TWCC 232/8 - 233/9 Chiba Sharks

May 25, 2024 - 11:00 am at Fuji 2
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Kobayashi Signals Unfinished Beef with Sharks

by Rex Kobayashi

As the sun rose over Fuji, there were murmurs around the quiet little town. The Obaachan’s and Ojiichan’s were quietly discussing what the 25th of May meant on their morning walks. ‘Today is the day’ one said, ‘it’s Wombats v Sharks’…

Japan cricket’s version of The Ashes, The Thrilla in Manila, State of Origin, whatever you want to call it, had come back around this year. The battle of the oldest of enemies.

The day got off to a good start for the Wommies, as Captain Ali won the toss and elected to bat. The lads were filled with confidence, as our batting line up looked stacked all the way through. One thing we could not have foreseen however, was our star opener, Alex Patmore, getting struck down by a re-heated BBQ rib dinner, meaning he spent more time in the bushes than on the sideline. No matter, we thought, as we sent Kawashima in his place. Not the best start from the boys, as Kawa chan unfortunately tickled one down leg-side, but some assertive batting from overseas international Robbie, and Capt. Ali, steadied the ship.

After Robbie spooned one to cover, in came Pres. Kobayashi. Capt. and Pres. took the boys to drinks, with some nice hitting along the way, looking like maybe a partnership was brewing. Alas, the over-confident Kobayashi tried to swat a half tracker over the bowler’s head, only to top edge it, releasing an onslaught of unacceptable language, and some words exchanged with the Sharks bowler (all in good faith).

As the Wombats innings went on, it seemed our Captain was begging for someone to hang around the crease with him, but unfortunately we lost some cheap wickets, that is, until, the return of the Patmore…

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, like the Undertaker rising from his coffin, like Jesus rising on Easter Sunday, Alex Patmore stuck on his pads, and wiped the sick from his mouth. What followed was nothing short of top class entertainment. Just like Michael Jordan’s flu game, Patmore channeled his ‘I’m him’ persona, and started flinging the bowlers all over the ground with a vast array of shots, brilliantly supporting our Skipper. The lads on the sidelines were up, smiles all around, pushing the boys on.

Due to our task of having to score, we were all anxiously keeping tabs on Ali’s score. As he pushed further and further into the 90s, all of the Wombats on the sideline were getting ready to jump up and clap for our Skipper’s ton. However, on the agonizing score of 99, Ali decided to forget how to bat, and got trapped LBW playing what could only be described as an attempt at a sweep shot. Alas, no ton for Ali, unlucky mate, well batted.

Thanks to Ali’s heroics and Patmore’s resurrection, the Wombats made it to 232 after our 40 overs, definitely something to bowl at.

Our defence got off to a nervous start. The Sharks’ opening pair of Nikhil and Dhugal proved difficult to thwart, with Dhugal, the Wombats’ old foe, racing into the 40s. Good thing we had our Northern star, Robbie Mckenna, steaming in with the ball, removing both openers, and injecting some life into the Wombats again.

Veteran Nigel McKay came into the attack, and turned back the clock as he removed THREE Shark’s batters in quick succession, the boys were on… Wickets started to fall, Kavin, Nigel, Robbie, Archit were all bowling tight and straight, could it be? could the Wombats do it? Could we finally bring home the Thurgate-Shearer cup??

Marcus Thurgate, the Sharks’ pest behind the stumps, had other ideas. The Aussie proved a formidable adversary, as he was swatting away any short ball to the fence, taking the Sharks closer and closer to the 233 required.

But finally, a chance came.. Thurgate top-edged one, going down the ground. The ever-reliable Kobayashi started sprinting around from mid-on, covering more ground than the Gobi desert. This was it, this was the game, all Kobayashi had to do was hold on and the Cup would be coming home. Surely this was it!!  but no… Kobayashi got there, having to slide the last meter or two to reach the ball, stuck his hands out, felt the ball nestle into his palm.. but also felt the ball spill onto the floor, forcing an outcry from the fielders, and throwing Captain Ali to the ground in despair. After this howler, Thurgate knocked off the runs, meaning the Sharks had won the game by just ONE wicket.

Head-to-head record

Tokyo Wombats: 16
Chiba Sharks: 9

A cruel cruel day for the Wombats, but a lot of positives to take from the game, after out-playing one of the best teams in the League.

The day was wrapped up with a brilliant BBQ put on by our hosts, Mark and Anton, where sausages and beers were had, and no one talked to Kobayashi….

We’ll get em next time!

Up the wommies.

Tokyo Wombats Cricket Club -- Match Scorecard

Tokyo Wombats CC vs Chiba Sharks CC
Japan Cricket League 2024 (Div. 1), Fuji 2, Shizuoka, May 25, 2024

Tokyo Wombats CC
ResultChiba Sharks won by 1 wicket

Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 232/8 (40.0 overs)

R B 4s 6sSR
R McKennac M Fujihara b H Bacha272650103.85
M Kawashimac M Thurgate† b K Ota-Dobell04000.00
M Ali*lbw b B Ito9911611385.34
R Kobayashic M Fujihara b M Siddique232121109.52
N McKayb M Siddique03000.00
Arp Choudhuryc A Dewan b M Siddique3130023.08
A Bakarc B Ito b N Pol10811125.00
K Jinasenac & b H Bacha5141035.71
A Patmorenot out362941124.14
S Singhnot out680075.00
Arc Choudhurydnb

Extras(b 1, lb 4, w 17, nb 1)23

TOTAL(8 wickets)232

Fall of wickets
1-2 M Kawashima, 2-51 R McKenna, 3-96 R Kobayashi, 4-96 N McKay, 5-109 Arc Choudhury, 6-121 A Bakar, 7-134 K Jinasena 8-209 M Ali, 8-232 S Singh

O M R W wd nb Econ
M Siddique7.01323404.57
K Ota-Dobell8.00301603.75
H Bacha8.00642218.00
N Pol5.00251205.00
B Ito6.00361006.00
A Thurgate3.003102010.33
M Fujihara3.0090103.00

Chiba Sharks CC Innings: 233/9 (39.0 overs)

R B 4s 6sSR
N Polc M Ali† b R McKenna15372040.54
D Bedingfield*c R Kobayashi b R McKenna483680133.33
B Itoc Arc Choudhury b N McKay15202075.00
T Takadac M Kawashima b K Jinasena010000.00
A Dewanc R McKenna b N McKay781087.50
M Fujiharac M Ali† b N McKay120050.00
M Thurgatenot out9577105123.38
M Siddiqueb A Choudhury15212071.43
K Ota-Dobellc sub b R McKenna11190057.89
A Thurgatelbw b R McKenna120050.00
H Bachanot out450080.00
Extras(b 0, lb 1, w 16, nb 4)21

TOTAL(9 wickets)233

Fall of wickets

O M R W wd nbEcon
Arc Choudhury7.00560318.00
K Jinasena8.00301203.75
R McKenna8.00374414.62
N McKay5.00423418.40
Arp Choudhury6.00281304.67
S Singh4.00310017.75
M Ali*1.0080008.00

Rob McKenna
vs Chiba Sharks (May 25, 2024)
Rob's run-a-ball 27 runs and four wickets went a long way in the Wombats' near-victory against old foes Ichihara (now, Chiba Sharks). Definitely worth a bottle of wine, as this week's Jacob's Creek Man of the Match!