Indian Tigers 149 - 150/1 TWCC

July 18, 2009 - 11:00 am at Ageo 2
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by Ian Gason

Tokyo Wombats outplayed the Indian Tigers in all departments Saturday to win the first round clash of the Pacific Cup by 9 wickets, at Ageo, setting up an October clash with KCL cricketing giants, The Giants.

With some of the Wombats finest living out their air hostess fantasies down at Izu, the line-up looked a little wobbly. On the 0840 to Ageo we saw no sign of Chiang Mai veteran Paul Knighton, so were possibly wobbly and short, but he did duly appear, and put down two cans of Yebisu for good measure while we procrastinated at Ageo station.

The ground was free of softballers, those noble pillars of the sporting community, so the pitch was pegged down and we waited for the rest of the Tigers, and play kicked off around 11:30, with Tigers to bat.

Bouyed by some good old fashioned school-boy smut, the Wombats were in a jovial mood, but soon switched on to serious, when The Freak Luke Ray took a running jumping catch at square leg to give Kyal the first wicket. Tigers were soon in trouble at 3/20 in the 7th when I cut one back to take leg, then on the advice of the stand-in skip Steven Burke dropped a short ball at big-hitting Balu’s nose, which he fended off to the waiting hands of Mark Kelly for a Golden Duck. In 42 balls, Tigers had had just 4 scoring shots.

Pramood and Anil consolidated until Gavin Beath got the breathrough. Mark Kelly’s spell almost was almost arrested early for a head high beamer, but he managed to avoid the long arm of the law and later after drinks picked up the stubborn opener Anil, courtesy of a good catch by Burkey.

Beath also had a crack at a hat-trick, removing Sohail and Parthi in consecutive balls, but was denied a damn confident LB shout for the 3rd.

Debutant Kasun Perera had a dropped catch for which he had to make amends. And with his innocolus looking lobs did just that bowling the Muralitharan look-alike behind his legs.

A declined appeal for a stumping had our keeper hot under the collar, his bald and sunburnt head glowing like a red hot bowling ball, as he threw his hands up and gloves down, before the de rigeur Tea Pot, and a plea we will be hearing about come November: “Oh, Come ON!! Burkey- do something!”

No, not Jarrad. Adam Farmer, well done!

Raj and Abraham wagged away long enough to have Burkey consider giving Jarrad a bowl, but then the skip remembered he had a hung-over 50-something with 2 Yebisu in him, a dodgy back and who hadn’t played outside CM6s for 27 years. No brainer really, and so we were spared the indignity of Dino’s dollies. Paul could have picked up a wicket when a top edge went AWOL and landed safely, but before he could get a second over in, Luke Ray’s pace (or lack of) and got through the defences of the last two bats.

Just the one chance was grassed and some sharp chances taken, backed up by some tidy fielding. Not so tidy was Kasun’s footwork, prefering to use his lurid blue shoes to trap the ball instead of his paws. Killer also tried to legs approach to outfielding and copped a cracker on the ankle bone for his troubles.

Tigers 149. Raj 37, Anil 32, wides (loosely defined) 36. Beath 3/36, Luke and me 2 apiece, 3 Ks -Killer Kasun and Kyal- 1 each.

150 on the dustbowl shouldn’t have presented any problems, and indeed it did not. The miniscule droplets of rain that had fallen on and off seemed to have buggered off, so with the stalwarts of Shearer and Burke to open, what could go wrong?

Well, Jarrad’s pants, for a start. Having blown the elastic and lost a nappy pin, the big baby was forced to hold his strides up with an extra thigh pad, an effort which was not entirely succesful.

Mr Burke was of course dressed for success and the pair began to undress the bowlers after 2 circumspect opening overs. 10 from the 3rd, 9 from the 4th and 5th, and the Tigers were looking like a threatened species. Despite some good pace and some accurate bowling, the Tigers gave these veterans enough loose offerings to undo their good work, and the score motored along comfortable at 7 an over. Wombats turned over the strike well, and Tigers were regularly sighted scampering in the nearby jungle.

Pramood bowled a good line nearly burst through Burkey defence, but strangely was given just two overs. Balu picked up the Tigers only wicket when Jarrad came to a sticky end shooting one downtown into some eagerly waiting hands. With still 70 to get, there was a long way to go yet, but Adam and Burkey made short work of the task.

Adam played some uncharacteristic straight bat defensive shots, but once he saw Burkey begin to unwind decided he didn’t want to miss out, and went on a boundary spree of his own, including one pull shot peeled away millimetres from busting his nose.

Both batsmen benefitted from a dropped catch or two, much to the disappointment of #4 Paul – who had surprised some of us with his batting in Chiang Mai this year!

Large leg-side gaps were exploited throughout the innings, and when the cherry again went AWOL in the jungle, drinks were taken an over early, 24 needed for victory.

Steve Burke must have remembered he had a hot date with a couple of ANA hostesses of his own, cos he came out a man on a mission. A wide to re-start proceedings was followed by Burkos twice advancing down the track, once lofting over cover for 6, once settling for a mere 4. A single allowed Adam to get amongst it, and he cow cornered for 6 and 4, leaving two needed.

The big booming down town six to finish never came, as Parthi finished with the odd figures of 0.0 overs 0/2 (two wides).

Wombats 1/150. Burkos 70*, Adam 28*, Dino 29.

Improving their catching would make the Tigers a far better team. Last meeting we enjoyed 7 lives, this time maybe 4 or 5, which can often mean the difference between a win and a loss. Guys, thanks for the game. Always good to play a new side, and hope it won’t be the last.

Back at Ageo, the Family Guys drove off, but in exchange we got Big Roy and Barry, designer of the Wombats’ logo. In his enthusiasm to get amongst the coldies, Luke Ray almost pulled the izakaya door down as the kit bag got caught on the frame! Perhaps we had used up all our gutter talk on the morning train and pre-game banter. Instead of Pup’s Proudest Poonani, we got a debate over the colonisation of Asia and the causes of WWII, and followed that up with why the cognatively challenged can’t be called spastics, and which other specific derogatory remarks are not an acceptable.

After making us miss a direct train to the ‘jukes, Killer tried and failed to befriend half the passengers (normal programming resumed?) but left us with this philosophical gem: if you don’t do anything wrong, you don’t get arrested.

Well, you’d know.

Hardys Man of the Match

Gavin Beath
vs Indian Tigers (Jul 18, 2009)
Gavin Beath continues his excellent form in 2009 with 3 handy wickets. 'Beef Cakes' also went very close to taking the first ever club hat-trick.