- Match Report
Old man laidler turns back time but batting blunders continue
by Alex Koolhof
The Tokyo Wombats were subject to another flogging at the Fuji 1 ground on April 22, this time at the hands of the Wyverns. Despite an alright bowling and fielding effort in the first half of the match to dismiss the opposition for 208 in the 35th over, the boys were unable to sustain any batting partnerships of real significance in the second and were consequently dismissed for only 105. All up, we were pretty shithouse.
It was a busy week after this game, hence the late appearance of this match report, and coupled with the fact that the scorecard contains a few errors (fall of wickets, batting order, etc.) and my memory being a bit hazy on the order of events of the day, this report may end up being quite brief.
The Wyverns won the toss and elected to bat. Skipper Patmore threw the pill to returning Wombat Mohibul and fellow countryman and newcomer to the JCL, Solaiman Haque, the latter generating some good pace early on. From our perspective, we thought we had kept the run-scoring in check for the most part and took wickets regularly. Dino dropped a tough chance in slip, but held on to another one. Rony, Solaiman, and Yusry all splayed the stumps with guile or pace. Another catch went through to the keeper and a couple of others were hit high in the air, but solidly taken by Aamir and Richie. Richie also effected a beautiful run-out to dismiss Okoshi – picking the ball up on the run in the covers and pinging it straight into the stumps.
Some chances went begging though, namely, Koolhof dropping a sitter at point, old man Laidler nearly popping his should in a tough attempt on the boundary, and Yusry daydreaming with the fairies while a slogged Red King rocketed his way. In fact, these few missed chances let the Wyverns accumulate an extra 40 or 50 runs that we didn’t really want to see hit the scoreboard. From 123/6, the Wyverns scrambled their way up to 208. 5 penalty runs (ball hitting keeper’s helmet) didn’t help our cause either. Still, a very gettable target on a fairly quick outfield.
So, 209 to win and a solid start needed. Patmore and Bracefield worked their way through the opening few overs. Richie was his usual aggressive self, bashing the bad ball away. Patmore was watchful – but hit one from Yamada in the air to the right of Ogawa, who dived and snapped it up quite athletically. Kids these days. Still the ever-dependable Shearer strode to the crease and we hoped things would settle and a strong partnership emerge. That wish was short-lived however as 10 runs later, Dino received a lovely, late-dipping delivery that outplayed the big fella and crashed into the woodwork. Yamada the destroyer again. Bracefield was then clean-bowled and the Wombats were wobbling at 40/3.
If there was ever a time the Wombats needed Aamir to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, it was now. Yamada though, with his tail up, had other plans. He lured Aamir with a (wide one?) delivery that took the edge and through to the keeper it went. Eyes and Laidler set about resurrecting the flailing innings with a partnership of some significance. The odd boundary was hit and singles and twos were picked off when possible, providing some hope for a miraculous comeback for TWCC. Dickie Laidler, the oldest man on the field, really turned back time and showed us all how to absorb pressure and play every ball on its merits. He even tonked one over mid-wicket boundary for six! Just as Luke started to get settled and look the goods, however, he came unstuck as an Aoki delivery rapped him on the pads and up went the umpy’s finger.
Laidler fell soon after and the floodgates opened. The bottom six could only contribute only 10 more runs – Wombats all out for 105. Even newbie Solaiman stuck to Wombat tradition by getting himself out to leave Koolhof stranded on 2 not out again! Not taking anything away from the Wyverns, who were very disciplined with their tight line and length, but it was a forlorn batting display by TWCC.
- Great catch by Dino at mid-off – diving forward and taking it inches from the ground.
- Hit flat, straight to Koolhof at point but the ball goes through his hands, onto his chest, and onto the tarmac. Doesn’t get much easier at point. Perhaps he should never had said a few years ago that he never drops a catch….
- “Dot, dot, dot, dot, wide. I’ve got one to come.” Scorer extraordinaire Koolhof
- “Arrrrrrrggggghhhhh” No, not Mark Richardson writhing in pain from cramp. Skipper and wicketkeeper Patmore as the ball bursts through his legs and hits his helmet.
Great Moments in Sport
- Superb direct hit on the stumps by Richie running in from the covers to effect a run-out.
- Youthful tonk for six from Richard Laidler.
- Laidler’s batting, showing the top order how it’s done, and a special mention for Laids’ and Eyes’ partnership that gave us a glimmer of hope.
- Bowl-off: The only regular bowlers, Koolhof and Yusry, battling it out for last place, and Koolhof losing said bowl-off, not even able to beat a bloke who can’t get his arm above his shoulder.
- Jarrad Shearer performs the obligatory pad-thwacking, bail-kicking, profanity-uttering dummy spit after getting himself out….