TWCC 371/6 - 231 British Embassy

May 23, 2009 - 11:00 am at Ageo 2
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by Ian Gason

The Hardys’ Tokyo Ashes will spend another 12 months safe in the Wombats’ trophy cabinet after a rampant orgy of runs from the Wombats of Mass Destruction top four set British Embassy the Herculian task of chasing 371 runs, at Ageo Saturday.

Not having to wake up at 6am felt a bit strange for more than a few of us who gathered in Shinjuku for the 0944 Shonan, which fortunately for Iron Bowels Koolhof, came armed with a dunny. Unfortunately for Koolhof, after several attempts to enter the throne room, the train rocked into Ageo sooner than you can say “but I still haven’t had my dump yet,” leaving our Tasmanian Dutchman contemplating what might have been.

Courtney Jones gave Jarrad Shearer a fine excuse to trot out his word for the day – bogan. Courtney’s shoulder now proudly boasts a fine ink memento of his time in the land of the rising sun. Well done Jones. While those in the know discussed the finer points of lines, creams and glad-wrap, the grumpy one tuttered and muttered away.

After the usual standing around, and procrastinating, the mat was laid, boundary marked and the coin came down in the Wombats favour. Ageo II resembled a parched Indian farm, something you might see in Al Gore’s “An Incovenient Truth” and promised a lot of runs. Stand in captain, Steven Burke, thought we might have a bat, and watch from the shade of the trees as the Poms sweated it out.

With two blokes from south of the Swan, the choice of openers was already obvious, but when you have a Shearer and a Farmer, it makes sense to make hay while the sun shines. 12 hours after another Sandgroper Adam got amongst the runs in South Africa, our debutant Adam Farmer was soon ploughing through the bowling. In the meantime Shearer, clipped and cut away as he fleeced the uninspiring attack. Cow corner came under regular attack while they milked the bowling for a 95 run partnership. Eyeing the cool of the shade, with 44 from just 28 balls, Farmer decided that he was neither a mad dog or an Englishman and tried to swipe one too many and got bowled.

After a few overs adjusting the rolled plastic top, Ross Ferris took a liking to the trundlers and went to town. No Usain Bolt, Ross reckoned this fast outfield could be used to his advantage. Placing the ball out of reach of the field saved Ross a lot of energy on this hot day. Ross regularly stepped into the shot, stroked the ball away and stepped back into his crease in one smooth motion. No three steps down the crease just in case, nah, that’s four, next please. And let’s not forget the nine times he cleared the ropes!

Shearer too was amongst the runs, 74 of them in fact. Managed to pull and drive a 6 or three himself. He even managed a whole ONE run in the 32 run wide-fest over (which had the scorers all at sea!). But his good work came undone attempting a second off a fielder they had (incorrectly it appears) picked out as a “custard.” 140 partnership, 2/230 or so, and we reckon a big score is on the cards.

With only ten men available late in the week, local boy Dave O’Caroll offered to dust off the whites, and was duly rewarded with the number four slot, and promptly delivered with a first ball four from a classy straight drive. At the other end, Ross was racing towards three figures, but was undone in controversial circumstances.

With the nugget on 97 (55 balls), scorer Alex Koolhof rose from his seat and wandered off mid over to get a drink!!! Dismissing cries of “where the f%$K do you think you’re f@@$#ng going!?!?” with a careless “she’ll be right” attitude, the walkabout scorer was clearly to blame for Ross coming out of his crease to smear one to cow-corner, and missing. Stumped by the length of the Flemington straight.

As the Wombats stormed past their previous record of 306, Dave continued the run-slaught as he raised his first Wombats 50 with the cleanest hitting seen on the day. Prabhat and Trent both lent run-a-ball support, as did the new look middle order of Burke and Jones. Another fellow who has made solid contribution to very Wombat innings should not be forgotten: Wides, 52.

371 was a big ask, but British Embassy’s flexible recruiting policy saw old hands Kamran, Naeem and Mumtaz in their line-up, so with the baked dirt outfield, not impossible.

Burkey entrusted the new pill to me and Kyal Hill, who took on openers Naeem and Salisbury. It was good battle of bat v ball, as a few beatings of the bat would be answered by a few clubbings back over the bowler’s head. Lots of oohs and aaghs and some almost half chances, but finally I got an edge which went straight past keeper Farmer and into the safe hands of tough stickers Jones. Kyal Hill got the crucial wicket of Naeem, who skied an edge into the stratosphere. Burkos ran back towards the square leg boundary and took the catch sliding with the flight of the ball (bottle of Hardys #1). Brent was welcomed with a bouncer and answered with some 4s and 6s, before taking on ginger whiskers, Trent Dean. Deano’s return rocketed into the top of middle (bottle of Hardys #2) and at 3fa not enough, Embassy were in trouble.

Prabhat was brought on at the Far End, and as Burkey positioned me “right in front of the spectators there” I thought, “jeez, I hope I don’t drop one.” 2 balls later, Jarrad Shearer is calling me a “f#$%ng show pony” as I took the catch (Mumtaz) over head and steadied before checking I wasn’t on the rope. I’ll do a backwards roll and stick it in me pocket next time, ya grump!

Shearer again proved that wicket keepers shouldnt be allowed to bowl, by serving up some of the most disgraceful rubbish seen since, well, since last time he bowled. Not even good enough to be called pies, these Andre Adams two-hop things landed in the dirt more often than on the green. Laughter is infectious, and the big man had me and Ross in stitches. Wisely, Burkey gave him a second over, so Dino could get the big shovel out and dig a grave into which we permenantly entomb his bowling ambitions.

Kamran and Chaminda put on their best partnership collecting a fair few boundaries. Ross put paid to that, as Chaminda picked out the (at times not very) safe hands of Big Roy O’Carroll on the boundary. Roy gave us all a scare by failing at the first attempt, but collected the rebound off his chest. Ross also picked up Kamran, who swept adventurously but gloved the ball, which lobbed slowly and dislodged a bail. As the Wombats patted Ross’ back, a confused and short-sighted Chuck arrived from cow corner, and enquired, “How was THAT out??”

Big Gay Al belatedly put one on the stumps and got a wicket, which deprived Ross of the first ever 6fa. Ross did get the magic 5, courtesy of a magic pluck out of the air catch (Hardys #3) from a bloke who had just made a meal of fielding two balls in the over, Jarrad Shearer.

Embassy all out 230.

The fleet of vehicles deposited us at Ageo station, where too many Wombats made like Brett and headed for the kitchen. Reggie joined us at the izakaya, and well, Wombats, izakaya, you know how that ends.

Kyal, who had an outstanding day in the field, was also a stand out on the train, firming as favourite for the Golden Thong. Attempting jibberish conversation with the locals about the Engrish on their T-shirts is one thing, but removing the said garment from the confused local, refusing to return it to the half naked lad is definetly pushing it. But to toss the over-priced T through the closing doors!? Kyal, that’s Golden!


Hardys Man of the Match

Ross Ferris
vs British Embassy (May 23, 2009)
Rosco snags his second Hardys' MoM bottle of plonk in 2009 with a stellar effort with both bat and ball. Ross bludgeoned 97 runs off 55 balls and then took a 5fa to ensure the British Embassy are still yet to get their hands on the Tokyo Ashes trophy!