TWCC 180 - 68 Chiba Sharks

May 3, 2004 - 11:00 am at Koiwa
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by Ian Gason

Tokyo Wombats registered their first win for the season with a solid all-round performance, running out 112 run winners over Ichihara at Koiwa.

On a day where we did little wrong, Man of The Match Jarrad Shearer lead from the front with a new highest score for the Wombats of 75 not out.

On a damp outfield with rain threatening, Ichihara strangely sent the Wombats in to bat. Bowlers struggled to control the wet ball and allowed Zulu and The Dinosaur to get off to a good start til Z-man drove and missed. 1/22. Captain Chuck came to the crease and added 22 of a 62 run partnership.

Steve Burke joined The Dinosaur, and he too looked to be on his way to a big score. Ichihara’s first change bowlers offered no real threat to these experienced campaigners, but first gamer Steve was about to become acquainted with a traditional Wombat initiation: getting run out by Jarrad. Good fielding (which is why there is a ‘WAIT’ call Jarrad…) at short mid wicket saw Burkey caught short, a promising innings cut down prematurely.

Smoking Pete was Jarrad’s next partner, and kept the scorers busy playing a number of good cover drives before he fell (17) with score on 4/133. As the bowling tightened up, providing support for Dino became the order of the day. Alex, me and Andy may not have contributed much ourselves, but we hung around while Dino and extras moved the score on to 7/172. Luke was Jarrad’s last partner, and calmly turned the strike over to the senior man, and by the time Jarrad was dropped at backward square leg off the last ball, Wombats had racked up 180 runs. 51 of those came in extras, 39 of those being wides.

On a slow damp outfield, this was a great position to be in. Any Wombat with an internet connection would have seen The Ichi boys had scored over 300 last week, and were 2 from 2 this year. As we had seen a week ago, it aint over til the fat lady sings. A slight rain began to fall as we took to the field, gee-ed up and full of voice. Alex and me got the new pill and had to hurry through to get the minimum 20 overs bowled before a result could be guarenteed. Nerves showed, as a couple of run-outs chances were missed and ‘keeper Jarrad dropped AN ABSOLUTE SITTER OF MY BOWLING. With 11 chirpy voices in the field and two goanna larrikins on the hill, we stayed focused, and soon the wickets started to fall. Alex had the timber cartwheeling twice by the 6th over, and I picked up an LBW and soon Ichihara were on the back foot at 3/20.

Cap’n Jones made the changes and proceeded to get inside the batsmen’s heads. The wet and slippery ball reminded me of a girl I once knew, but Andy and Burkey didn’t find it as hard to manage as she was, as one Ichi batsman was restricted to 2 runs from 36 balls. With Chuck Jones at short mid-wicket constantly teliing the batsmen about the demons in the Koiwa pitch, Andy kept them (and us) guessing as to where the next ball would come. Chuck’s move to cow-corner, and a breif haka, had the batsman expecting the short ball, and when it came through line & length, he was soon minus a stump or two.

Burkey got his first wicket as a Wombat, but more importantly extracted a little payback when Jarrad attempted a Jason Dunstall chest mark behind the stumps. A spooned catch to first gamer Jamie Foster gave him his second.

Wombat supporters were 9 sheets to the wind by the drinks break, and when Chuckles brought me back on, Bay 13 memories came flooding back as Rob Mann (I know it was you!) lead the chant: “Curly is a wanker!”. If not for the miraculous effort of two of my fielders I would have looked a right wanker, but in the end I got me 3fa.

Smokin Pete at silly mid-on to the left hander held on to a flick off the pads. A younger and smarter fella would’ve seen it and got out of the way, but not Smoker. He had just moved across 2 steps to be in the perfect position, and in an act of self-preservation took the ball in his thighs just below the family jewels. The last man fell as he slogged me long and high down to long on where Zulu took a low down running dive to save me blushes.

Ichihara all out 68 in 24 overs. 3fa for Big Al and me, Burkey and the man from Port Augusta 2 a piece. Only one batsman and one partnership managed double figures for Ichcihara.

Cap’n Jones later – and correctly- called this our best all round effort yet. It began before game day with Doc Dave letting us know early on that he was down with a fever. Good risk-free batting on a demonic pitch. Excellent talk in the field, miserly bowling. Good hands in the field, backing up the throws. We kept our heads up through the rain, and didn’t let our early misses cost us.

A special mention to Big Al for that follow through. Al was a bundle of energy all innings, and after beating the bat for the umpteenth time, followed through 17 and a half metres, asking the batsman “Did you see that? Did you SEE that?”.

Thanks to all the lads at Ichihara, not only for providing a great lunch, but also for the good honest spirit with which you played the game. It was refereshing to hear some good old aussie sledging directed at us!

Hardys Man of the Match

Jarrad Shearer
vs Chiba Sharks (May 3, 2004)
Club Prez Jarrad Shearer's 75 not out not only set a new Wombats batting record, not only out-scored Ichihara, but earned him the Hardys' MOM.