- Match Report
Stars Fall as Spider Flies
by Muhammad Ali
After a dreadful start to the season and a massacre in our last outing, the mighty Wombats were back at Fuji in search of their first win of the season—and so were the Rising Stars. It was potentially a battle of survival to avoid relegation for both teams.
I was very confident and had a really positive vibe that things couldn’t go wrong today. It just had to be our day, a premonition that eventually came true.
There were doubts about the game due to weather forecasts, but somehow the skies remained clear and we were able to get a game underway. With DLS on one side and our last bowling performance on the other, it was hard to make a decision at the toss. I trusted DLS and selected to bowl first. Things started pretty good with Zubair continuing to impress with his opening spell of fast bowling and I kept supporting him from the other end. Each of us got a wicket to send the openers back to the pavilion early. The Rising Stars came back strong with their middle order hitting us out of the ground multiple times to silence the loudest sledgers in Richie and Rex. Hassan and Chowdhary put on a partnership of fifty before Chowdhary was stumped off the bowling of Joe Lewis, while Hassan was bowled by yours truly. Even after losing four wickets, the Stars still didn’t stop hitting, continuing to score more than 6 runs per over. Sheikh Robin and captain Ubaidus Sayeed played dangerously but effectively. The Wombats were aiming to restrict them to under 150, which was soon out of sight with Sayeed sending balls everywhere out of the ground, scoring a 23-ball 50.
Things were slipping away from us, so Bilal was given the ball to get a breakthrough. I kept all my good fielders on the boundary except Joe. But now, as I write this report, I feel sorry for myself for underestimating the power of our Spider. Here came the moment of the match. A short ball was pulled high to deep square leg where none other than Joe was running to his left to somehow get close to the ball or maybe stop a boundary, but wait, Joe Spider Lewis had other plans. He was after a catch and guess what, the guy who was being doubted by his captain jumped like a spiderman and took a flying catch. The ground swelled into roars of joy. All ten men running from every part of the ground to Joe who went for a sliding celebration on a hard surface, but the moment was duly worth such a celebration. A proud moment for a captain to see his team celebrating like this. That’s what the mighty Wombats are all about.
We came back strong, taking the last three wickets in quick succession. The Stars ended their innings with a decent total on the board of 259 all out.
A positive start was expected from our reliable opening partners, Richie and Alex. And they delivered yet again. A partnership of 142 with Richie Bracefield scoring 74 at a strike rate of 123. The tall fellow is a treat to watch when he plays the backfoot pull shot for six. Anything short to Richie, and you can expect it to go out of the ground. Richie was supported at the other end by Mr. Reliable, Alex Patmore, with his beautiful drives and classy cut shots, scoring another fifty. Richie was followed by me and luckily the ball was coming onto the bat very easily. We kept scoring at a good rate before I and Alex both got out back-to-back. It was still not over with forty more runs to get. Zubair, who had yet to regain his form, and Rex Kobayashi, were now at the crease. Things went a bit nervy at the end, but Rex brought us home with some stunning cover drives to reach the target in 38.3 overs.
There were so many highlights of the day, including the first win for me as captain, the first win of the season for the team, and surviving the relegation threat, but out of all these highlights, the one that stands out the most was the team’s celebration after Joe’s stunning catch.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Rising Stars CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2022 (Div. 1), Fuji 2, Shizuoka, June 11, 2022|
|Result||TWCC won by 7 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||R Bracefield|
|Rising Stars CC Innings: 259 (38.2 overs)|
|T Sunny||b M Ali||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|N Sayed||c H Malik b Z Bappi||4||13||1||0||30.77|
|R Shimul||b A Muhammad||28||43||3||1||65.12|
|A Chowdhury||st A Patmore† b J Lewis||26||21||2||2||123.81|
|S Robin||c J Lewis b B Bhinder||34||32||3||3||106.25|
|M Kabir||c&b Z Bappi||21||33||3||0||63.64|
|U Sayeed*||c R Bracefield b M Ali||51||23||6||3||221.74|
|M Alamgir||c A Patmore† b A Muhammad||38||39||5||0||97.44|
|A Alam||c A Patmore† b J Lewis||7||6||1||0||116.67|
|A Limon||c&b Z Bappi||19||21||2||1||90.48|
|A Bhuiyan||not out||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 2, w 24, nb 3)||30|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-0 T Sunny, 2-12 N Sayed, 3-65 A Chowdhury, 4-84 R Hasan,
5-130 S Robin, 6-143 M Kabir, 7-203 U Sayeed, 8-212 A Alam,
9-253 A Limon, 10-259 M Alamgir|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 260/3 (38.3 overs)|
|A Patmore||b A Chowdhury||74||89||9||0||83.15|
|R Bracefield||b M Kabir||73||59||6||6||123.73|
|M Ali*||c&b A Alam||38||35||2||1||108.57|
|Z Bappi||not out||23||28||3||0||82.14|
|R Kobayashi||not out||26||20||4||0||130.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 8, w 18, nb 0)||26|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-139 R Bracefield, 2-185 M Ali, 3-217 A Patmore|
- Joe Spider Lewis: Has to be the catch of the year. Running to the left right on the boundary and then opening up all of his spider arms and throwing his body at the ball to take the best catch of the season. And then the celebration which no one can forget.
- Richie missed a skier at cow corner off his nemesis Sayeed early on.
- Ken: “Richie just needs to concentrate and he’ll get a ton”….out next ball
“I MiSsEd a FuLl BunGeR!111” whines Patmore after getting bowled by a rank full toss. Maybe his eyes are painted on? Looks like a conspiracy is afoot.
Great Moments in Sport
- Rex and Zubair’s closing partnership. Mature innings from both these boys, needing a run a ball for 10 overs and getting home comfortably with 2 overs to spare. Rexy knows how to find the rope!
- The celebration of the whole team after Joe’s catch. All running from all parts of the ground.
- Richie and Alex’s huge partnership, evergreen
- Jarrad Shearer: Couldn’t stop the ball after a diving effort and then throwing his glasses and cap on the ground with all his anger and at the same time two dickheads laughing at mid-on and mid-off (Zuni and Rex), making the captain go crazy at them. This is nothing to laugh at, you morons.
Golden Thong Nominations
- Ken Oiwa and Joe Lewis (while scoring) – putting every jinx they possibly could on batsmen as they approached milestones.
- Ken the racist scorer, calling every south asian someone else’s name