- Match Report
THE WOMBATS STRIKE BACK – GLIMMER OF HOPE AS WOMBATS BEAT ENGINEERS
by Ian Gason
Match went ahead despite the intervention of rain and Edogawa Ward ground-keepers.
It seems that every time you think about cricket it rains these days, and it was a wet and muddy field that greeted the players. Wombat captain Jarrad’s new broom was put to use removing puddles from around the pitch, and the two teams joined together in that unique Koiwa’s ritual: Collecting and laying grass. Slippery and wet, the pitch was ready, and soon the Wombats were at the crease.
New wombat Daniel proved a good, aggressive partner for the solid Dinosaur (Jarrad), and despite the slow outfield, the openers moved on at 3 an over, before Daniel was run out for 16 with the score on 36. Ian joined Jarrad at the crease, and seemed content to slowly build a partnership, until at 49, just short of drinks, he played a rash shot to Ashok Sharma(got me again!) and was caught, giving his 10th victim of the season. Rain and wickets soon started to fall, although the runs continued. Edogawa-ku grounds men almost succeeded in stopping play, but thanks to some tactful diplomatic talking from Biju’s boys, it was agreed we could play until 3 p.m. Brief but valuable contributions came from Robb ‘Warne’, Jim Spacey, Crockie Dave, and John. Jarrad was finally removed for 43, run out after being slow to respond to a call from vice captain Chuck. In the 33rd over, rain forced the players from the field, but not before the grounds men stopped by a few more times requesting to stop the play again.
With the score on 112, Jarrad declared the innings and a quick lunch was taken. For the Engineers, Ashok Kumar and Vimal Vikrant finished with 2 wickets each but good fielding from the Indians resulted in 4 run-outs.
The Indian reply began poorly. Perhaps as punishment for his poor shot, regular new-baller Ian was banished to ‘The Hill’, a move which paid off with 2 wickets in 2 overs. Opening bat Prasad Pooppully skied an edge to mid-on where David wrapped his crocodile hands around the ball. Ashok Sharmal tried to turn ball from John down leg-side, but the ball hit his leg, then his toe, before tickling the stumps. Wombat luck continued when a full toss slipped out of Robb’s hand and removed 2 down Bibhas Roy bowled.
To the Indians credit, they fought back well. Contributions of from one down Bikash Mohanty(19), Silvester Pereira(13) with a partnership of 33 runs, another 13 runs partnership by Biju and Sanjeeb for the 6th wicket, 14 runs partnership by Vimal and Ravi for the 8th wicket brought the Engineers to within striking distance of victory. With the score on 84, the game was in the balance, when the mud caught Ravi backing up too far, and he slipped and was run out, and the Indians were 9 down.
The unfamiliar sight of Ashok Kumar coming in at number 11 – Biju later revealed that they had reversed the batting order expecting the grounds men to come back to stop the game at 3 and had decided to give their tail a hit – reminded the Wombats that there was still work to do, and only a few runs to defend. Alas Indians, this is Koiwa, not Bollywood, and Ashok could not save the day. He fell to a good low catch by Robb at mid-off, and the Wombats held on to win by 20 runs.
Thanks from all the Wombats to The Engineers for agreeing to play a practice game at short notice. We all enjoyed the day and hope to beat you in an official match soon.
Wombats 113/9 decl. J Shearer 43.
IECC 92 (24.3 overs). B Mohanty 19