- Match Report
PRIDE, HONOUR, INTEGRITY
by Ian Gason
Pride. Honour. Integrity. Honesty. These are all qualities that sum up The Wombats gallant effort at Shizuoka on Sunday. They are also qualities that were abandoned by Serendib, who walked away from the ground with 4 points and what looks like a trip to the semi-finals.
Under a scorching sun, Jarrad won the toss and elected to bat. Wombats got off to the worst possible start, with Bird back in the dressing room first ball, caught behind. Chuck got a start, but could not go on with the job, and we were soon two down. Next man out was Cap’n Grumpy, who was caught centimetres short going for a second run. Bird was the man at square leg, and full credit to him for the decision he made. Perhaps our Sri Lankan friends should hear this:” He was out. I had to give him”. Wombats in trouble 3 down, 30 odd on the board.
The Axeman and Zulu, a.k.a Robb and Daniel, started building a partnership, and with good stroke play, good running took the score on to 45, before Robb fell (bowled??). I (Curly) joined Zulu at the crease and set about steadying the ship. Just when things were looking good, with runs coming, and the bowlers offering no real danger, Zulu tried to drive one off his stumps 3 balls before drinks. Bowled, 5 down. John joined me after the drinks, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the middle with him. The Lankans were giving us enough loose balls and wides, so that without having to do anything silly, we were able to keep things moving along nicely. Until I got the sucker ball. Slow, full toss, which deserved to end up on the far side of the river, I topped edged it straight up in the air. Sorry fellas. John followed same over, also to a full toss. Crockie, Marty, Rich and Rich all chipped in, before the innings closed on a disappointing but defendable 107. Top scorers, Extras, Robb, Chuckie and Jarrad.
John (sorry mate) started with a few loose overs and the Lankans were racing away in pursuit of 108 for victory. I was brought into the attack in the 6th, and I was determined to make amends for throwing away my wicket and not batting Serendib out of the game. Second ball was cut to the safe hands of Robb Mann, and the Lankan danger man was gone. Two balls later a newly acquired sore back forced me to choose the slower ball, which went straight thru the Serendib captain clipped his middle stump, and suddenly we were back in the match. Robb Mann joined in at the other end and with Sri Lanka 3 down we were are real chance to grab this match.
To their credit there was some stubborn resistance from the Serendib batting. They managed to keep themselves in the hunt, and looked like they might steal victory from us, until Marty The Monster stepped up to bowl. He grabbed himself a leg before, and might well get an award for his sledge to the dissenting batsman “GET OUT OF HERE MATE! YOU’RE GONE!!”
When Crockie at mid off safely took a catch from Marty, Serendib were 9 down, for 90 something?. It was literally anyone’s game, when with 6 runs still needed, some great work at short square leg saw a mix up by the last Lankan batsmen. Richard Coleman flicked the ball back to Jarrad behind the stumps who promptly whipped off the bails. Wombats were ecstatic, believing (naturally) we had won the game, until we saw the Sri Lankan umpire standing at square leg shaking his head, not out. The batsman was no less than 8 inches (20 centimetres in metric) from his crease, bat in the air. Wombat protests were in vain, as he stood poker-faced maintaining that the batsman had safely made his ground, when everyone around had seen him well short of his ground. There was nothing we could do, but to continue the game, and unfortunately, Serendib were able to sneak past our total and win the game. To their credit, none of our batsmen made more than 20, and we should have posted a far bigger total. Also, they fought back bravely after Wombats grabbed 5 or so wickets. We should have finished them off, but they dug in and gave us a real good contest. It really was a good days cricket throughout.
With 2 KCL games to follow (sun 10th v Ichihara at Fuji and 17th v Tokyo Bay at Shizuoka) we Wombats have no choice but to wear the result and give 100% in our remaining games. Our finals run might be over but there is still a lot to play for: pride.