- Match Report
SLEEPLESS MONSTER, PLACID BANKER OVERPOWER SHARKS!!
by Ian Gason
Wombats continued their dominance over cross-town rivals Ichihara with a strong 8 wicket victory Sunday at Fuji. A strong Ichihara total of 201 was built on a second wicket partnership of 81, but the Wombats dug deep to get through the middle order in the stinking humid part of the day.
Seems the guys at Nippon Rentacar have lost their sense of humour. The trusty wagon was decked out in industrial strength wombat-proof splash mats, wrapped in Glad Wrap and topped off with a sign conveying in no uncertain terms that spillages, busted eskis, food, cans, and body parts will no longer be strewn across the van floor.
Signs a plenty that things might go a-miss. Chuck down in Izu with 98 million other weekend drivers, Madan coming by train, and Big Gay Al running late. I figured Al had been out with the departing Rob Mann, but no, The Body had a date with TOTO, enjoying his monthly 30 minute shit. All-bran and prunes should help. Or see a doctor.
At the ground at 10….at the train station at 10:15….still there at 10:30…..Chuck stuck in traffic…Alex needs to buy deodarant…..Madan arrives….Chuck doesn’t…..reckon I might get a motor-bike and you blokes can sort yourselves out!!
Back at the ground, I was stunned by the sight of Rhino’s magnificent erection. Apparently he no trouble getting it up, but to me it looks like what happens when boys scouts start messing around with LSD. See the pics.
Chuck wanders into view just in time to change, share a few thoughts (“Women and cricket just don’t mix”) and inspire us onto the field.
The Sharks started well, getting off around 5 an over with me at the river end and the sleepless Morty at the city end. Although I had Prasanth fishing, I got no nibbles and he got lots of fours, and Chuckie presented me with a one-way ticket to fine-leg. Morty was tighter at the other end and got the first wicket, a catch to new keeper Madan Kasimayan.
The man from ANZ Bank, Rowdy Grant Turner fired up at the river end and bowled pretty well. First drinks, Sharks just one down, with Dougal and Prasanth looking set.
The cricketing Gods decided fine leg wasn’t penance enough for me, and banished me time and time again into the Fuji jungles. Rather than bringing a water bottle to the boundary next week, I reckon I’ll bring a flame thrower. Prasanth was the main culprit in this adventure, and GT’s bowling bears the mark of four sixes in over.
But with his final ball of that remarkable over, GT laughed last and longest as his bouncer was fended away to Roy O’Carroll at mid wicket. Rowdy was amongst it soon again taking the big wicket of the innings, taking a diving catch out on the cover boundary to dismiss Dougal off Shax.
There was some solid and meaty batting at the crease in the form of Thurgate and Lollback. Lollback threw his wicket away. Well, actually he threw his bat away, when he charged the veteran spinner and the willow went walkabout and the batless batsman had no chance to regain his ground, stumped smartly by Madan. (Getting nervous, Jarrad?)
Thurgate went soon, as the two stars for the Wombats, Rowdy and Morty combined, Rowdy (3fa) following up by clean bowling Mayank for a Golden Duck.
The next wicket saw a comical run out, although the bloke who was out didn’t see the funny side of it. Smith pushed a Reggie delivery and called Yes, but at the other end, Adams stood about like a man with painted on legs, choosing option B, No. Smith wanted A, Yes, and backed his claim to such up with Its My Call, and yet, the painted on legs weren’t swayed. The stumps swayed as Madan removed the bails, and Smith was not a happy man. Whack goes the bat into the ground, whack again, its my call, I said no….Bish meets Jarrad would be a fair description.
Morty was back in action at the river end, and bowled Adams, allowing the two running partners to continue their animated discussion of the merits of their recent actions. The 9th wicket added 20, and the Sharks had 201 in the bank.
The Wombats had down well to keep the score down to that, having fought back hard in the heat to get keys wickets. Fielding was of a high standard, with Morty, Reggie and debutant Ross Allen showing the way. Madan had a great day with the gloves, and was especially tidy with those nasty low, ankle height balls which can upset some keepers.
So, 202 to win, 5 an over, batting collosuses Shearer, Ainslie, Ferris and Burke elsewhere.
Enter the Sleepless Monster From The Pong. First ball, eased back past the bowler for a graceful boundary. Morty set the tone. Unfortunately, Madan was a bit to eager, perishing to an ordinary full toss after looking like he was an able replacement at the top of the order.
Rowdy Turner, fresh from a goldie last week, was promoted to number 3, and looked ready to cash in. Timing and placement were abundant, as he motored along. The more sedate Monster provided great support and the two had Captain Thurgate changing his bowlers. The pair added 60 in 9 overs, with GT’s 3 sublime fours off Mossop’s first over being amongst the many highlights. GT was dismissed sweeping on 38 (33 balls). This was Ichihara’s final moment of joy.
Chuck came out, and with Morty wore down the bowlers. The two were steadfast in their desire to be there till the end, and when they did come off, victorious, they’d set a new Wombats record for the 3rd wicket of 128. The Sharks bowling had no answer as the two played chanceless knocks. Nine bowlers were tried in all. Dougal even tried his hand at spinners. Not even a dodgy piece of elastic in Morty’s constantly falling down whites could stop this pair!
Chuck made his usual cautious start, with the scoreboard ticking along in singles, wides and no-balls. His first boundary took 27 balls. Heads were down, the field silenced. From that point, 7 4s and two 6s rained in 30 balls. The sixes were massive, deposited into the slips cordon of the neighbouring pitch.
Appropriately the Sleepless Monster ended the match with the same shot that began our innings, an effortless push back past the bowler for four. Morty walked off drenched in sweat, with a new record partnership to go with his new highest score, 68*. A Man Of The Match was his for this remarkable day’s effort.
t was unfortunate that debutant Ross didn’t get a chance to shine this time, nor could we get a rare inning from the Roy Boy, but to be treated to a batting masterclass more than compensates.
This should cement out finals’ spot, but we still have two more league games to make statements to the opposition, and for blokes to stake their claims. (God knows, one of the opening bowlers’ slots could be vacant soon…)
How pleasant it was to have van ride free of wrestling, ice throwing, eski smashing, can throwing, food fighting shenanigans. Deep conversation to do Dr Dave proud substituted for the playground behaviour, and we all learnt a few things about each other. There can be no doubt that Ross has chosen the right club, not after that philosophical question about goats!