- Match Report
KIWI CAT CLAWS KYTES IN PACIFIC POUNDING
by Ian Gason
Tokyo Wombats have advanced to the final of The Pacific Cup after a 183 run flaying of Shizuoka Kytes. Initially it appeared a post-Premiership hangover would be our undoing, but Wombats recovered on the strength of debutant Snappy Tim Whisker’s 57, posting 7/223, before sending the Kytes packing for a meagre 39.
Jarrad Shearer gave young Arthur Harrison an early birthday present in the 2nd over, when he top edged one from whatshisname with the Ponytail. The lad moved swifty around from short fine leg to take a good running catch. At Lone Tree End, Matt Sharpe had the ball swinging like a tree in a typhoon.
After two weeks of padding up in vain, Shax was promoted to number 3, and whilst he was able to survive the hungover one, Dr Dave was not. Sharpie’s wedding present for the Doc was one that honed in from way out side off to total his timber. Sharpie almost totalled himself as he fell in his follow through, but the way in which he rolled suggested that he has probably fallen over more times than you’ve had hot dinners.
At 2/7, our new found Wombat, Snappy Tim was probably thinking these Wombats were dingbats. At square leg, I was wondering if this bloke – whose form guide read “met Little Richard, Magambos, early morning” – could play or not.
Tugga and Magambos are two things in which I trust, and it was only two balls before my faith was repaid. Mr Ponytail overpitched one, and Tim picked it up and tapped it over the bowlers head and into the carpark for 6.
That was enough to convince not only me, but also Paul Shax, who was happy to play a supporting role in this vital partnership. Tim took the ugly stick to Sharpie’s previously impeccable figures, forcing Neil to turn to his ring-in, Rob McKenna. (Come to Chiang Mai, Rob, and I’ll never call you a ring-in again.) Our big cat turned the tables on the Japan coach, handing him a cricketing lesson of his own, sending 3 balls to the boundary in his first over.
At the Car Park End, Wombats had milked the wide cow dry, and Larry’s spin was introduced. Tim immediately sought out the banished bowler at point, where a picture perfect Harbour Bridge resulted in four more. Twice by the time Larry had removed Shax with a yorker, Wombats had steadied to 3-71.
Smoking’ Pete came to the crease, told Tim off for ruining the Y500 whites he’d lent him, and let him know that if he made a 50, or came to the Golden Gai on Friday, all would be forgiven. A fair man, the veteran Vic gave his trans-Tasman brother the strike, and supported him through a 35 run partnership, before himself falling victim to a Larry yorker.
Larry made it 3fa when he claimed Tim with, you guessed it, a yorker. Last week’s Hardys’ winner, Rob Mann went out to join his captain in the middle, and took to the bowling like a duck to water. Rob McKenna soon took to the water, after Chucky pulled a splash-down six. Full marks again to Arthur Harrison, who ignored Rob’s request to go wading in the chilly Abekawa to recover the ball.
Shizuoka had no weapon in its armoury to dent the deadly duo of Jones & Mann, who took the score onto 170, before, one shot short of his 50, a visibly unhappy Chuck Jones was ruled caught behind by umpire Grumpy. I went out to join Axe, and managed to see off the hungover one, and get myself up to the safer end of the pitch. Axe was soon the second Wombat raising his bat for the day, recording his first 50 for the Club. Twice he drove uppishsly back at Sharpie, who feeling not so sharp this day, was unable to move quick enough to take the offerings.
The day’s first comical run-out ended Rob’s fine dig, when he turned one down to fine leg, and voices from above commanded we take a second. I thought it looked dicey, but as I wasn’t going to the danger end, I soldiered on, waiting for the retreat order which never came. Probably because Axe was busy falling over as he turned.
Andy Hall, minus that silly blue hat, got his Tusker back off Tim, and we saw out the last few overs. My first four of the season came off the innings’ final ball, a full toss on leg from Larry. Wombats 7/223, a challenging score indeed.
The challenge would soon prove too much for Kytes. McKenna opened the innings with Joel Chamberlain, and me and Big Al opened the attack for the Wombats. 3rd over, I rapped Big Joel on the pads, and although every other Wombat went up, I did not. The umpire agreed with the other ten, and sent an unhappy Kyte on his bike. Neil Harrison resisted until the 8th, when after a fair duel with the bowlers, a swing and a miss went from his pads to his stumps.
Big Al, 0-4 from 3 overs, was unceremoniously dragged, and Regan Dawson bowled his first over for the year, where he claimed the big wicket of Rob McKenna. A inauspicious half-tracker was pulled to a waiting Whisker, who made no mistake. Matt Sharpe was rustled from his slumber and soon strategized his way to the Graeme Wood Running Between The Wickets Award. He smacked towards the mid wicket fence and thinking he had 4, was in no mood for wasting his dwindling energy on running. The ball stopped dead in its tracks, and the batsmen belatedly jogged a step or two before realizing that Snappy Tim had snapped up the ball and they were up the Abekawa without a paddle.
Sharpie was soon back in his dinky yaki-imo van after an audacious swing at Reggie ended his day. 4 of Kytes’ top 6 registered ducks. Resistance came too little too late from the tail, in particular Mr Ponytail and Arthur.
Last time we met the Kytes the young Harrison proved a tough nut to remove, and in the space of a season, we have seen him develop confidence enough to take on the bowlers and play his shots. Neil, do something about this tennis business.
Snappy Tim’s dream debut was marred when his first ball for the Wombats was dropped. This didn’t stop him from going on to bag two wickets. As the cavalry arrived in the form of Todd Phillips, the show was well and truely over. By the time Shax wrapped up the innings on 39, the Wombats bowling figures read like a form guide: Welcome Back Reggie 2-5; Snappy Tim 2-8; Curly In Tights 2-8; Wyhalla Warrior and NIKKA one apiece; The Body Koolhoff no wins from 4 starts.
It was a more subued van than the one that cursed the Tomei last week, but not without its’ share of shennanigans. Up the back Tim, Chuck and Shax were locked in a deadly discussion on the Ultimate XI, and it took some creative toiletry from Smokin’ Pete to lure them back to the more usual conversations. Pete had more pressing concerns than the merits of Waqar v Hadlee. “Tim, mate, forget the bloody pants. Are we on for Friday?”.
Wombats wish our man from Calcutta, Dr Dave Bera, and his wife-to-be, Tanya all the best for their wedding. May you enjoy a long and happy partnership.
Neil and all the Kytes, thanks for the game. Thouroughly enjoyed it, and we look forward to our next encounter. See if you can’t get Todd out of bed next time though.