- Match Report
Falcons Prey on Wombats
by Joe “Spider” Lewis
The Wombats took the field on what was apparently humanity’s hottest July on record. Our ground Sano 1, renowned for its lack of refreshment facilities, would finish its day with enough empty plastic bottles to build a river raft. The ground itself was a tropical paradise, full of lush verdant grass, blooming fauna and flourishing ecosystems. The only detriment to this scene of natural beauty was the big stretch of artificial turf smack bang in the middle of it and a game of cricket about to get underway.
Our day started with a bit of an administrative hiccup when we arrived at the ground without a team sheet, hastily having to draw one from scratch and getting the wommies to add their details. A task made more difficult by late arrivals and Bilal leaving the ground in his car to find himself a civilized toilet.
The match got underway with Wombats losing the toss and batting first. The innings was reduced to 35 overs due to the brutal heat. The opening pair of Richie and Ali started with promise, both playing some powerful shots with bad intentions. Unfortunately just after hitting two great boundary shots through the covers, skipper Ali found the man at square leg who took a tumbling catch in the 5th over.
Next was Rex Kobayashi, a batter who seems to be finding his mojo of late. Both Richie and Rex bonded well in the middle, their styles complimenting each other and the runs were flourishing. Richie went big multiple times and soon reached 50, the partnership reaching 100 with little issue except for a drop or two on the boundary edge.
With the Falcons seemingly out of ideas Rex obliged them by running out his partner (and ride home) on 81, the partnership adding 106. This sparked a momentary wobble in the innings with Jarrad “Dino” Shearer getting a duck second ball via a “as long as he gives those out to them as well” LBW. He was swiftly followed by Rex who fell on 48, 2 away from his maiden 50.
We then had Rasika and Bilal fresh at the crease. In our last match the middle order collapsed once the top order fell and Ali was visibly aware of this, giving off an aura that made me consider padding up (me a number 11 when the scoreline reads 142/4) . It didn’t. As if in defiance to the baking heat we had two seriously cool cats at the crease. Casually boshing bowlers for six, missing fielders and strolling their singles as if run outs weren’t even a thing in cricket. Ali looked like a bloke experiencing a Prozac overdose. Their 50 partnership got the wombats over 200 before Bilal holed out on 25. In came debutant Anthony Morcam batting for the first time in 10 years, he managed to realize his dream of not getting out for a duck and contributed 2. Then it was Hassan who showed serious oomph smashing 18 of 8 balls before getting clean bowled. Rasi and Sujan saw us to the close, the Wombats posting a very competitive 235/7.
In the second innings the Falcons clearly knew one way to play and that was a “if it’s not a six it doesn’t count” strategy. The openers Rasika and Joe (bowling with a grade 1-2 MCL strain he picked up in a tumble during a the pre-innings catching warm up.) had early success with a wicket apiece but the Falcons would not let up with Joe getting insult added to injury by getting smashed out of the attack with 54 off his 4 overs.
Soon the Falcons were 110/2 off 12 overs and the onus was whether the wombats could take wickets rather than stem the run flow. Finally Sarfraz fell to Ali for 66 off 36 with a “well fair’s fair” LBW. Bilal cleaned up the number 3 with a beautiful yorker length delivery but after that the heat was clearly taking its toll on both bowlers and fielders and energy levels were distinctly low. The Wombats gave everything with some excellent stops in the outfield that saved runs (but wiped out butterfly communities in the grass.) Bowlers like Sujan, Rasi, Ali and Bilal worked hard till the end. Despite this, with the aid of 32 extras, the Falcon middle order was able to chase down the target, reaching it with 4 wickets remaining.
Not the result we wanted but also not one we expected. The Wombats posting a score of 235 in 35 overs was an excellent effort, a fantastic response to our previous score of 136. If a couple of chances on offer had been taken, a bit more bowling consistency or if a bit of luck went our way it potentially would have been a different outcome.
Our next game match against our frenemies the Sharks should prove a spicy affair! With a BBQ planned after the Wommies can console themselves with an excellent day ahead next week!
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Tokyo Falcons CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2022 (Div. 1), Sano 1, Tochigi, July 23, 2022|
|Result||Tokyo Falcons won by 4
|TWCC MoM||R Bracefield|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 235 (35.0 overs)|
|R Bracefield||run out (S Cb)||81||58||6||6||139.66|
|M Ali*||c S Petkar b M Kapil||16||17||1||1||94.12|
|R Kobayashi||c N Shahane b S Lal||48||54||4||1||88.89|
|J Shearer||lbw b K Bisht||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|B Bhinder||c S Petkar b S Pandhari||25||24||0||3||104.17|
|R Ethugala||not out||30||35||3||1||85.71|
|A Morcom||lbw b S Lal||2||6||0||0||33.33|
|A Bakar||b K Vellingiri||18||8||1||2||225.00|
|S Sandamal||not out||3||6||0||0||50.00|
|Extras||(b 3, lb 0, w 9, nb 0)||120|
|Fall of wickets|
|Tokyo Falcons CC Innings: 241/6 (29.2 overs)|
|S Cb||lbw b J Lewis||4||14||1||0||28.57|
|N Shahane||c A Bakar b Ethugala||21||12||3||1||175.00|
|S Dawar*||b B Bhinder||31||41||3||0||75.61|
|S Petkar||lbw M Ali||66||36||2||6||183.33|
|S Pandhari||c A Barkar b B Bhinder||58||42||4||4||138.10|
|S Lal||c A Bakar b S Sandamal||19||32||1||0||59.38|
|A Keshkamat||not out||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|K Bisht||not out||10||2||1||1||500.00|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 6, w 20, nb 5)||32|
|Fall of wickets|
- Hassan catch on the boundary. Freezing like a man in a minefield
- Rexy. Flat one hit down his throat at deep mid on. Runs too hard at it and slaps it straight down.
- Bilal pulled a Joe by dropping a dolly in the first ball of the falcon innings
- “Just you wait for the tekitoni mate.” Richie to Rex who gave him his first run out dismissal in a wombat shirt, proving definitively that Kiwis find it difficult to verbally threaten others.
Great Moments in Sport
- Rasika and Bilal easing Ali’s worries with a fun 50 partnership
- Sujan – new to the Wombats, strides in from a 6 step runup and sends down thunderbolts, yiiiew!
- Dino (who else?) for his LBW
Golden Thong Nominations
- Ali forgot the team sheet