- Match Report
Tigers Terrify Wobbly Wombats
by Evan Hitchman
Finally the 2018 season has rolled around. Spikes have been dusted off, the Aussies have been down to Homes Dept. Store to get their best array of sandpaper, kits have been opened for the first time in 6 months releasing new mold spores that may just be the cure for cancer(!), and visas have been applied for from the long suffering better halves of the wombats, that’s if they’ve still been able to keep them in the off-season!
Under the Shibuya Sakura we stand
Morning coffee in our hand
Hungover and can barely stand
Wombats, you bloody beauty!
Steve Palmer, a Wombats finally making his debut in about the 5th game he’s signed up for, couldn’t have put it better when he said later – “How bloody good is this?!“.
How bloody good indeed! The season was here, and Friday night’s stale beer farts soon joined us in the van as Richie got us under way and we set off in search of Fuji and hopefully a big W to start off 2018 – “The Year of the Wombat!”.
The day began with the Wommies on time for once, everyone counted for and on the van before 7:30 am, a minor miracle in itself. We made good pace down the Tomei Expressway and looked like we should have time for a team warm up and practice before the start before AJ “I’m more relaxed than Bob Marley” Jacobs, failed to hear and heed the captain’s instructions at the service stop to: “Just go for a piss, DO NOT go shopping, DO NOT get a coffee, DO NOT pass go and get $200”. AJ sauntered back to the van after doing what looked like his weekly shopping run with plastic bags galore thinking – “I don’t see anyone, I think I’m gonna be first back to the van!”. With that obstacle out of the way, and at least no whites ruined with bathroom mishaps (yet) we got to the ground in good spirits, bouncing around like energizer bunnies, getting the field set-up and ready to take on whatever the Tigers could dish up.
The skipper won the toss and chose to bat, with the ever faithful Patmore/Bracefield combination opening the innings. Richie “Batting Coach Extraordinaire” Bracefield got us off to a great start picking up one just short of a length and helping it on its way well over the boundary, into the bushes for what was the first of what would be many lost balls of the day. One of the biggest sixes we’ve seen at Fuji, a huge hit! Fortunately for the fisherman heading down to the creek, but unfortunately for the Wommies that was the only big hit we saw from Richie as he skied one soon later and was out to an easy catch for 8. Clearly jug avoidance there, as he was on for a century I’m sure of it!
Alex “Nervous Nineties” Patmore was looking solid as ever at one end, rotating the strike (sometimes diving into the crease for no apparent reason as well!) and keeping the scoreboard ticking over. AJ went cheaply though, having one go straight through him like a late-night dodgy kebab before Luke “Now our Fastest Bowler!” Eyes also departed after putting up some stubborn resistance for a while. It was up to Narender “Nazza” Madhavan to put his head down and forge a meaningful partnership, one the Wombats desperately needed. Himself and Patmore were able to see us through to drinks and beyond up to the 30-over mark with only the 3 wickets down for 130 odd, a total of 200 or over was certainly on the cards.
Alex hit his 50 after about 33 overs and it looked like he would once again avoid paying for a jug and missing out on his maiden century for the Wombats, as around him chaos ensued with Evan “Headbands are making a comeback” Hitchman – who failed to spot the straight one after 10 wides in the over from Nair!, Himan “I’d love to give She-Ra one” Bugalia who was clean bowled and Steve “Simply Irresistible” Palmer (also clean bowled) departing cheaply leaving the Wommies scrambling to post a competitive total.
The skipper then dominated the strike, and before you knew it boundaries started to flow as the ball was deposited to all corners of the ground (of course all along the ground, never wanting to go over the top and hit a 6, or protect the average as an unselfish player such as Stevo would do, eh?!) and before you knew it he was on 99! Or possibly 97, or also 101 – depending on which of the atrociously maintained scorecards read. Quite how we had 3 different scores I have no idea, but us Wombats are capable of being very “special” at times! Patmore soon banged one on the ropes to make sure of it and was able to raise his bat, finally, finally joining an illustrious club including G. Beath, J. Shearer, C. Jones, S. Burke (and E. Hitchman…ah wait.., no that 100 was his bowling figures at YCAC!).. as being a Tokyo Wombats Centurion.
Congratulations Alex, finally able to get that duck off his back, would he decide to stay the night and have a go at the Triple C Fuji Challenge?! He may have been thinking about that while getting himself run-out with an over or so to go, and came back to a standing ovation, minus 2 – as Ev and Luke were still sitting, trying to work out what the heck Ken and the boys had done to the scorecards!
Jamie “Feel the Bern” Payne and Vikram “I once had a run-up” Ragunathan added some very useful runs in the last over, having a swing and putting us over the 200 mark. Ken “Which side do you want shined?” Oiwa did not bat. 8/208 in the end with Patmore’s 103, Naren’s useful 24 and of course my favourite – Extras contributing 47 the only members in double figures. Certainly a few Wommies out there looking to make a bigger dent on the scoreboard next time around, and although it was a defendable total, one had the feeling that we probably left 20 or 30 runs out there, but credit to the Tigers bowlers, who apart from one or two yippy overs, didn’t give us many freebies or long-hops to help ourselves to free boundaries and easy runs. A win was very much on the cards though, but with a depleted bowling line-up we would need to be at our best in the field and with the ball to do so.
AJ and Vik opened up the bowling – surely putting the fear of god into the Tigers batters with a 42 year old and Biscuits’ Right Arm Slow-Slow taking the new ball, but it did the trick with the early wicket coming the way of Tim-Tam as his tight bowling extracted a loose shot from the opener and he skied one, leaving Bobby Palmer ready and waiting for his first Wommies catch, before that bastard Payne came and smashed into him, firmly controlling his territory at point, even marking Steve quick whizz on the trousers I think, and taking a good catch. For once Jamie came away without any broken limbs, lucky as it had Gillespie/Waugh written all over it.
The Wommies bowled reasonably tightly, with a few wides here and there, but generally restricting the boundaries and were rewarded with another wicket as Big Naz had Kumar caught behind and the Tigers were 2/30 odd. AJ picked up Nair the opener for a solid 27, caught at gully by Ev, before Luke got a well deserved wicket, bowling Rajeev for a duck. The Tigers were 4/70 and the game was evenly poised. At the crease though was the prized wicket of Sabaorish, last year’s JCL top run scorer. If we were to get the win, we’d need to get him out cheaply and early. We had a chance shortly after off Naz, with a good length ball hit at pace, but directly at AJ before popping out the hands, and then AJ somehow pulling a calf muscle in the process! Sab would make us,and the bowlers pay, destroying anything slightly short and hitting 4 sixes and keeping Ev busy running to the boundary to find spare balls in the kit.
Very quickly the pair put on a 50 partnership and Sab himself bagged a half century before we got the breakthrough we needed, with Himan taking a good chance in the deep off Naz to dismiss the danger-man. At 5/125 it was game on and you felt 1 more wicket and we could race into the tail and take home the points. Mouli at the other end was having none of it though, taking full advantage of anything short and grabbing 3 sixes and 7 boundaries in all to leave the willing but ailing Wommies bowling attack looking for answers. In what was only a few overs, the scoreboard kept ticking over closer to 200 as the bowling line up of AJ, Vik, Luke, Naz, and Himan toiled away, trying their best and giving their all – but not quite being able to make the breakthrough.
In the end the Tigers did it easily, hitting the winning runs with 8 overs to spare. The Wombats were second best on the day, but the boys tried hard in the field and really gave their all, chasing down every ball and bringing a really positive attitude to the game, especially being really vocal in the field. No win today, but with the effort and energy we saw today, that won’t be very far away. Man of the Match, of course, was awarded to skipper Alex Patmore for his awesome innings and first personal century for the Wombats.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Tigers CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2018 (Div. 1), Fuji 1, Shizuoka, March 31, 2018|
|Toss||Tokyo Wombats CC|
|Umpires||Alpha Quashers-Yokohama CC|
|Result||Tigers CC won by 4 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||A Patmore|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 208/8 (40.0 overs)|
|A Patmore*†||run out (U K†)||103||120||14||0||85.83|
|R Bracefield||c R Mouli b R Nair||8||6||0||1||133.33|
|A Jacob||b R Nair||6||7||1||0||85.71|
|L Eyes||c A Pai b J George||7||19||0||0||36.84|
|N Madhavan||c R Mouli b R Nair||24||57||2||0||42.11|
|E Hitchman||lbw b R Nair||4||11||0||0||36.36|
|H Bugalia||b P Kumar||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|S Palmer||b P Kumar||0||8||0||0||0.00|
|J Payne||not out||4||7||0||0||57.14|
|V Ragunathan||not out||5||3||1||0||166.67|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 2, w 42, nb 2)||47|
|Fall of wickets|
|Tigers CC Innings: 209/6 (31.4 overs)|
|R Nair||c E Hitchman b A Jacob||27||27||4||0||100.00|
|A Nedumparambattu||c J Payne b V Ragunathan||1||8||0||0||12.50|
|A Kumar||c A Patmore*† b N Madhavan||8||23||1||0||34.78|
|S Ravichandran||c H Bugalia b N Madhavan||51||36||2||4||141.67|
|R Nair*||b L Eyes||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|R Mouli||b N Madhavan||60||36||4||3||166.67|
|U K†||not out||23||29||2||1||79.31|
|J George||not out||4||1||1||0||400.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 0, w 34, nb 3)||37|
|Fall of wickets|
|15-1 A Nedumparambattu, 38-2 R Nair, 69-3 A Kumar, 73-4 R Nair*, 125-5 S Ravichandran, 205-6 R Mouli|
- Himan strategically placed at fine leg taking a fine catch making no mistake to dismiss the Tiger’s main batsman Sabaorish off Naren’s bowling.
- Jamie taking a one-handed diving catch while crossing swords with Stevie Palmer, making sure his hand is off the ground, at point to get the first wicket for the wombats in the second over.
- Evan moving quickly to gobble one up at gully.
- AJ – tough one, hit hard but straight to him, dropped the Tigers best bat stone cold on the boundary while he was still on 20 odd, and also managed to somehow pull a calf muscle doing so!
- Richie- a rare sight on the cricket field. Dropped a swirling one at mid off.
- Evan with a tough chance at gully,saw one race to his right.
- Alex P: “Steve has gone Full Mong” – while motionlessly watching the Liverpool game while sitting alone and drooling looking at the screen at Hobs!
- Unknown: Koolhof is turning into the Tasmanian Jesus. Jesus was a jew as well!
- Vik: When I first joined the wombats, I actually had a run-up (describing his bowling)
- AJ: I’m just looking for some innovation ya fuckers (Was this a dummy spit? Can’t remember what it was about!)
- Steve, who scored 0 compared to his captain’s 103, “At least I’m not selfish like you, I give the others a go!”
- Steve: “…and then I plowed into Jamie” – describing a Gillespie/Waugh-esque catch collision.
- Steve: “Suzy has 5 doors and an exhaust” – talking about a cute sheila in the red Suzuki in the lane next to us!
- Ken to Naren (spinner): Mate, which side should I shine for you?
- Evan contributing to AJ’s new alias, Mambo No.5, throughout the day by using a different lady’s name for almost every letter in the alphabet in different on-field calls (He got stuck on X).
- Heard near the scorers table. “I think he’s on 100, or he could be on 99… or 97”. About Alex reaching/approaching the historic milestone. (How do you get three possible scores? There are only two books!)
- “How brilliant is this?!” Palmer on arriving at the crease on his Japan cricket bow, Fuji in the background.
- “They’re not here. My sixth and seventh senses tell me that” AJ at the service station, on being asked whether the car with the cute girls from the highway followed us in. How many senses does he deploy?!
Great Moments in Sport
- Alex Patmore’s great innings to put a decent score on for the wombats. Jug avoidance no more, finally a century for the Wommies after about 20 nineties!
- Fantastic partnership between Naren and Patmore to steady the ship
- Kenny Oiwa’s aggression on the field
- Richie’s fantastic efforts on the filed, diving at the boundary to save some runs for the team
- Steve finally playing his first game for the Wombats after about 2 years and putting his hand up for 27 games, with multiple wash outs!
- Richie’s huge six towards the river, maybe the furthest in Wombats history. Went way into the thick stuff
- The spirit of all players, fighting hard till the very end.
- AJ and Vik being handed the new ball and getting the Wombats off to a great start.
- Jamie and Steve colliding twice in the covers in 5 minutes.
- Virtually all of the Wombats making the most of the nets to work on their batting and bowling while off the field. Some really positive signs for the season ahead.
- AJ – complaining about Vik’s description of his dropped catch! haha :p
- Steve – chucking a wobbly for disrespecting the highlights when called out for highlighting the umpires, and not being able to single out one of his teammates top efforts!
- Umpire not knowing the rules (bowler doesn’t count as fielder) and changing an LBW decision to a no ball.
- Evan – Running over to the clowns playing on Fuji 2 who were doing some sort of Team Laughing Session after their friendly win, shrieking hysterically for minutes on end – forcing Vik to stop in his bowling “run-up” as it was so loud, then being snapped out of their hippy handshakes and copping an ear full from Branson!
Golden Thong Nominations
- AJ’s shopping pit stop for 10 mins at the combini at the piss break, and slow walk back to the van, despite being told – quick piss and back in the van lads, we’re running short of time, we’ll stop at the 7-11 near the ground. Don’t get a coffee, don’t buy anything!