- Match Report
Pre-Season Road Trippin’
by Alex Patmore
Pre-season warm-up versus Fuji CC.
Team: Patmore, Richie B, Luke Eyes, AJ, Himanshu, Mark McTamney, Santosh, James, Vig, Chandu, Apoorv, Fuji batsman no.10
Fuji 133/8 (20 overs)
Tokyo Wombats 134/0 (18 overs)
Wombats won by 10 wickets
Tokyo Wombats 93/3 (10 overs)
Fuji (88/2) (10 overs)
Wombats won by 5 runs
March 23rd, 7:15 am at Shibuya Family Mart for the first Fuji van ride of the year. New members recruited over the winter were in attendance, some from the other side of the world. Old members too, such as AJ, probably in Shibs all night looking for a soul to squeeze. One of the new members was James, a British student fresh off the boat the previous Wednesday. Deciding he had nothing better to do with his first weekend in Tokes, he chose to email the club the day before and in a matter of hours was taking the van with 10 other strangers down to Fuji. Wise choice James. Later in the day it was decided that James bore more than a passing resemblance to Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis, which is handy for this match report writer to shoehorn a few song titles into this godawful prose.
A few alarm bells as to prospects of cricket being played were ringing at the first service station, with a few inches of snow lingering on the ground, enough for a snowman to still be standing by the side of the road. However, upon arrival at the ground conditions were grand, ground hard as rock, sun beating down, and a light zephyr the strongest breeze felt all day.
Fuji won the toss and elected to bat in the first match of the day, and their numbers were bolstered by some bloke who lives under the bridge at Fuji, henceforth known as Fuji batsman no.10.
Fuji batsman no.10 had been supposed to play for Wombats, as he has been since 2003, but defected over into the green pajamas of the Fuji team. Quite as well really, as he and Macca were looking pretty dosed from the previous nights fun and games. The only time Macca’s eyes were seen all day was when he took his glasses off to bowl.
Fuji were largely reliant on their opening bat, bludgeoning 62 off not many, a few Wombats bowlers coming in for some punishment, most memorably Vig’s first ball for the Wommies disappearing over the ropes and into the long grass. Overall the bowlers did a good job, AJ, Himanshu and Luke picking up from where they left off last year and new boys Chandu and Vig, no visible scar tissue from the first ball looking like good seam bowling prospects for the rest of the summer. Macca came on to bowl at his nemesis Fuji batsman no.10, and despite the obvious hungover sexual tension exhibited between them, honours remained even. 133/8 a decent total for the Wombats batsmen to get their teeth into.
The Wombats batsman looked to get on top early and easily motored past the halfway mark. In fact the top 3 of Patmore, Richie, and Vig all retired at 30, with some lusty blows over the ropes and onto higher ground from at least two of them. There was a brief moment where Wombats looked like they might give it away with a few dots, but new boy James was on hand with Santosh to see the team over the line with 2 overs to spare.
With time and light issues no minor thing, it was decided to play a T10 match in the afternoon (possible the Wombats first?!) AJ and James were sent out to do the early damage, both playing very positively and setting the tempo. Apoorv and Chandu came and went quickly, but a combination of Himanshu, Patmore, and Richie saw the Wombats up to 93.
Towards the end of the second Wombats innings, Fuji batsman no.10, also donning the gloves behind the stumps, could be heard complaining about how on this hungover day of all days he had found himself out on the field for 35 overs straight, and was counting down each ball until he could go for a sit down, perhaps on his beloved portable porcelain seat in the Fuji bogs.
Worse was to follow for the beleaguered Fuji batsman no.10, when the Fuji captain sent him straight back out to open. He had found that unique sporting plane of existence that could only come in cricket after a night out on the sauce, when no matter what he tried to do to get out he just couldn’t, surviving the most plumb of plum leg befores, and inside edging the ball millimeters away from his stumps. In total, the very hungover Fuji batsman no.10 was on the field for 45 consecutive overs, either behind the stumps or with bat in hand. Talk about karma.
In a parallel universe the Wombats could have lost the second game, at the halfway stage Fuji up with the run rate. It took some calm bowling from Vig and Luke to bring the equation back in the Wommies favour, and despite a late rally from Fuji the boys got over the line by five runs.
All in all a good day out for all 12 Wombats (spoiler: Fuji batsman no.10 was Dino!) and the momentum from this game can’t stop when the JCL kicks off on Saturday April 6 against the tricky Tigers at the Sano International Cricket Ground.
- James redeeming himself for his early dropped catch, taking a ripper and easily catch of the day on the boundary at long on, army roll and all.
- Richie also taking one more comfortably deep on the square leg boundary nearing the end of Game 2.
- Luke with a great caught and bowled juggle off a hard baseball bat shot.
- Richie dropped an easy chance off AJs bowling at short extra cover.
- New Wombat James also dropping a similar catch at short extra.
- A skier to deep square to new Wombat Apoorv who looked like he was in for a chance, before losing his nerve and sidestepping the ball.
- Himan to new Wombat James: You’re a smoker???! Welcome to the Wombats!
Great Moments in Sport
- Nothing but bouncers by Luke during his first fiery spell for the season.