- Match Report
HONOURS SHARED IN TRIANGULAR T20
by Alex Koolhof
Yokohama Country and Athletic Club was host to a triangular Twenty20 competition on October 12 2009 involving the Tokyo Wombats and Sri Lankan Lions. It had been at least a few years since the Wombats last faced the Lions on the cricket field, so it was great to have another opportunity to lock horns with another decent cricket team. We were also looking forward once again to playing at the YCAC – one of the more comfortable venues for cricket in Japan and the hospitality there is always exceptional.
The Wombats assembled very early in the morning at Yamate station. Ryan France made his return to the Wombat fray after several months of backpacking and curry-munching, and we all made the acquaintance of new Wombats Matt Downer (New Zealand) and Nick Goold (Australia). It must be noted that Nick is a fellow Taswegian from the town of Longford (a pissy little historic town) – and a welcome recruit to the Wombat’s apple isle ranks.
First game was between the Sri Lankan Lions and the Tokyo Wombats. Basic catching practice kicked off the morning and Kasun provided some entertainment by trying to catch a sky-high cricket ball with his own garden hose. The skies were blue and it was a lovely crisp (and quiet – it seems the Lankans had forgotten their calypso beach drum) morning as the game got underway with the Wombats taking the field first. Yours truly was thrown the pill by captain Turner and I opened up the Sri Lankan’s account with a leg-side wide. At the other end, new boy Nick was bowling well, and we managed to keep things fairly tight for the first 8 overs. The first breakthrough came with GT taking a fine low-down catch in the deep to remove the dangerous Chandana.
Matt Stride and Prabhat toiled away for a while – Stryder was unlucky not to pick up a wicket or two. PK clean bowled Kumara with one perfectly flighted delivery, and then soon after, Luke ‘Spook’ Ray got amongst it with his probing deliveries and tempted Sanjey to hit one right down GT’s throat and then clean bowled the in-coming batsmen and Lions’ captain, Anura. Howls of laughter were heard for the next 10 minutes from the Lions’ support party – they obviously thought that seeing their captain out for a golden duck was hilarious and worthy of a good chuckle.
Dilan supported Chula in his quest to boost the Lions’ total as much as possible – but fell to the bowling of his fellow countryman in Kasun. Chula battled on though to give the Lions a respectable total that would take some steady batting to overcome. After slogging 6 fours and 1 six, Chula was out for 43 by the good ol’ backyard cricket rule of ‘six and out’ – as his massive pull shot sailed way over the YCAC netting and onto the roof of one of the native’s dwellings.
After 20 overs, the Sri Lankan Lions had totalled 131 – albeit, generously helped along by 20 wides from the Wombats.
Our chase began with Steve Burke and Ryan France opening the batting. This partnership did not last long however, with both batsmen judged out LBW with only 5 runs on the board (4 of which came from wide deliveries!). This disasterous start sent half the team scrambling to find some pads to strap on as Downer and Turner set about the task of accumulating some runs. Matt Downer, our latest Kiwi recruit, nudged a couple of singles in support of his captain, who stroked a few lovely shots to the boundary. This partnership too was shortlived however, as Matt had his castle dismantled by Dilshan for a pair.
A Farmer (by name, not by trade – although I think his company makes tractors) strode to the wicket to assist the in-form GT. These two pushed the score along to 60 by the midway mark of the innings and kept us abreast of the required run-rate. The Farmer was then bowled for 16. Matty Stride came and went for 3 runs, and then Nick helped GT get us over the line with a solid 20 not out. Grant finished not out on 73 – a fine innings that included 9 boundaries.
So, the first round was awarded to the Wombats – next up the home team, YCAC.