- Match Report
JAILBREAK WOMBATS EVADE WYVERNS’ CLAWS
by Ian Gason
Tokyo Wombats used up another get-out-of-jail-free card Saturday when they just chased down a challenging 192 to defeat Wyverns at Fuji. Expected Golden Week Traffic problems and typically retarded Japanese weather and weather forecasters threw no shortage of spanners into the Wombats’ works. Foregoing our traditional bond-building van ride, the lord and gentry opted for a luxurious Shinkansen ride, while the proletariat slummed it out with the chickens and goats on the local train.
Striving to overcome hardships experienced on the 0719 from Shinagawa was character building stuff for big game winners, Pup Ainslie, Chris Morty and Dr B Lurv (note: actually Doc took the shink), who struggled in the face of cricketing adversity to secure a win for the Wombats.
In the first over a Gavin B pull shot from Morty eluded The Body Koolhoff. Gav spent most of the rest of the innings nibbling away at the Wombats biscuit tin on his way to a Best On Ground 70-odd. His placement and timing were excellent, and his shot repertoire had the lot.
First change medium-pacer Pup Ainslie snared the first wicket, bowled in the 8th. A lucky Lankan joined Gavin in a lingering partnership that could have and should have been ended many a time before drinks. Wombats charitably declined to take catches. Edges teasingly evaded fieldsmen. Our man from the tear-drop isle even survived 2 chances in 1 ball. A confident LB shout was declined and a swift Dinosaur run out coincided with a spot of Fuji-san viewing by an absent minded square-leg umpire.
At drinks, Wyverns were in the box seat at 1/120. Wombats sucked up the Ribenas knowing that it takes more than 1 quarter to win a game of footy. Or cricket. And then we made the 2nd quarter ours, by wrapping up the Wyverns last 9 for 62. The skip made some astute bowling changes. Morty was brought back and snared Gavin B when the Kiwi pulled the Pom, who risked a horrific collision with 100kgs of Aussie Beef’s Rob Mann to take a Catch that looked more Monty than Morty. And though he doesn’t do the Leaping Gay Pat-a-cakes, the Morty Sprint may well have its origins in the Monty Frollick.
Reggie bowled some Reggie magic. Capping off a gun day in the field, Killer took a screamer at mid-off. The Skip saw the tail and licked his lips, grabbing a few cheap wickets for himself. Pup eyed off the bowling record, but had to contend himself with 4-22, his 12 wides costing him a spot on the bowling honours board. One of his wickets almost cost Dino an eye when the bail flew an incredible 33.5 metres.
On World Cup Final day, no report would be complete with mentioning the Herschelles: Alex (own bowling, too), Morty, Axe (money for jam), Pup (likewise) and someone else (you know who you are).
The mediocre weather soon turned to typically piss-poor, as the mercury plummeted, wind picked up, and on the fall off our first wicket (Pup, 1/30 or so) the rain came down. 23 players and official fought for space in the shed. Fortunately the rain didn’t last, but unfortunately, neither did Steven Burke (5).
Skipper Chuck looked in fine touch, a complete contrast to Prezidino Shearer who looked more likely to find the G-spot than the middle of his bat. Dino’s was an ugly duckling of an innings, like a Soviet apartment block: void of features but serving its purpose. 37 from 80 balls wont win many comparisons to Adam Gilchrist, but the Old Man from somewhere near Perth hung around like a bad fart, overseeing 3 quarters of our innings.After two spanking sixes, the skip’s innings of 28 was ended by a soft dismissal, holing out lofting on the off. No more bullet trains for the skip.
Like Bob Woolmer’s premature end, Jarrad’s dismissal is the subject of much speculation. Did he simply forget to engage his brain? Bookies in his pocket? Or was it suicide for the greater good of the team? With the run-rate becoming a 7 an over concern, a bump ball to Bulls-eye Hanada at mid-on saw Jarrad lumbering down the pitch, and the 3rd umpire showed his was short by a mere 3 or 4 metres.
The Vicar, Morty joined the doctor, Bjorn, and the pair formed the match winning partnership. Tight bowling from Hanada in particular had shackled the top order, but these two lads unshacklized the innings with some gutsy running and crisp clean hitting. Dr B Luv-Machine played some gems of his legs. His timing and placement were maarvelous. Shot highlights included a clip over square-leg for 6, an eyes closed hook for 4 while ducking, and a text-book gay dab.
Ducking almost proved Doc’s undoing, when he down-periscoped to a short ball which came through under chest height and missed his castle by inches.Morty was controlled and confident with the willow, and his long legs may have been the difference between winning and losing. As Doc raced along to a Hardys Best of the Rest Winning 60, Morty took on the field, manufactured seconds, stole overthrows and pressurized the Japanese boys in the final overs.
With 11 needed from 12, a brave second run returned The Doc to strike. He sailed the next ball to cow-corner in the general vicinity of a fieldsman’s outstretched fingers. The ball went harmlessly over him, into the ground and over the rope. “Paul Reiffel,” muttered the Wombat bench.
With the scores level, Pat G-Jones was asked to bowl a 40th over maiden. On the bench Robb Mann was seeing eggs and counting chickens, tempting fate by unstrapping his pads. In the middle Morty pushed the first ball back towards the bowler, who shied away unsuccessfully. The throw was wide and overthrown single ended the game.
5 balls the difference, it was a hum-dinga of a game containing more tension and excitement than the entire World Cup. The weather had more oddities the Melbourne’s worst. From pleasant to raining, gale forced winds, to brass-monkey cold, the game finished in U-beaut sunshine with full views of a snow-capped Fuji-san.
Given the potential, JR commuters got off quite lightly, as our behaviour would barely rate a mention in Salt Lake City. We took over half a carriage, maybe spilled a beverage here and there, had a couple of Shuttle Run Challenges and highlighted our way back to Tokyo. No smoking or public nudity or pole dancing to report, I’m afraid. We were half way through a marathon day, with 9 smoke filled WORLD CUP WINNING hours at Paddy Foleys’ on our minds. An offer of the horizontal kind meant Morty wouldn’t be there at 7:30 am finally to see Ponting lift the Cup in the dark. Must be an English thing.
Thanks to all the lads at Wyverns for a cracker game and lifts back to the station. Also thanks to Anton for officiating, and for that new Hawaiian shirt.