.Ides put on a much needed 30 in quick time before Wombat nemesis Pavethy came on with his spinners and went straight through Ev like a Bombay, sorry Mumbai Curry (we want to be PC here at the Wombats!) – and he was clean bowled for 21 with 3 balls to go.
Strolling into the middle, for the first time in 26 years, came Big Merv Payne! And he only had 1 thing on his mind too. He had overheard someone talking about the record score for a Wombats #11 being just 2* not out, so decided, coming in last, even though it was #7 was close enough! He had a swing at every ball, but didn’t quite get it past the field, but ended up not out (something his son couldn’t do! haha) and making sure that the Wommies saw out their 20 overs, a minor miracle in itself.
A first innings score of 81 though probably wasn’t going to be enough against the Engineers, just a tad short we thought at the break. About 281 was about closer to the mark! Hitchman and the team waddled to the middle and waited for the instructions of where to field to start the second innings. It wouldn’t be an easy job, made more difficult but the addition of an extra fielder thanks to YCAC’s 12th man! Deano you take the new ball, Mick you go keeper. Adam – first slip….Merv, you go 2nd. Jamie – 3rd next to ya dad. I’ll go 4th, our new mate, you go 5th!
With the entire off side, leg side and straight down the ground devoid of fielders, the Engineers’ opener, Ajitesh (or bowler #5 as Ev liked to call him!) faced off to Dean who bowled a ripper, giving it every chance to get an edge. Unfortunately it was a few inches off the edge, hitting the middle of the bat and ending up at deep long off where the bowler himself frantically chased it, only giving up the 2 runs. It was back to an “orthodox” 3-3 field after that. 3 on the left, 3 on the right, just do your best! The Engineers were in no mood to be generous though, and punished anything loose hitting plenty of boundaries and reaching the halfway mark of 40 early in the 4th over! The Wombats didn’t let their spirits drop though, as they realised it meant that beers were probably only 4 overs away!
Sammy Pearson kept plugging away at the far end and picked up his first wicket for the club, getting out the dangerous Ajitesh caught by the sub fielder from YCAC. Thanks mate! Having seen Sam get his first wicket, the skipper turned to Jamie Payne, who was not only also looking for his first Wombats wicket, but was unbelievably only getting his first ever bowl for the team today! The first ball was a beauty to Prashant (playing for his 23rd different team in Japan we think!) and blocked down the pitch for a dot ball. Great start Jamie! The second ball, well…the less said about the second ball the better.
After we recovered the ball somewhere a few kilometres west of YCAC, Jamie lined up for his third ball and saw Prashant go for the juggular, mishitting an off-cutter straight to mid on where Sam juggled once, bobbled twice, stumbled over (not unlike Paddy the week before!) and then took it! Jamie had his first wicket for the Wombats, and the Prashant curse was back!
Father Merv was too busy sledging the batsman on the way back to pavilion to even bother to walk over and congratulate his son, sarcastically clapping Prashant saying “well batted mate!” as a frustrated batsman made his way off. After a quick 25 second over from Ev (his overs aren’t the only thing that last 25 seconds!) it was back to Lord Mountbatten himself to run through the Engineers line-up, with the Wombats only needing 8 wickets, with 7 runs remaining to be scored! It looked like that was a possibility with Shreyas caught on the “boundary” by Deano. After that Vinay seemed to have enough of this, and whacked the next few to the fence to finish off the innings in 8 overs, to the relieved cheers of all involved!
A really enjoyable game of cricket, played in good spirits was had. Thanks to the umpires from YCAC – Anton and Alan for officiating, for lending us a fielder, and also lending Ev your bat!!
“Swervin” Mervyn Payne was named Man of the Match for the Wommies for his record breaking innings of 0* not out, and his fantastic sledging, showing he hasn’t lost his touch after all these years. Ajitesh was a well deserved MVP for the Engineers with his 3 wickets and quick 20 odd with the bat. Very unlucky not to be mentioned though was W.Ides – who top scored for either side with 34!
Plenty of beers were had after the game, and a solid 100 yen bar was discovered near Sakuragicho Station so the day, in the end, was a complete success!
With that loss, the Engineers will probably end up winning Group B, with the Wombats finishing 2nd, ahead of BECC and Aoyama. There is a possibility of a 3rd vs 4th play-off vs Alpha Q or Tigers in September, but that is probably it for T20 for at least the next short while. It’s been a pretty fun, entertaining and successful T20 season for the club – thanks to everyone for playing and supporting, and hope to see you all back next year!
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Indian Engineers CC|
|Japan Cup 2018 (South Kanto), YCAC, Kanagawa, July 15, 2018|
|Toss||Tokyo Wombats CC|
|Result||IECC won by 7 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||M Payne|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 81/5 (20.0 overs)|
|M Farrell†||b A Koushal||24||36||3||0||52.17|
|A Birss||b V Shekhawat||0||6||0||0||0.00|
|J Payne||c R Tanwar b A Koushal||0||37||0||0||0.00|
|D Abbott||b A Koushal||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|E Hitchman*||b P Velusamy||21||21||3||1||100.00|
|S Pearson||not out||2||6||0||0||33.33|
|M Payne||not out||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 0, w 34, nb 0)||34|
|Fall of wickets|
|7-1 A Birss, 49-2 J Payne, 49-3 D Abbott, 51-4 M Farrell†, 80-5 E Hitchman*|
|Indian Engineers CC Innings: 82/3 (6.4 overs)|
|S Nanjundaswamy||c D Abbott b J Payne||29||14||4||1||207.14|
|A Koushal||c M Payne b S Pearson||24||15||3||1||160.00|
|P Kale†||c S Pearson b J Payne||6||3||0||1||200.00|
|V Iyer*||not out||17||8||3||0||212.5|
|M Kobayashi||not out||0||0||0||0||-|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 0, w 6, nb 0)||6|
|Fall of wickets|
|42-1 A Koushal, 55-2 P Kale†, 74-3 S Nanjundaswamy|
- Deano, took a nice catch on the boundary off Jamie. He was probably a metre of the boundary as we were actually using the soccer field markings, but don’t tell anyone!
- YCAC’s 12th man – can’t remember ya name son, but a nice catch under the high ball at point.
- Sam, bobbled a high one a few times and stumbled over, but took it in the end, catching Prashant to give Jamie his very first wicket!
- Merv – “Well batted mate!” – says Jamie’s dad sarcastically to Prashant, after he got caught on the boundary after only about 3 balls!
- Merv -“He looks like Geoffrey Boycott!” – referring to his son Jamie’s determined and battling innings of 0 off 34 balls, comparing him to the original and best “corpse with pads” Boycott himself!
- Gavin Beath – “I pass on the Prashant curse to you Jamie” – upon hearing that El Pres had got out Prashant early in his innings, just like the maestro Beefy used to do with regularity for the Wombats.
- Merv – “I can’t wait to tell the boys down at the pub about this! You can stuff your lawn bowls!”
- Ev to his seven man field: “Aaaaand for the lefty, just stay exactly where you are!”
- Umpire: “Change of bowler, [insert long Indian surname here].”
- Ev (scorer at the time): “Okay, got it.” Writes the player’s shirt number in the field for the bowler’s name.
Great Moments in Sport
- Merv making his debut for the Wombats aged a sprightly 66! Also his first game of cricket in 26 years. He didn’t get out either!
- The Payne family combining for 0* not out off about 50 balls!
- The Wommies for a bloody fantastic effort with only 7 players. We lost the game, but cricket was the winner.
- Mick playing his final game for the Wombats. Been a great addition to the club, hope ya come back soon mate.
- Jamie getting his first official bowl for the Wommies, and his first wicket too…….Prashant!!! Gav Beath has passed on the Prashant curse.
- Tokyo Wombats field setting off the 1st ball of the innings. Bowler, Wicket Keeper, 5 slips….that’s it!
- Sam the Pieman’s first wicket for the Wommies as well, caught by the YCAC sub.
- Finding a 100yen bar near the station on the way home!
- Ev’s French cut to the boundary – after France had just won the World Cup.
- Jamie playing cricket with his dad!
Golden Thong Nominations
- Jamie, who didn’t realise the guy in the white t-shirt and dark trousers who was fielding at cover for us to help out was actually on our team, and wasn’t the umpire! Why would the umpire be fielding at cover mate?! Every time the ball went between the 2 of them Jamie stole the ball off him and gave him a look like – “mate, are you having a laugh, what are you doing running after the ball – just umpire the game!”
- The Engineers bloke who appealed for LBW when Ev was halfway down the pitch, and blocked the ball off the splice of the bat, away from his pads!
- Self-nomination from Merv after forgetting to pat his own son on the back after he took his first ever wicket for the Wommies!