- Match Report
Tigers Fool Wombats on April 1st
by Evan Hitchman
Season 2023 started with the Wombats up against last season’s premiers or “World Champions” as Richie somewhat bizarrely described them as during the post-match presentations! Whilst the Tigers are a good team, not sure they are quite the best in the world, but best in the JCL Division, they very well may be.
Arriving to the ground with 11 players was a minor miracle for the Wommies, but we got there in the end with Corey “Profiterole” Hunter-Park stepping up to complete a full side. It was also a good start to the year with 3 new players making their debut for the Wombats; Sangeeth “Sanga” Sankar being roped in by his colleague and skipper from Rakuten, a newbie to Japan joining the team in Yohan” Blue Suede Shoes” Alvis and no stranger to us, but coming over from Wyverns (the first such transfer since one G. Beath! many moons ago!) was Masaki “Stickers” Kawashima.
Winning the toss and batting on a beautiful sunny day at Fuji 2, with a glorious outfield thanks to the super groundstaff down in Shizuoka, skipper Ali put our regular openers Richie and Alex “Shaun Tait” Patmore out to bat, looking to put on a big total and test the newly vacant scrub that was cleared by the Wommies and volunteers last month with some huge boundaries.
Richie “World Champions” Bracefield did just that, making a quick start with some huge sixes racing to 21 off 9 before not-quite-pulling-out of a shot and spooning one up to mid off where a super catch saw him back to the pavillion all too quickly. “That’s not the first time he didn’t quite pull-out, that’s why he has a heap of kids!” quipped one spectator as Richie approached the boundary, replaced by the skipper Muhammad “Sorry, I’m on a work call!” Ali. Patmore and Ali put on a solid partnership, with Alex hitting some great shots that scorched across the outfield to the boundary, with Ali providing support, but looking a bit scratchy from his normal self. Ali was out for 20 with Rex “Posh Spice” Kobayashi joining Patmore in the middle.
Rex and Alex pushed the score along, with some big shots from Sexy in a great dig of 45, and Patmore out for 66 setting us up for a big last 10 overs, and hopefully a target of 200+. New boys Yohan and Masaki stuck around for a while and showed some nice glimpses, but the Tigers bowling with Piyush, Saba and Gurman was tough to get away, and with regular wickets at the end with the tail slogging in vain, the Wommies ended up with 196. Probably at least 30-40 short, but something to bowl at nonetheless.
To open the bowling, of course we had A. Patmore…..
Check the date, yep – definitely April 1st!!!
In what was surely an April Fools prank, skipper Ali confidently threw the new ball to opening batsman Alex for what is unbelievable his first ever bowl in JCL! What we thought would be a one-over stunt, trying to get a cheap wicket with surprise, ended up being an 8 over spell, as Patmore bowled out and was unlucky not to get a wicket, even getting a maiden mid-spell which is something of a rarity these days for the Wommies! New boy Yohan started well, picking up an early wicket, albeit it off a full toss smashed to mid-off where for once Evan “No run there!” Hitchman took a catch to everyone’s disbelief!
Joe “Token Welsh” Lewis was like the Duke of York, when he was up he was up and when he was down he was….well bowling too short! “Bit Fuller?” quipped Joe to the keeper after dropping one mid-pitch and seeing it disappear towards Mt. Fuji! He did beat the bat a few times, and had Saba in trouble with some great deliveries and good signs for the rest of the season. Abu “I’ve got more nicknames than runs!” Bakar toiled away hard without success as the Tigers batters took the chance to really test out the newly cut boundary scrub, with Saba taking a fancy to Ali’s normally tight bowling and hitting many a maximum. The game was over all too soon with Tigers getting the runs with only 2 wickets down and plenty of overs to spare.
A fun post-match social was had, with Masaki’s 5 mistaken minute recollections of his cricket playing history a highlight of the highlights! Thanks to the umpires Adam and Kris. Disappointed we didn’t get any souvenirs from Nagoya though KB!
Alpha Quashers awaits us in Round 2, but before that we have a huge weekend of fun, festivities and a friendly game vs St. John Bosco C.C. (“Bosco Bogs”) next weekend at Fuji!
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Tigers CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2023 (Div. 1), Fuji 2, Shizuoka, April 1, 2023|
|Result||Tigers CC won by 8 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||A Patmore|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 196/8 (40.0 overs)|
|A Patmore||c R Mouli b S Ravichandran||66||86||8||0||76.74|
|R Bracefield||c A Kumar b G Singh||21||10||2||2||210.00|
|M Ali*||c G Suri b P Kumbhare||20||42||2||0||47.62|
|R Kobayashi||c A Kumar b A Sasikumar||45||55||5||1||81.82|
|M Kawashima||st A Thakur b S Ravichandran||10||14||1||0||71.43|
|Y Alvis||not out||19||24||2||0||79.17|
|A Bakar||c & b G Singh||0||5||0||0||0.00|
|S Sankar||c A Kumar b S Ravichandran||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|E Hitchman||b S Ravichandran||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||(b 4, lb 2, w 8, nb 0)||14|
|Fall of wickets|
|Tigers CC Innings: 198/2 (24.2 overs)|
|R Mouli||c E Hitchman b Y Alvis||4||8||1||0||50.00|
|S Thakur||lbw b M Ali||60||47||8||2||127.66|
|A Kumar||not out||65||76||5||1||85.53|
|S Ravichandran*||not out||47||15||1||6||313.33|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 1, w 21, nb 0)||22|
|Fall of wickets|
- Evan’s at mid off, obviously been spending the winter practicing his catching!
- Rex – it was higher than Kate Moss on a friday night in soho, but as a self proclaimed bucket who is always stationed in catching positions, he should have held on
- “Rex, you had enough time to leave the field for a drink and reset yourself, how were you still out of position?” – My critique of Rex’s drop
- *Hit for a huge six into the baseball field by a rampant Sabo*
Me to Alex in a meek voice: “A bit fuller?” Alex: *slow nod*
- “Good shot Rexy, any chance of you actually middling one?” – Richie
*Rex smacks next ball for a six*
- Alex comments to the batsman after bowling a delivery; “I wouldn’t want to get out to me”
- “Do you want to get a helmet?” (after bowling a medium-slow short length delivery that was blocked with a forward defensive)
- “Too much swing…” (after bowling a wide)
- “It was like a single profiterole.” – Corey’s summary of Richie’s short but sweet innings.
Great Moments in Sport
- New opening bowler found on April Fools Day! Patmore with a great 8 over spell, unlucky not to get a wicket.
- Alex Patmore putting is sarcastic grumpy self to one side, helping younger ones in the middle hold on to their confidence with compliments
- Richie – quietly seething at Patmore getting easy runs from misfields while he got out to a ripper of a catch!
- Ali had a bit of a spasm when Yohan perhaps didn’t fully commit to a potential catch off my bowling!
Golden Thong Nominations
- Umpire Kris Bayne having a day to forget, taking the shink all the way to Nagoya by accident!
- Masaki – giving a 5 minute speech about his own personal highlight from his cricket career…..during the team highlights as he slightly misunderstood the concept…and everybody knew and remained silent as he kept digging a hole!!