- Match Report
T20 Warmup at YCAC
by Adam Birss
After a stop-start 2021, losing the majority of the season to a mixture of COVID, rain, and the occasional lack of players, it was great to see the Wombats back on the field for a Japan Cup warmup game.
Although the weather on the day was a picture-perfect Spring day, YCAC welcomed the teams with the renowned Yokohama Doctor in full swing blowing a gale off Negishi Bay. Bowlers coming in from the Sports Bar end were going to have their work cut out for them just getting the ball to the batmen’s end.
A gentleman’s agreement before the game was reached that, for whatever reason, each team would bat their full twenty overs and any batsman reaching 30 would retire.
Despite very justified rumblings in the press during the off-season questioning his very place in the team, Captain Adam Birss stepped up to win the toss and elected to send the opposition in to bat. Commenting on his decision “I think the wind will die down later and batting conditions will improve…and I have a blackbook running at Funabashi race 2 that I would like to catch”.
After fiery opening salvos from Mick “You may now kiss the Bride” Walker and BTD backed up with excellent fielding, Ali and “Shazza” Shayanaka kept up the pressure on the colonialists. BECC found themselves behind the eight-ball with only 17 runs off the first 6 overs.
It was the introduction of Wombat debutante “Emperor Nero” Niranjan that made the unlikely breakthrough. Following a call of no-ball for an above the waist full toss, the BECC batman attempted to make the most of the free hit opportunity, only to pick out Mick Walker at backward square leg who in a great heads up play fired the ball to the bowlers end to find the batman short of his ground.
As the Wombats looked to keep up the pressure, Rob “Guitar Case” Zloc was introduced into the attack with immediate effect after tiring the batsmen out by letting them hit a couple of fours, he honed into a line and length that we have not seen in many a year at YCAC. He managed to get a ball to turn, stop, and jump on the batsmen catching the top edge allowing now WK Ali to take an easy catch.
From this point on the BECC looked to wrestle the game back with some good partnerships backed up by the batmen starting to put away the bad balls. With 20 overs up the official BECC score read 6 for 133…ish.
The Wombats openers strode to the crease…well one of them did anyway with Kenji (Keio) obviously not quite understanding the instruction “you’re opening” Jack Jermyn was out in the middle ready to go without an opening partner. No. 3 Adam Birss stepped into the breach without hesitation. Both men managed to hold out the openers until a ball managed to find the gap between bat and pad of Jermyn – Wombats 1-11. The very next over and the other opener Birss was back in the pavilion for a well crafted 0 of 10 balls. 2-12.
Next in was “Nero” Niranjan and he got right to work rebuilding the Wombats’ innings. An enterprising dig, including some shots that have probably never been seen on a cricket field, his quickfire 16 got the team back on track before one too many adventures saw his middle stump uprooted. 3-41.
Next up to face the music was Mohamad Ali – but he wasn’t jabbing today. Together with Yonetsu and BTD (who had the most vocal support from the crowd!) moved the score quickly along, with a 33 retired including four 4’s and a 6 that very nearly introduced a mother swimming with her child in the YCAC pool to the great game of cricket. Yonetsu and BTD fell soon after. 5-97.
In strode the most unlikely of heros. More known for his wielding of cuss words than the willow – today was his time to shine! Evan “Little General” Hitchman (18 off 10 balls) took his built up angst out on some unsuspecting BECC bowling .Unfortunately the gallantry was in vain, despite 25 runs off the final over Wombat’s were left 12 runs short and wondering what might have been. 5-121.
Wombats rued the slow start at the end, but all in all a good showing for the upcoming season. Thanks to the Keio guys who filled in and played really well!
Next Game v Keio at YCAC, May 8th 2022
- Mick took a good catch at square leg, sadly it was off a no-ball! He was a quick-thinker and got a run out.
- Adam – straight through the hands at gully. Prophetic…
- Evan – “Keeper?….oh shit, that’s me!” – asking who was going to the stumps to retrieve the throw, and realising he was wicket keeper with the gloves on!
- Adam – “It’s coming to you everyone, be ready…… next ball drops catch…It’s coming to me!”
Great Moments in Sport
- Ali – a towering 6 that almost had him, Adam and Wombats permanently banned from YCAC!
Golden Thong Nominations
- Ev – Wearing Wicket Keeping Pads, to bat! And they were a perfect fit.