- Match Report
- Scorecard vs. Serendib Titans
- Scorecard vs. Myoden
- Photos vs. Serendib Titans
- Photos vs. Myoden
No Ball, No Probs for Wombats!
by Ken Dobson
Japan Cup Finals: Qualifier
As South Kanto Division 2 Champions, the Tokyo Wombats had qualified for the Japan Cup Finals Qualifier – a champions league of sorts consisting of the Div. 2 Regional qualifiers from North/South/East/West Kanto. The games were played out at the dodgy Sano River grounds, with semi-finals played in the morning before the final in the afternoon. We were pitted against the West Kanto side Serendib Titans on Sano River 4, whilst the Saitama Lions battled Myoden on the ground adjacent.
I lost the toss yet announced confidently that “We’ll have a bat”, only to be informed that we would be bowling instead. Not to worry, for we had a plan. That was for part-time offie Rex Kobayashi to bowl a surprise opening over of darts, ripping through the over in 90 secs without giving too many runs away. Unfortunately, Rex had other ideas, and decided to bowl short and wide giving away 4 extras and going for 13 off an over that took 5 mins to complete. Big Tommy came in off the long run at the other end, a lovely smooth athletic run-up into a big broad ginger chest on action, delivering the white ball with accentuated bounce from his 198cm frame. Down the leg-side, 3 times for 3 wides before dropping short and getting hooked for six. End of the 2nd over and Serendib were 0/30. I was a bit worried but I was reassured by the experienced head of Adam Birss that things were all going to plan.
Batter in England but bowler in Japan, Navin Jinasena replaced Rex and pegged things back with his smooth medium pace. Then big Tommy got the key first breakthrough with a nick through to Ali behind the stumps. We’d managed to pull Serendib back after they had gotten away to a flyer and at the end of the Powerplay the score read 1/57. It was time for Rex to have another over. You’d think with all the faith that had been put in him after his disastrous first over that he would have the common decency to just bowl some length – but instead decided to fling the ball as hard as he could about a third of the way up into the wicket, resulting in the ball racing over both batsman and keeper for 5 NO-BALLS in what was the first of some hilariously yet infuriating occasions where the umpires decided to change the laws of cricket.
Anyway, we got on with this game of Kricket as it wasn’t cricket anymore, with Robb Zloc coming on to bowl his wily leggies. Simple run up and action from Robb, very reassuring as he generally bowls good areas and is a real wicket-taking option also. NO-BALL comes the cry from umpire Digimon. “Wtf you bowling front foot no-balls as a leggie, Robb?” I say as Robb checks with umpire Digimon about how far he had overstepped the popping crease. “No-no, no overstep”, said Umpire Digimon, “Your front foot needs to land inside this line here” whilst pointing to the wide line indicator. Which is actually true when you are playing Kricket. Some pretty great quotes came from this little 2-minute holdup. “So, I’ve been bowling wrong for 20 years?” says Robb shaking his head. Alex Patmore showed that he’d come from privilege with his British private school accented declaration of “You’re objectively wrong!” Anyway, after pretty much half the team had a dummy-spit, and assurances from umpires Digimon and Pokémon that they would officiate the 2nd innings according to the same laws, we got on with the Kricket. Two balls later Robb had our 2nd wicket, bamboozling the other opening bat and shattering the stumps.
Rex obviously needed to be removed from the attack again, so Ali swapped the gloves with Alex and took the pill, offies from one end, leggies from the other, like Warne and Tim May if T20 was a thing in the early 90s. Ali took the 3rd wicket, that of their dangerous no.3 who had brought his bat but forgotten his wallet for 62(31) with Hassan taking a fantastic catch diving forward at deep cover. By the 15th over Robb and Ali had finished their spells taking 1/34 & 1/33 respectively before skipper decided the time was right to buy a wicket and bring myself on. A brilliant bit of strategy as I bowl 4 wides before enticing the batter out of his crease with Patmore completing the rather simple stumping after my excellent work to set him up.
End of the 16th over and Serendib were well placed at 4/150. I had planned on closing out the innings with the 3 overs remaining from our pacemen, which led to the 16th over needing to be bowled by one other. Who could I turn to but the prodigal son of Alex, Rex Kobayashi. Fittingly he finally did in his third over what he was supposed to do in his first, bowl full darts at middle peg. Lo and behold he gets an LBW and the over goes for 4 runs. Tommy and Navin bowl wonderfully at the death taking 3 wickets between them. Serendib finish their 20 overs 8/180, helped along by 33 wides from the Wombats, with Navin the pick of the bowlers taking 2/33.
Captain Ego (me) then decided to demote usual opener Adam Birss and strode out to the middle with junior partner Alex Patmore nursing a suspicious hamstring injury of unknown origin. Serendib’s opening bowlers were full of vigor, bowling full and straight with good pace. I could see the fear in Alex’s eyes as he swung blindly, somehow luckily connecting with the middle of the bat taking two 4s and a 6 off the second over. The 6 in particular just pure luck I thought, planting his feet down the wicket and connecting with a huge slog sweep over deep midwicket sending the ball off into the tall grass never to be found again. I tried to keep the young fella composed but couldn’t, as he was bowled after forgetting that he was a left-hander and tried to repeat his slog sweep for 6 this time as a right hander.
Next to go was #3 Sergeal and then myself LBW, as Sergeal was my mate and I wanted to sit down with him. We were in real trouble at 3/39 after 7 with Hassan and Ali at the crease, but they immediately counter-punched with Ali hitting two lovely cut shots for 4 off his 2nd and 3rd ball, and Hasan showing his gym strength by muscling a six over backward square. Not to be outdone, Ali launched a huge six over cover before being runout from an excellent direct hit. Enter Rex Kobyashi, the bloke who forgot how to bowl and was now tasked with rescuing the sinking ship that we’d found ourselves in at 4/65 after 10 overs.
Hassan now started hitting long and straight, two big 6s down the ground as the pair took 15 runs off the 12th, then 12 runs off the 13th and 10 runs from the 14th. Now our run-rate was back up to around 8 an over, before Hassan 41(27) went the same way as Ali, runout coming back for the 2nd. End of the 15th over and we were 5/124, needing 56 runs off the last 5 overs. Enter big ginger Tommy, who boomed a straight drive for 4 off his very first ball faced. Tommy and Rex seemed to score at ease, staying composed, running hard, and hitting 4s and 6s to remain in touch of the target. 47 off 4, 34 off 3, 23 off 2.
The tension was immense and the Wombats back in the hutch were getting excited. At the end of the 19th over we were 5/172, 9 runs needed for an unlikely victory. Rex on strike, dot ball! Five to come, Rex drives down to long on and jogs a single. “F***ing run hard boys” screams Ev on the sidelines. 8 needed off 4. Tommy turns one to fine leg for single. 7 off 3. Rex knocks one down to long-on for a single “NO-BALL!” cried umpire Pokémon. They did it, they were consistent, and no-balled the Serendib bowler who forgot we were playing Kricket and instead was conforming to the laws of cricket and had sillily planted his front foot outside the wide line painted on the inside of the return crease. 5 now needed off 3 and my sphincter is so tight. Single from Tommy as he fails to beat short 3rd man. 4 off two. The prodigal son of Alex – Rex “forgot how to bowl” Kobayashi on strike. Steps up and booms a 90m six over midwicket and the Tokyo Wombats are through to the final!
Rex’s match winning six bringing up his unbeaten 55*(35) and ginger Tommy at the other end with 17*(10). How good, time for a quick onigiri and a change of grounds to play for a spot in the Japan Cup Finals against Myoden from West Tokyo.
Japan Cup Finals: Eliminator
Myoden’s captain was taller than me but I had bigger arms so I felt this made us equals and thus did my best to appear interested during the pre-match introductions/toss. This time I made the correct call and made the universal forward defence with my left arm to indicate we were batting. Ali graciously insisted that the tent space be used by the less melanated brothers whilst Alex and myself opened up. The Myoden openers bowled well, good areas and getting some good swing from the new white ball. Alex and I were gone by the 3rd over, me caught at mid-off whilst Alex said F*** it and jogged a tight single (hammy) and was run out by a superb direct hit. Sergeal and Hassan set about getting us back on to the right track – Hassan again showing why pipes in the gym are important as he launched a huge six over long off. Unfortunately, game 1 heroics eluded him as he feathered one down leg side and the Wombats again losing early wickets 3/33 after the 6 over Powerplay.
Ali and Rex never really got going and by the 10th over the Wombats were 5/60. This brought together big ginger Tommy and Sergeal. Usually teaming up on the rugby field, these two rig-based selections showed their all-round sporting ability and began building a partnership. Hard run 1s and 2s, intertwined with the Tommy losing a ball after nailing a pull shot into Saitama and Sergeal using his quick feet and lifting the ball over long on. The pressure was starting to build onto Myoden, none more so than game 1 Umpire Digimon who was now in the playing XI for Myoden and like game one showed his general composure and social smarts – frantically yelling out for the Wombats to ‘Update the scoreboard’ in the middle of the over, all whilst making multiple misfields.
Over 16 and the Wombats were 5/100 with Sergeal on 38* and Tommy on 19*. 4 big overs and our score would be a respectful 150-odd, definitely a tricky chase. However, Myoden were able to bowl and field very well in the last 4 overs, restricting the Wombats to 6/123 with Sergeal finishing on an unbeaten 45*. Not a great total – but something to bowl at and if we were disciplined and took all our chances, I knew we could come away with the win.
Rex, son of Alex, took the new ball again and immediately had me cursing under my breath as he bowled a waist-high no-ball with his 3rd, then had me cursing loudly to his face after getting hit for 6 and going for 12 off his first over. Navin opened up from the other end and was on the on the spot as usual, getting the batter to nick off with his second ball. Tommy replaced Rex and bowled what was essentially sour tomato sauce and was crunched away for a couple of boundaries with Myoden 1/26 after 3. Navin then showed he was no endurance athlete – and was attacked by a sudden onset of cramp in an interested 4th over which yielded 6 wides, a 6 but also the key wicket of their captain and opening batsman, Ali completing a fantastic diving catch down legside. Rex was brought on to replace him, immediately dismissing their no.4 bat with Hassan somehow not allowing his huge steroid-built chest to prevent him taking an excellent catch at deep midwicket.
Myoden were now 3/48 off 6. Ali swapped out the gloves with Alex and together with Robb, really tightened the screws on Myoden. Ali bowled particularly well, adjusting his field intelligently if not a little ambitiously, once requesting 5”4 shouldhavebeenajockey Evan to get ‘shorter and shorter’ in an attempt to cut off singles at square leg. Regardless, it was some great work from the Wombats in the field, restricting them to only 24 runs and taking 2 wickets off the next 6 overs. One of which was our old mate Digimon who was asked by every Wombats play to update the scoreboard, as he scratched around the crease for 6 balls before Robb took a screamer off Ali at backward point to dismiss Digimon for 0. The no.7 batter for Myoden had some real Glenn Maxwell vibes about him and ruined Robb’s bowling figures in his 4th over by hitting 3 huge sixes on the legside to bring Myoden right back into the game 5/93 at the end of the 13th over. Ali completed his 4th over, a wonderful spell 4-0-11-2 and with 5 overs remaining Myoden were 5/98, requiring 26 runs from the last 5 overs if Digimon updated the scoreboard right.
Things were tight – who to turn to. Obviously, the reader knows the answer to this. I throw the ball to Rex who has the Big Show pop one up to Ali who makes no mistake. 19 off 24. Big Ginger Tommy now runs in and off his very first delivery has communist leader Carl Marx LBW for a golden duck! Then bowls a fast yorker and bowls the no.9 with his last ball, completing a huge momentum-changing over. Myoden are now 8/106 needing 18 off 18. “They’re nervous” says Alex from behind the stumps, “We’re ca-lm” I reply – doing my best to sound as confident as Matthew Wade did batting with Stoinis in the T20 Semi Final in Dubai. We were on the verge, victory there for ours to take, the only barrier being their no.5 bat was 22* and set. I set 3 on the legside boundary and bowl the mooniest delivery I can, the no.5 swings it away to deep square. Ali comes racing in and throws hard back to the keeper’s end – oh no – the batters have had a mix up coming back for 2, and there’s a chance at the non-striker’s end. Alex flips off his right glove, attacks the throw from the outfield to take it early and in one motion fires the ball pinpoint above the stumps at the non-strikers end, allowing me the easiest job of taking the ball and the bails in one smooth motion. The Wombats are up and about, everyone fizzing as we ride the collective emotional energy of a team gelling and succeeding.
“One more to get – lets send them packing”, cried big Adsy as the 19th over begins, Myoden requiring 12 off 12 balls, their no.5 takes a single off the first ball, big mistake leaving the no.11 to face with 5 balls still remaining. However, that’s what pressure does to you, and he was feeling it after than runout mix-up. 2 dot balls go by as the no.11 can’t get Rex away. I spy Evan, heeding Ali’s earlier request to “Get shorter, get shorter” as he looked about 5-foot tall now, prowling midwicket. Myoden’s no.11 bunts one out to forward-square leg and he takes off. “NO NO NO,” screams the no.5 sending him back halfway down the pitch. Evan shoots out of dummy half, I mean mid-wicket, and bends low, so now he’s about 2 feet off the ground, one hand pick-up and fires it in, smashes middle stump halfway up! Runout! The Myoden’s batter 3 meters short! The team goes wild, absolute scenes, Evan looks about 6”5 after the final runout to win the game. The Wombats had done it! We were Div. 2 champs and had won the last qualifying spot in the Japan Cup T20 Finals to be played Oct 22-23.
1, 2, 3…!
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Serendib Titans CC|
|Japan Cup 2022 Finals (Qualifier), Sano 4, Tochigi, October 2, 2022|
|Toss||Serendib Titans CC|
|Result||TWCC won by 5 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||R Kobayashi|
|Serendib Titans CC Innings: 180/6 (20.0 overs)|
|I Gunatilaka||c M Ali† b T Jones||20||13||3||1||153.85|
|M Revel||b R Zloc||17||24||2||0||70.83|
|T Thirimanna||c A Bakar b M Ali||62||31||8||3||200.00|
|S Gamachchige||b T Jones||23||27||1||1||85.19|
|K Madhu||st A Patmore† b K Dobson||3||8||0||0||37.50|
|S Pathium||lbw b R Kobayashi||1||4||0||0||25.00|
|M Perera*||c M Ali b N Jinasena||2||3||0||0||66.67|
|T Munasinghe||not out||8||7||1||0||114.29|
|R Indeewara||b N Jinasena||6||6||1||0||100.00|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 1, w 33, nb 3)||38|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-39 I Gunatilaka, 2-77 M Revel, 3-126 T Thirimanna, 4-146 K
Madhu, 5-151 S Pathium...and the rest is missing.|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 183/5 (19.5 overs)|
|K Dobson*||lbw b I Gunatilaka||4||18||0||0||22.22|
|A Patmore||b K Madhu||23||15||3||1||153.33|
|S Peterson||b I Gunatilaka||3||7||0||0||42.86|
|A Bakar||run out (I Gunatilaka)||41||27||2||4||151.85|
|M Ali||run out (I Gunatilaka)||15||9||2||1||166.67|
|R Kobayashi||not out||55||35||2||4||157.14|
|T Jones||not out||17||10||2||0||170.00|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 1, w 21, nb 2)||25|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-33 A Patmore, 2-38 S Peterson, 3-39 K Dobson, 4-65 M Ali,
5-119 A Bakar|
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Myoden CC|
|Japan Cup 2022 Finals (Eliminator), Sano 3, Tochigi, October 2, 2022|
|Result||TWCC won by 10 runs|
|TWCC MoM||T Jones|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 123/6 (20.0 overs)|
|K Dobson*||c N Shahane b A Telang||5||6||1||0||83.33|
|A Patmore||run out (N Shahane)||5||11||1||0||45.45|
|S Peterson||not out||45||49||0||2||91.84|
|A Bakar||c C Marx† b S Telang||10||9||0||1||111.11|
|M Ali||b S Pandhari||8||8||1||0||100.00|
|R Kobayashi||c S Pandhari b N Shahane||2||4||0||0||50.00|
|T Jones||b A Telang||26||31||1||1||83.87|
|N Jinasena||not out||2||2||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||(b 4, lb 1, w 15, nb 0)||20|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-13 K Dobson, 2-14 A Patmore, 3-33 A Bakar, 4-49 M Ali, 5-58
R Kobayashi, 6-120 T Jones, 6-123 N Jinasena|
|Myoden CC Innings: 113 (18.4 overs)|
|B Genji||c A Patmore b N Jinasena||2||6||0||0||33.33|
|N Shahane*||c M Ali† b N Jinasena||20||13||2||1||153.85|
|P Kakarla||c R Kobayashi b M Ali||9||19||0||0||47.37|
|S Pandhari||c A Bakar b R Kobayashi||8||7||0||1||114.29|
|T Pawar||not out||28||40||2||0||70.00|
|D Sahasrabudhe||c R Zloc b M Ali||0||6||0||0||0.00|
|A Telang||c M Ali b R Kobayashi||28||15||1||3||186.67|
|C Marx||lbw b T Jones||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|K Mule||b T Jones||1||3||0||0||33.33|
|T Oberoi||run out (M Ali)||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|S Telang||run out (E Hitchman)||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 0, w 14, nb 2)||16|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-14 B Genji, 2-33 N Shahane, 3-45 S Pandhari, 4-61 P Kakarla,
5-67 S Sahasrabudhe, 6-104 A Telang...and the rest is missing.|
- Hassan – Deep mid-wicket very fast great hold.
- Robb – wrong footed at backward point takes it over right shoulder.
- Ali moving well at deep square leg holds it down low
- Rob Zlocc with a diving one at backward point v Myoden at a crucial moment. Unfortunately the guy who came in then ruined his otherwise excellent bowling figures!
- Evan – chests are for beating, not catching cricket balls with.
- Evan – over head and through the hands.
- Evan – dropped again, down low.
- Hassan – dolly at deep cover.
- Robb at short cover.
- Tommy in the deep.
- “The tent is for you white boys” – Ali
- “Concentrate on the fielding Digi” – Ev after the oppo asked for the score to be updated, despite it being perfectly up to date.
- “Update the score Digi” – Ev after the oppo was not updating the scoreboard
- Alex – “You’re Objectively wrong.” ‘Change the scoreboard DIGI!’ – everyone
- Rob – “So I’ve bowled wrong for 20 years?” After ridiculous ‘No ball’ calls.
- Dobson “They’re nervous…” chat. “They’re nervous, we’re calm” was a frequent utterance throughout the day by skip Dobson. He tried it one last time when bowling in the 19th over in the final, less convincing as he was shaking like a sh****ng dog!
- “What’s the score Digi?!” Various Wommies after being harassed during our batting innings by an over zealous fielder demanding us to update the scoreboard mid over.
Great Moments in Sport
- Rex – superb shots in the first match
- Return crease no balls. “Umpires call!”
- The partnership between Garth and Tommy to right the ship in the final and post a competitive score.
- Big Tommy bowling Short and Fast – great carry.
- Ali & Robb spin twins tying down middle overs.
- Garth composed batting at 3 carrying team to competitive total.
- Hassan batting first game, quick fire 40 to really get chase going.
- Rex outstanding 55 off 35 incredible balls of steel to hit 6 off the penultimate ball to win the qualifier.
- Wombats winning 2 games in the same day, all thrillers down to the wire
- Rex, Abu, Seargal & Tommy batted well.
- Ali 2/11 from 4 against Myoden.
- Ev direct hit run out to send the Wommies through to their first Japan Cup Finals!
- Everyone over no-ball gate.
- Alex/Ali – getting into the ‘objectively’ wrong umpire over made up no-balls.
- Ev- and Digi
- Evan after his drops. Pounding the turf.
- Half the team in the first game after some alternative cricketing rules were applied by the umpires.
Golden Thong Nominations
- Navin playing the first game in the pullover… It was 30 degrees.
- Wommies bowling 33 wides in the first game. Still ran the score down.
- Rex – disgusting first over – not according to game plan at all and allowing Serendib to get away to a flyer.
- Adsy – rolling over the ball which seemed to follow him everywhere.
- Alex – attempted reverse sweep, off stump out of the ground
- Umpires in the first game.
- Rexi: bowling bouncer while bowling spin and going above keeper for boundary.
- Yoshi the groundsman! Disgraceful….