- Match Report
FERRIS WHEELS THRU WOMBATS FINALS PLANS
by Ian Gason
Tokyo Wombats dealt their finals plans a big blow Sunday when they went down by 60 runs to YCAC at Yokohama Sunday. Merciless batting from Mark Ferris powered YCAC to 267 runs, the highest total ever conceded by our bowlers.
Perhaps missing the bonding that the usual fart-filled van-ride provides, sapped by the solitary drudge of a mundane train journey, the Wombats made like July 21st bombers and failed to go off. Even the sight of Jarrad Shearer parading around in his pyjamas couldn’t bring the X-factor out in the boys this hot and sticky day.
As is his want, Chuck was out-tossed and asked to field. Things began well enough for us, with The Freak and I throwing down some respectable overs to begin, including the wicket of Sandeep to The Freak (1/21 from 4). Reggie came on at the bay end and grabbed the other opener and at 2/42 after 8, we should have finished better than we did.
One bay side 6 had the new(ish) ball on a one-way ticket to never-never land, and its replacement ushered in a period of dis-array for the Wombats. Mark Ferris and Kamran Ali formed the first partnership of pain, adding 53 in 7 overs, before Kamran (32) edged to slip while attempting a Dr Dave cut. Denish Singh, formerly of IECC and India Blue fame, was out for revenge. A year ago some cheeky #10 had the gaul to spank him back over his head for 6 in the penultimate over at Gunma, and steal the match. Now the Wombats would pay for their lack of respect, as he and Mark batted through the middle 15 over session.
Wombats inexplicable insistence on dropping short helped them accumulate a match winning 120 in 16 overs. Hot and sticky conditions compounded our strife, and lead to the odd boiling over of the human teapot. A sharp chance at mid-wicket grassed by a skip with the yips was as close as we came. Dawson, Kelly, Cole, Shax and even Shearer came and went with their tails between their legs.
The short boundaries square of the wicket saw plenty of action, and if not for the efforts of our ball magnet Luke on the fence, we’d have faced an even bigger run chase than we did. Both batsmen were quick on their feet, giving themselves room to play the ball wide. The second drinks break finally broke Mark’s concentration, and Killer Kelly bagged that big wicket in the first over back. The scorers had Mark on 99 at drinks, but appear to have miscounted, as he was 100 when they double checked. Either way, a match winning knock.
Killer should have had the big man, Avinash, as well. A misuced drive went so high it needed clearance to land, and land it did, when I moved from mid-on to mid-off and misjudged the flight. The batsman allowed himself a little laugh at my expense, but as they say, he who laughs last laughest longest. And loudest.
Next over, Whiskas’ first ball was a ful-toss which the Big Man sent sailing down to square leg where he found the butt of his jokes had recovered from that fluff, but had lost his sense of humour in the process. Well, this is bound to crop up again at the Presentation Night, but suffice to say, I suggested that perhaps he wasn’t laughing now and maybe you might just want to laugh your way back to the pavilion, thank you very much. I hardly think it warrants the creation of a new award category, guys!
The Big Cat also brought down danger man Denish who chanced his luck on the Kiwi’s arm and came off second best. The tail wagged out a very valuable 30 runs as Killer Kelly mopped up his best figures for the Club, 4/33.
The Wombats would have to chase down a new Club record in order to pull this one off, and apparently it is a Kiwi tradition in these circumstances to take a quick dip in the nearest pool. No sooner than you could say “Nah, I don’t think so”, the Big Cat was dripping his way back saying “get in there boys!”
Back on terra firma things didn’t go quite so smoothly, as The Dinosaur’s rub of the green continues to elude him. Run out, 1. 1/11. Burkey sailed smoother for a few overs til an inswinger got through the gate, 2/41. Refreshed from his dip, Whiskas again made another man’s willow his own, taking the MRF I can’t buy a run with, and giving me a lesson in what it can do (in the right hands).
Chuck Jones, ditching the helmet for the yellow cap and batting with a Grey Nich, had me thinking that there was another Steve Burke in the side. He and Whiskas kept the Wombats on course with a boundary splattered 122 run partnership, coming in 21 overs. Several times the tennis courts were peppered, and our ol’ mate Denish started with a 15 run over. Racing as they did at 6 an over would usually be enough, but today the ask was 7, and by the time Whiskas (58) was caught on the longest boundary, we were after 11 an over.
Captain Kamran Ali’s tight bowling was probably the difference this day. In his 8 overs, he yielded just 21 runs, none of which were boundaries. In fact, only once was 2 runs ceded in a single ball. A diving catch an inch from the turf gave their skip the prize scalp of our skip for 81, and earned the catcher a bottle of Hardys.
The Freak was due in the recording studio, so decided he’d better make the most of it, and provided some joy in the final few overs he hard hit his way to 12 quick runs. Jim Cole, whose contribution is never merely statistical, also brought a smile to wombat dials. Not allowing reg grundies to cramp his free-willy style, Major Jim ran between the wicket with one hand holding his box in place. Occaisonally, the trusty hector went walkabout, and our running Spaceman had to reach down and pull the recalcitrant thing back up to the jewels.
With the Shaxinator, Spacey saw out the 40th over, Wombats down by 60 runs. Hardys Best On Ground awards were given (or in Jarrad’s words, “got rid of”) to Mark and Chuck. The lacklustre Wombats spared the country club members the Club song, and Chuck even denied them the chance to see a naked man play lawn bowls. Probably just as well, given the top-rate facilities, and good nature of the YCAC players. It is a place we’d like to be welcome back to.
Sept 4th we MUST beat Giants to assure ourselves a finals spot. Next weekend, we take on Japan, in what wil be a valuable training run for both sides. No doubt that we have to lift for these two encounters, or we can start making plans for end of season holidays.