- Match Report
SANO COP A WOMBAT WALLOPING
by Grant Turner
The seasons may change but somethings remain the same as the Wombats travelled to Sano and proceeded to give Sano a free lesson on how to play good hard competitive cricket in a solid season opening effort.
With new club President, President Farmer taking over the reins of the club, and plenty of new talent joining the Wombats squad, things have started looking good for the Wombats future, and leading into the first game, President Farmer thought things were soo good he’ll get in his end of season vacation at the same time as the first game of the year and was last heard lounging by the pool sipping Pina Colada’s in some far flung resort.
Unperturbed, the boys gathered early on a fine, sunny Saturday morning at Mejiro for the trip to Sano. And then sat and waited while the changing of the Van master resulted in the Wombat transport arriving 20 mins after scheduled meeting time, giving just enough time for Rossco to actually seem to make it on time. The tension was quickly eased with a few recollections from the recent Changmai returnees.
The Wommies arrived at the ground to find it bone-dry after the recent rain and thankfully last year’s thicket that claimed 5 lost balls in our last game had all been ripped up, but the barren rice field from last year was now covered in waste high scrub.
A quick welcome and ceremonial presentation to the new boys in the club, Phil Walker, Rony Parvej and Nick “Strepsils” Goold (a Changmai veteran before his first official Wommies game).
Toss of the coin, won by GT and the Sano boys were invited to show their form with the bat.
Strepsils and Laids were given the new ball duties, and Nick couldn’t have had a better start, 2 wickets in the first over and the Wommies would have been thinking early trip back home. Sadly the Umpire saw it differently with his seat reserved on the late train home and the deafening appeals were turned down. Sano none for a few after the first few overs.
Up stepped Nick again, jack of this pussy-footing around and with 2 wickets in 2 balls set the Wombats rolling. Laids chimed in with another and Sano had slumped to 3-19 and impending chaos looming.
Al was introduced into the attack and his probing deliveries finally found their mark bowling Rizwan and allowing Al to unleash his new wicket celebration, a move he’s been working on all off season, something resembling the dance of the mad-hatter. Young Terayama from Sano was then given a lesson in taking the quick single, trying to take a cheeky run on GT at mid-off who picked up and a direct hit saw the youngster trailing his bat back to the pavilion.
The Sano innings then started to pick up a bit of steam before Rossco took a nice little catch down at deep long off which then set off more controversy. The hypothetical argument started over where does the boundary start and stop. Most cricket officionados would say the rope that was laid down on the ground would be a good indicator, however some of the brains-trust in Sano think a bit different from the rest of us lay-men and proceeded to argue and analyse, including sending up to 4 representatives down to the boundary to inspect and report, that the boundary includes the grass connected and touching to the boundary including all associated and neighbouring grass interconnected and touching anywhere up to 1 metre or so away from the aforementioned rope, or as far as convenient to justify their thesis.
Anyway, the game moved on, Phil was introduced into the attack and subsequently introduced himself to the Sano skipper, who it appears really took a liking to him and just couldn’t keep away from him, with the 2 meeting for a little love-tap in the middle of the pitch.
The Sano innings fell away towards the end and were all out for 138 in 35 overs, with Rony ‘Can I bowl Spin?’ Parvej picking up his first Wombats wicket with his medium-pacers, and wickets shared around with Laids 2-21 off 7, Nick 2-17 off 6, Al 2-23 off 7 and GT 2-12 off 6 getting amongst the spoils.
138 on this track may not seem a challenging task, and so thought Dino as he went for a Golden Duck 4th ball of the innings, 1st legitimate ball of the innings, to create his own new first, first Golden duck in Japan.
This bought Rossco and Beathy together to steady the ship, with the Sano bowlers just feeding Ross with some short ball fruit outside off, before Ross duly feasted and hoisted a glorious cut shot over the top and deep into the overgrown rice field for 6 bikkies.
Rossco eventually fell for a well compiled 24, bringing Chuck to the crease, maybe playing his last game from Wombats, but hopefully not so. After being introduced to the crease with the classic ‘long way to come for a duck’ sledge, Chuck then proceeded to demonstrate why its lucky Sano only had a short way to travel for a Wombat walloping. Chuck produced a sparkling innings of 69 not out from 48 balls, 9 x 4’s and 3 brutal 6’s showed why he’s a valuable part of the Wombats lineup (that and the drinking shenanigans in the van trips back will be hard to replace).
Beathy played the anchor role sputtering along to 28 off 61 balls, before falling late in a decision from the umpire that was so quick it appeared he was actually appealing himself. Of course the betting slip in his back pocket with Shacks to score the winning runs at long odds may have inspired the decision, sadly for Shacks though he couldn’t get enough willow on them to belt the final runs but finished on a solid and promising 0 not out.
The game was wrapped up in the 25th over, the points safely in the kitbag, and beer o’clock time beckoned. With the supplies duly dusted off at the ground, Chuck given the ‘bottle of red’ for his player of the day effort, and new boy, Phil picking up the play of the day, the wommies set off for KFC and the trip back to Tokes under the driving tutelage of GT, covering for Al so he could enjoy a few refreshments.
With Curls and Dino not controlling the Van, the green light was given for the Jinro jokers to unleash and unleash they tried. One bottle duly polished off before we’d even pulled out of the KFC in Sano and 2 more 2 litre monsters for the trip back ensured the boys were well lubricated and potential trouble ahead. Sadly maybe for some, the Saturday game at Sano meant little to no traffic, only one piss stop in the breakdown spot on the Tokyo Expressway, and the Wommies were back in Tokyo and sprawling out onto the pavement in Shinjuku within 90 minutes of leaving Sano, and still half an esky waiting to be drunk.
Great clubman, Kasun was given a rousing farewell before he headed off into the night, and a few remaining Wombats were left to polish off the last drinks, season 2010 off to a good start all round.