- Match Report
HUNG-OVER WOMBATS HALTED IN YOKOHAMA
by Jamie Payne
A number of Wombats headed into the big smoke last Friday evening to have a few laughs with club veteran, Pup, who was in town for a few weeks. An hour or two after the last train, the boys found themselves at Club Muse where nothing out of the ordinary happened: drinking; storytelling; falling asleep in toilet cubicles; licking dance poles; you know, all the usual stuff.
On Sunday, the day of the game, with Wombat heads still feeling Friday night’s Long Island Iced Teas and bellies still full of KFC, and with dark clouds gathering over the Kanto, I think it’s safe to say many were hoping the game would be a late scratching. But it wasn’t to be.
Skipper Patmore won the toss (I think?), elected to bat and, not long after, began issuing the batting line-up. Five minutes before the start of play, misunderstanding that ‘two’ doesn’t actually mean ‘second drop’, Biscuits (Vikram) hadn’t yet padded up. After realising the mix-up, Vik began frantically casually looking for his pads and other gear. Noticing that Luke was already kitted up, and that Biscuits was going to require ten minutes minimum, the skipper sent in the number three instead to open the batting with the Professor (Tom).
A couple of fours and sixes were hit by the top order but none of the batsmen were able to find their rhythm and dominate the relatively small ground. Shaz (Shahir), at number four, had a good knock, finding the boundary on several occasions, but was dismissed for 30 odd by one of the YCAC medium pacemen. At this point, the Wombats were five wickets down and on track to score a total of about 90 runs. Patmore, at number six, stabilised the innings, scoring runs off nearly every ball faced. Also doing his bit to keep the ship afloat was batting sensation Al Koolhof who also maintained a healthy strike rate by knocking lots of singles and even blasting a four. The two batsmen finished with scores of 32 and 17 respectively. The Wombats finished with a total of 132.
With YCAC having an initial required run rate of just 6.65 runs per over, we knew that good bowling and fielding was required (and a fair bit of luck too!) to have any chance of winning the match.
Economical bowling from Koolhof and the Professor early in the innings, coupled with a great deal of enthusiasm on the field, inspired confidence in the Wombats. Shaz had a run in with the fence (and the fence won) when he tried to intercept a shot going for four, and yours truly spilt some claret at midwicket attempting to cut off a single (much like when I broke my arm a few seasons back returning the ball to the keeper from the boundary, it was something only I could do – what is it with me and freak cricket accidents?!).
Late in the innings, after a resurgence from the Yokohama Cricket and Athletics Club, confidence was renewed in the Wombats when Biscuits delivered a three wicket spell that, later, earned him Wombat of the Match. YCAC were 8 for 115 at this point. But with the YCAC tail settling in and finding their strokes, it wasn’t to be for the Tokyo Wombats, and in the 18th over the home team knocked the winning runs.
Special thanks to all of the Wombat wives and kids and non-playing Wombats who, despite the poor weather, came out to support the lads.
- It feels so smooth when I pull it out – Alex Koolhof
- Kens catching effort off Dresh’s bowling where he had to run off to his side, looking back at the high ball, was a good effort.
Great Moments in Sport
- Shahir’s dive on the boundary – outstretched towards a lump of concrete; Jamie taking it on the face