- Match Report
Openers Go Big Before Debutant Seals Victory
by Rex Kobayashi
The Wommies arrived at Sano International Cricket Ground, itching to get back into some cricket after a recent run of washed out fixtures. Morale and spirits were extremely high in the dugout pregame, but so was the temperature for the day. Even the lightest of fielding drills drenched the yellow and green in these Amazonian conditions. The Wommies mustered an impressive line-up for this long-awaited fixture, including Owen Morris (from the renowned Morris cricketing family) making his debut for the club (finally).
The toss resulted in the Wommies being sent out into the field, not what some of us may have wanted, but it gave us a chance to really get stuck into the Falcons’ batting order early doors, and that is exactly what happened.
Joe ‘Spider’ Lewis made his intentions clear, with some sweet chin music to let the batsmen know he meant business, and with the third ball of the first over, he lured the batsman onto the front foot with a length ball, slightly nipping away and caressing the edge of his willow before being gobbled up by Alex Patmore behind the stumps.
The pressure was sustained at the other end by Satish Alapati, before he claimed a scalp of his own, which will live long in the memory of this great club. The Falcons’ no.3 batsman was looking dangerous as he raced to double figures, but Alapati stuck to the plan and found an outside edge. The ball flashed off the bat, high in the air, going over Richie Bracefield at first slip. Most of the field turned away anticipating the umpire to wave his arm to signal four runs, but the big man leapt like a dolphin in the Pacific, stuck his arm as high as he could, and the ball stuck into his palm. The scenes in the field afterwards were that of pure elation, reminiscent of the 2019 WC Final. Odell Beckham JR. would have been proud of that grab.
As the overs passed, and the heat and humidity thickened, the Falcons managed to press on with some impressive hitting (aided by a number of drops in the field) and amassed an impressive 253 off 39.4 overs. Some fantastic spin bowling was certainly a highlight, with wickets coming from Milinda, Rasika, Ali and Kavin. Massive credit to all the bowlers for their efforts with the ball, continuously charging on in a tough climate, and also to Alex Patmore for keeping the 40 overs and barking at his troops (constantly).
It seemed like a mountain to climb, but with that batting line-up, we were always going to be in the hunt. There was certainly an aura of confidence as Patmore and Bracefield were getting their last-minute throw downs.
The chase started off extremely well. The big man, Bracefield, seeing it like a watermelon, unleashed a merciless barrage of boundaries. Each one getting a deserved roar from the Wommies under their patches of shade.
During the first drinks break, Patmore muttered to his peers, ‘Richie is batting better than me!’, which in return got a resounding ‘we know.’
The opening duo managed to get to 124 runs, before Richie was struck on his pad and got sent walking on 81, which in a way would have been a serious relief after sweating out half of his body weight. An absolute dream start for the Wommies, but without Big Biffer Bracefield, where were the runs going to come from?
Ali and Patmore steadied the ship with some fine cricket shots, great running between the wickets, and frustrated the Falcons with their resilience. However, with the absence of boundaries, the required rate crept up and up ever so slightly. This impact was truly felt after Ali was dismissed on 20, sending in rookie Rex Kobayashi, who is famously a declaration cricketer.
A few regulation forward defensives and some missed full tosses later, the run rate was nearing 8 an over. However, very uncharacteristically, Kobayashi managed to find a couple of boundaries from god knows where, much to the delight of Patmore and the Wommies on the sideline. The excitement was a bit too much for young Kobayashi, who duly sent one straight down long off’s throat.
The game was hanging in the balance, it could go either way, then in steps club debutant Owen Morris, at 194-3, to bring it home for the boys. He told the lads he hasn’t played in 5 years, a claim which is under serious scrutiny after producing a 360-degree array of cricket shots. In turn, Patmore hit boundaries at the exact right times, to tilt the game in the Wommies’ favour.
At the beginning of the 38th over, the Wommies needed 12 runs. Like taking candy off a baby with the way Patmore and Morris were batting. But the Falcons’ bowler managed five dot balls in a row, incredible bowling, and also Patmore was probably seeing stars by this point after his monumental stand at the crease. The match was tilting back towards the Falcons, but super Alex Patmore crashed one off his legs for four, sending the Wommies bench into hysterics, prompting a number of players to say ‘who doesn’t love cricket!’
Morris duly finished the game off in the following over, ending on a fantastic flick off his hip for four, which in the process robbed our captain of his ton, but by that point I’m sure Patmore was just happy to have a sit down.
Not only a true captain’s innings, but a true captain’s performance all round, after keeping in the heat for 40, then batting the whole innings, getting 97 to win the game, huge credit to Alex Patmore for his super-human effort.
A very important win for the Wommies, but more importantly a fantastic game of cricket, that went down to the wire, and was thoroughly enjoyable to be a part of.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Tokyo Falcons CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2021 (Div. 1), SICG 2, Tochigi, July 31, 2021|
|Toss||Tokyo Falcons CC|
|Result||TWCC won by 7 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||A Patmore|
|Tokyo Falcons CC Innings: 253 (39.4 overs)|
|A Chawla||c S Alapati b M Dharmadasa||52||74||4||1||70.27|
|N Gaur||c A Patmore*† b J Lewis||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|A Mehrotra||c R Bracefield b S Alapati||12||17||2||0||70.59|
|S Pandhari||b K Jinasena||26||46||3||1||56.52|
|S Petkar||lbw b R Ethugala||27||22||2||1||122.73|
|K Bisht||c M Ali b M Dharmadasa||27||12||5||1||225.00|
|T Perera||c R Bracefield b J Lewis||7||7||1||0||100.00|
|S Dawar*||c K Jinasena b M Ali||33||26||2||2||126.92|
|M Kapil||c E Hitchman b R Ethugala||22||15||2||1||146.67|
|A Telang||not out||19||9||2||1||211.11|
|B Gurjar||run out (S Alapati)||7||10||1||0||70.00|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 0, w 19, nb 1)||21|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-1 N Gaur, 24-2 A Mehrotra, 67-3 S Pandhari, 124-4 S Petkar, 159-5 A Chawla, 160-6 K Bisht, 167-7 T Perera, 213-8 M Kapil, 230-9 S Dawar, 253-10 B Gurjar|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 254/3 (38.5 overs)|
|A Patmore*†||not out||97||116||8||0||83.62|
|R Bracefield||lbw b K Bisht||81||61||11||2||132.79|
|M Ali||c M Kapil b A Telang||20||29||0||0||68.97|
|R Kobayashi||c K Bisht b A Chawla||11||13||2||0||84.62|
|O Morris||not out||25||15||3||0||166.67|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 5, w 14, nb 1)||20|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-122 R Bracefield, 174-2 M Ali, 194-3 R Kobayashi|
- THAT Richie one hand worldie- one of those “Well that’s fou-WHAAAT!?” moments. Regulation catch at slip if you are a 7 foot 8 NBA centre, but a screamer by him!
- Ali in the deep, safe hands took a tough one that took an age to drop
- Satish dropped a couple but third time’s a charm! Richie insisted on swapping fielding spots with Satish after his 2nd drop, only for Satish to take a catch immediately after swapping at Richie’s old position.
- Joe, Satish dropped a couple of sitters but came back to take a wicket and catch later, good stuff!
- Joe Lewis, another skier right by the pitch off Mili’s bowling. And after a promising practice session on the beach the weekend before I’m told.
- “I don’t do boundaries mate, I’m a nerdler. ” – Rex moments before going out to smash a couple of vital boundaries that broke the 10 over deadlock, forcing the Falcon captain reshuffle the deck a bit that later proved crucial.
- Did you touch that Ev? – Ali returning the favour to Evan taking the piss after he jumped and almost got a hand to a tough catch over his head
- Ev: “not bad for the 2nd best player in his family”
Owen:”actually I’m probably 4th…”
Owen’s riposte to a sledge about his high achieving cricketing family!
Great Moments in Sport
- Patmore’s heroic vigil at the crease for a full innings after keeping for another. Even more incredible he didn’t need to pee once, but went on 5 occasions on the 2 hour trip home.
- Mili returning after a long hiatus to take 2 wickets in the middle sessions. A good welcome back for the ol’ panther.
- Owen on debut, hitting some vital boundaries at the business end of the chase and bringing us home with a lovely sweep for 4. 28 off 15 – match winning knock!
- 100 run opening partnership. Richie scoring 78 of them I think!
- Patmore. Never really arrived full on but it was clearly boiling close to the surface with the occasional bark here and there at any dozing wommies. Had we lost I doubt I would be around to write about this…
- Patmore with an outcry of ‘F***ING CALL!!’ when the batsman drops one onto legside for a dot ball and
one of his playersRex jogs and arrives at the ball at a vaguely similar time to himself. It was around the 31st over so his head was gone by that stage.
Golden Thong Nominations
- The Rex throw. Like a misfiring catapult.
- Patmore, weakest bladder in Japan- sure he had mild heat stroke and had to keep and bat for 80 overs straight, but no excuse! 5 piss stops on the 2 hour trip home!
- Mrs Richie – somehow missed not only the entire innings of her husband but also the nail-biting exciting finish! strolling in from the shops right after the end! haha