- Match Report
WONDERFUL WOMBATS STOMP SANO
by Courtney Jones
As QF flight 79 touched down at Narita on Saturday morning in pelting rain I cursed the weather gods for their timing. One more weekend in Perth where rain has been as rare as an ugly chick in Shibuya would have been perfect. I did look at the positive side though. At least I can now get back to eating meals without a volume and calorie count to feed a west African nation for a week.
No phone call Saturday night or Sunday morning calling off the game so I guess we’re somehow on. Maybe the cyclone now blowing outside would help dry the ground and it certainly made for a rather wild and rocky van ride down to Fuji much to Laids’ distress.
Big puddles on Fuji 2 had blokes with brooms, shovels, rakes, sawdust and even sponges attempting to make it playable but it was obvious we weren’t going to start on time with Sano’s captain Miyaji insisting on protecting the surface of his beloved Fuji grounds. Eventually the game was moved to the less logged Fuji 1 for a reduced 32 over game, beginning at 12:20 which incidently coincided with 2 of Sano’s better players arrival at the ground. Coincidence or gamesmanship? It didn’t matter because the Wombats played close to their best cricket to defeat arguably their greatest rivals by 5 wickets in a high quality game on Sunday April 26th.
First gamers Laids (official game) and Kumar were presented with the prized Wombats playing shirt and we were bowling thanks to GT’s quality tossing. And bowl we did! Laids and Beefy were as tight as a rusted screw in an opening spell that reduced Sano’s very decent top order to 4-18 of 12 overs. Laids bowled quality outswing into a sea breeze that made the Freo Doctor feel like a babies fart while Beefy coming down was boomerranging big innys onto a perfect length. Their control and swing in difficult bowling conditions proved way to good for Sano’s top 4. 3 fell to edges to Dino and Beefy produced a yorker from the Waqar Younis textbook (although at a reduced pace!) to bowl the explosive Munir first ball.
Fuji and new face Andrew set about steadying the sinking Sano ship with a 58 run partnership with a mixture of skill and occassional aggression with Fuji’s perfectly timed on driven 4 the highlight of the partnership. Shax enticed Fuji into another big shot to have him well caught by Burke at cover for 36 and Andrew edged to Dino straight after to give Matty Strider his first wicket for the Wombats. Unabated Wombats bowling and fielding pressure never allowed Sano’s lower order biffers into the game. Razzaq holed out to Trent at cow corner off GT and Miyaji followed, slicing one up to Burkey again at cover without a boundary between them.
Kumar also picked up his first wicket for the club with a beautiful googly, bowling the young Takumi without playing a shot. Takumi was later heard saying he’s never seen a googly before and such was the quality of Kumar’s I doubt he’s still seen one! Keeping a very good Sano side to 9-124 off 32 overs was testament to how well all the Wombats bowled and fielded. 2 wickets to Laids, Beefy and GT. 1 each to Shax, Matty and Kumar.
A tactical change in the batting order saw Dino open up with Beefy and Burkey dropping down to #4. Chasing 125 aginst a quality attack wasn’t going to be easy but Dino and Beefy showed their class by seeing off the new ball under immense pressure form Sano’s opening bowlers and scoring at a good rate to boot. Andrew in particular bowled with good pace and bounce as did Razzaq but paid the Beefy penalty of bowling a couple of short ones that disappeared over square leg for boundaries.
Hanif took a speccy one hander to dismiss Beefy for 16 and Chuck played on next over to give Sano a sniff at 2-49. However the move of Burkey at 4 proved critical as he and Dino put on 48 decisive runs to take the game out of reach of Sano. Again Razzaq chose the wrong man to bang one in short to as Burkey(26) unloaded a magnificent pull shot for the only 6 of the day and Jarrad showed all his usual doggedness to top score(42) as the game slipped away from Sano. 2 late strikes from Miyaji to give him a chance at a hattrick kept the game interesting to the end but Striders batting prowess blunted the hattrick threat and his expert piercing of the gap between keeper and first slip saw the Wombats home with 25 balls to spare and our second JCL victory of the season.
Hardy’s Wombats best went to Beefy Jesse for his 2/15 off 7 and 16 runs double. Sano’s best to Andrew for his allround efforts and Hardy’s Play of the Day went to Hanif for his speccy catch. Special mention to Dave Lolback who umpired the game expertly and without fuss. It’s said that the best umpires are the ones who aren’t noticed and Dave certainly did that and had a great game.
Wombats victory song was sung but perhaps not with full participation because some newer members aren’t yet fully versed. Beers were consumed quickly with the cold wind forcing all to the sanctuary of the van and Maccas. Plenty of cricket talk on the van back to Tokes and fairly uneventful with only a couple of minor wrestling skirmishes erupting signaling our inebriation.
An excellent allround display by the Wombats set up by the opening spells of Laids and Beefy which ultimately proved the difference between the 2 sides. Oh yeah. We did all this with 10 men, too! If we consistently play as well as we did last Sunday then we’ll again be hard to beat in 2009. Bring on the Ashes! May 23rd!