- Match Report
HONOURS SHARED IN TRIANGULAR T20
by Alex Koolhof
The YCAC won the toss and captain Kamran elected to bat first. Some good bowling from Matt and Luke made boundaries hard to come by for the YCAC openers – and for the first 4 or 5 overs, only ones and twos were pushed around. The breakthrough came with Stryder lulling batsman Riaz into a false shot and then taking a very good overhead caught-and-bowled catch. Kamran joined Steve P in the middle, and these two set about consolidating.
Rhino was given a trundle for a few overs (and questioned his own ability on multiple occassions: “you seen enough now GT?”) and Kasun battled hard at the other end. The latter was the man to eventually secure our next wicket – deceiving Kamran with a well flighted delivery and Adam had the bails whipped off in no time to leave the batsmen stranded out of his crease.
Tall and muscular Aamir arrived in the middle and then proceeded to bludgeon the Wombats’ bowling attack. Six 4s and four 6s were smacked and over 70 runs piled on in just 7 overs – Aamir and Steve P were wreaking havoc on the Wombats plan to contain YCAC under 130. Aamir finally fell for 53 – a sublime innings that gave the YCAC a very decent score of 146.
Rhino’s failure in the first innings obviously brought about his demotion from the role of opener and the Farmer instead joined Burkey in the middle. Perhaps it was the buffet lunch enjoyed during the innings break – but the CAT man from Perth was certainly looking a bit sleepy when he was clean bowled by JB in his first over. Promoted to first drop was Prabhat, the Hydrebadian, who now calls Phoenix home and (thank god) refuses to drink Bud, looked confident and aggresive in his shot selection. Unfortunately, PK fell with the score on 25, which brought Nick to the crease, who pushed a few singles around but was then trapped in front by the destroyer of Wombat worlds, Aamir, for 9.
A partnership was needed, but was not forthcoming. Burkey was castled by that man Aamir, and the Wombat chase was stuttering at 4-65. Kasun came and went quickly, so it was all hope that our saviour from game 1, Mr ANZ, Grant Turner, could turn things around for TWCC. For a while it seemed so – Matt and Grant pushed the score along to 98, but then GT was run out for 7. With only 6 overs remaining and still 49 runs to get, it looked unlikely that the Wombats would be bathing in the glory of successive T20 victories. This was confirmed with the diamond duck run-out of Rayos and then Rhino, Strides and yours truly fell cheaply to give YCAC the victory they deserved. Aamir finished with a 5-wicket haul to round out his efforts with the bat, while for the Wombats, Burkey and Downer did their best with 37 and 32 runs respectively.
After 2 games straight, the Wombats could relax. Many of the boys, including myself, felt like it was beer o’clock. However, there was still the possibility that one more game would be played if the Lions defeated the YCAC in the next game, which would mean that each team would finish with 1 win a-piece. Accordingly, and characteristic of our lazy marsupial nature, the Wombats cheered on the home side during their innings (just so we could hit the piss earlier). The details are somewhat vague – mainly due to us not being out on the ground and in close proximity to the action – however, a fine batting certainly ensued.
Riaz and Richard powered the YCAC to 63 in 9 overs before Richard fell for 12, while Riaz continued on strongly and brought up his 50 that included seven 4s and two 6s. The YCAC were well set for a mammoth total with wickets in hand for the remaining 10 overs. Such a dominant position was well utilised, with Aamir joining the party to blast a quick fire 71. Boundaries were hit all over the ground as the Sri Lankan bowlers could do nothing to stem the flow of runs. YCAC 193 off 20 overs.
With such a formiddable score, the Wombats felt safe that another game would not be required as the YCAC would be declared winners of the touranment with 2 wins. Some even ventured to the bar for drinks – while others enjoyed a hot shower. Still, as some of us veteran Wombats know, the Lions would never give up without a fight – and have plenty of sloggers in their ranks.
The Lankan innings kicked off with Chandana and Sanjaya. Sanjaya soon departed as a result of a run-out, but Chandana got on with the job with Kumara and the pair blazed boundaries to all parts of the ground. Such aggressive batting during the early overs was reminiscent of the Sri Lankan national team’s march towards their 1996 world cup victory. Chandana’s innings came to an end on 61 after being bowled by Riaz and then new batsmen Chula was given LBW to Kamran. Jackie Farmer and kids turned up, only to find daddy out on the field officiating, and 2 hours later, Jackie was heard mumbling and swearing about dedication and family devotion as she endured the chilly Yokohama evening watching hubby be the ump.
Those 2 aforementioned wickets temporarily halted the momentum of the Lions’ batting juggernaut but the next two batsmen, Amila and Anura, provided excellent support to Kumara, who slashed and flayed his way to a well-struck 50 until being bowled by David Todd. The equation came down to around 7 an over for the last few overs, and Sampath and Udaya were srambling and stealing runs any way they could. With 8 required off the final over, the battle seemed lost for Sri Lanka as David held his nerve and bowled straight, true and tight to Sampath, who failed to get to the other end for the first 2 balls of the over. A single was then scampered, but the Lions still needed 7 off 3 balls. Udaya then defied all odds afforded to a tail-ender and tee-ed off with a booming straight drive that sent the crowd wild and the ball onto the lawn bowls green for six runs. A cheeky single next ball secured an amazing victory for the Sri Lankan Lions and was the fitting end to a great day of exciting cricket.
Naturally, it was too late to play another game, so all players retired to the pavilion for food, drinks and player awards. Best for the Lions was Chandana – who set up the amazing run chase that ensured his team’s chance of victory. Aamir was clearly best on ground for the YCAC with his power hitting and superb bowling, while Grant from the Wombats picked up a bottle of Hardys’ wine for his steady batting display and 2 top catches in the first game against the Sri Lankans. Highlight of the day undoubtedly went to Udaya for his spectacular match-winning six with 2 balls to spare.
Thanks to YCAC for the excellent hospitality once again, the Sri Lankan Lions for the making the trip down for a fun day of cricket, and to all friends and family who came out to support us.