- Match Report
RETURN OF THE VIOLET CRUMBLES: WICKETS TUMBLE, WOMBATS HUMBLED
by Ian Gason
How many times have you seen it? Hard working bowlers bundle out a side for 100. Relaxed and confident, the opening bat strokes a cool 50, and steal all the headlines (editor: this report was written by a bowler). Yesterday at YCAC, the day belonged cricket’s lesser being, the bowlers, but the defining moment on which the match turned, belonged to a batsmen.
“Six And Out” is not only the shitty name for Bollywood wannabe Brett Lee’s shitty band, but the 11th way a batsman can be dismissed. The 12th is simply “Out” and you don’t even get the 6. Small reward for clearing a 20metre fence at wide long-on.
Wombats battle began in New York, with Bish Bedi detained by his employer (“Free Bish T-shirts on sale Wednesday). And continued in the ‘pong, with 10th and 11th men Kyal and Gavin waylaid by the bevvie. Eventually, when the rain cleared, Pup was beaten in the toss-off and Wombats went out for a trundle. Me and Morty kept the Yokohama openers to 3 an over, but when acting skip brought himself on from the tin-shed end, the bats were invited to have a go at the “joke bowler” and were soon up around 5/over.
A quick talking to from yours truly seemed to do the trick. Two words Pup: “Full and straight.” (OK, 3…..) The rotund show-pony seemed to remember that pies were for eating not throwing, and unleashed a spell which we will be hearing about as long as he lives: the first Wombat 6fa. It began a string of LBs and continued with some castle-rattling. And should have been a 7fa…..
It was great to have Richard Cosway back in Wombat colours for the day. Life in Shark-land has been good to Cossie, opening the batting and all. Sadly he seems to have attended one too many seminars on “Fielding The Ichihara Way.” YCAC’s demon-drinker Kiwi air-mailed a gift to mid-on, hit with all the feroucity and menace of a cucumber sandwich. An offering so simple that even John Howard might have caught it, and if he hadn’t, even Honest John would admit there was nothing difficult about it at all. And yet, Chunky has raised the possibility that The Herschelle Gibbs Award may leave Wombat HQ.
Big Al Koolhoff took over at the tin-shed end and wrapped up the tail. 4/5 from as many overs, including a smart caught and bowled. Half way through his spell, The Dutchman for some reason wanted to remind us that he was on a hat-trick from the last match. Equally bizarre behaviour from Killer at extra cover, when with 9 wickets down, all Wombats were focused on closing the innings, “Is that a butterfly on the net up there?”
Anyway 118 to get. Pup’ll be dining out on his 6fa for a while, and won’t be paying for many drinks when Chunky’s there either. Special mention for Kyal Hill, for turing up within 2 hours of the start time.
One body short, the suggestion was made that Papa Burke leave the rug-rats with the lasses and slog for a few overs, but made some feeble excuses about having a case of tickeritis or something.
Reggie opened with Dino and the pair looked solid if not fluent. YCAC’s openers were as tight as nun’s nasty, keeping us down to 2 an over. Reggie was eventually undone by a sharp piece of fielding by YCAC’s best on ground Kamran. Reggie called a quick single to mid-on, and Kamran picked up and threw across his body to clip the top of the woodwork, no third umpire needed. Morty (oh, by the way, you can use my bat, Morty) and Dino continued through to nigh on drinks, upping the run-rate and making a first Wombat win at YCAC seem likely. Morty however mis-timed a drive and drinks came 2 balls early.
Pup batted like the slim young man that we remember from a year ago, confident and aggressive. After Dino’s dismissal, he teamed up with Rhino, who has taken over from Doc so well he might consider a trip to Hong Kong or Hatsudai, and that pair took us through to 94, and victory seemed safe.Then it happened. Pup got his meaty Kahuna and his Cosgrove-esque weight behind a Mark Ferris delivery, launching the leather long and lustily, wide of the street fence towards the kiddie’s playground, once -and rightly so- considered fair game for batsmen. But for an extra inch of netting, that would have been 100 for the Wombats. Instead the skip was walking.Like September in Geelong, it all went wrong.
Wombats middle and tail made like an Albanian pyramid scheme. The last 6 wickets fell for 15 runs. The only redeeming feature was a few blows from the blade of The Body Koolhoff, shaking of his earlier complaints that “every time I have to go out and bat I’m under pressure.”
So close and yet so far. The Big Book Of Excuses can’t be dipped into: we could have and should have won, but were out bowled by YCAC.
Hardys B.O.G.’s went to Kamran for YCAC, and I think maybe Pup got ours. Big Al’s c&b got him amongst the vino, too. Both teams sat around and got bladdered, enjoying the rare spectacle of a gaggle of gals supporting the Wombats. They joined in the highlights, and our Prez was high-lightized for being “BIG AND NICE.”
There was plenty of big&nice jugs at YCAC that evening. Beer, that is. Big jugs of beer, nice and cold. Both teams enjoyed the big and nice jugs, and were last seen teaching the lasses the proper technique for holding and controlling balls. Lawn bowls balls, that is.