- Match Report
TYPHOON TEARS THROUGH WOMBATS’ T20 FINALS CHANCES
by Jamie Payne
With Typhoon Halong expected to wreak havoc on the Kanto Plain, the Wombats’ LINE group chat was ablaze on Sunday morning. No one really knew what to do until the president entered the discussion with “I’m still heading to Yokohama” followed by the captain’s “On my way”. I think it’s safe to say that a fair few Wombats were hoping the game would be called off so they could stay home in their pajamas and play their Super Nintendos – and maybe other things. Besides, a rained out game was good for us – that would mean automatic progression to the final….right?
With the exception of GB, Mili and maybe one other, most Wommies were still in their shorts and flip-flops fifteen minutes before the start of the game. It was looking like the game was a certain scratching and that we would be pouring the jugs a little ahead of schedule. The groundsmen were almost falling off their ladders raising the nets that surround the YCAC ground in the 100 km/hr winds. And the sky looked like something from Ghostbusters. But it soon became apparent that it was game on and Wommies everywhere were changing into their whites in record times – yours truly included.
Jimmi and Yusry opened the bowling attack for the team from Tokyo. As you would expect, the wet conditions made the ball hard to control. It was skidding off the plastic surface of the YCAC pitch and slipping out of bowlers’ fingers. Although Yusry also went for a skid when delivering his first ball, he didn’t let the poor conditions affect him and, on the last ball of his first over, the Sri Lankan Express charged in and clean bowled batsman Naseer. YCAC were 1 wicket for 20 runs or thereabouts.
The first rain stoppage came and went.
After one of Yusry’s deliveries was tapped to fine leg, Mili (I think?) who was fielding there whipped the ball straight into Luke’s gloves who subsequently knocked the bails off. It was a run out and there was no doubt about it. But the square leg umpire disagreed with the Wombats’ appeal and Basharat was given a second life. The batsman’s luck was short-lived, however, and about ten minutes later Yusry ran in and bowled one straight onto Basharat’s pads. Although not a textbook LBW, the umpire this time agreed with the appeal to the delight of the Wombats. “You didn’t make any friends there” was the response to the decision from Winston of YCAC. YCAC were 2 for about 40 at this stage.
The second stoppage came during which Mili and Biscuits (Vikram) decided to order a full English breakfast and hamburger with the works respectively.
When the game resumed, Koolhof and Mili were introduced into the attack by Skipper Beath. Koolhof’s first over was a maiden – the only one of the innings. At some point around here, there was a brilliant piece of fielding when Browning from YCAC smashed the ball through the covers which subsequently was cut off by Shazza and whipped back to Koolhof who was bowling at the time for a run out. (Top stuff boys.) Finishing on one for 27 off four overs, Mili was the most economical bowler of the day for the Wommies. YCAC 6 for about 180.
The third stoppage came.
The Wombats returned to the field and were determined to keep YCAC under 200. Winston, who had been at the crease from the outset, was delivered a lofty ball from Mili that he hit high over to deep midwicket where Koolhof was waiting as calmly as ever. Out for 86. “You got lucky” was the passing comment from Winston to Mili. YCAC were about 7 for 200 at this point with two overs remaining.
Luke Eyes caught the last ball of the innings in spectacular fashion running back 15 meters from where he was keeping and lunging out with both gloves. It should be mentioned that Biscuits, Shazza and Frankie Hollywood also contributed to the Wombats’ bowling attack throughout the innings.
The boys were given a target of 215 from the Yokohama Cricket and Athletics Club and with that converting to an initial required run rate of over 10 runs per over, the challenge was on. The equation wasn’t made any simpler when Skipper Beath was caught at point early on in the innings, followed in quick succession by Lukey Eyes. Someone needed to step up and support Jimmy who was looking good at the other end putting away every third or fourth ball for four runs.
Shazza provided some good support for a few overs blasting 25 runs from 12 balls but was unluckily caught off the bowling of Barrett from YCAC. Yuzzy and Biscuits also did their bit knocking 16 from 12 deliveries and 8 from 8 respectively. Mili also looked very good out there in the middle of the ground, not letting any deliveries go to waste.
Two weeks earlier, when playing at the same ground, Jimmy tried for a single where there probably wasn’t one and got himself out after the skipper shouted out from the boundary “Jimmy, mate, you’re on 99” sending Jim into a state of shock. Anyway, Jimmy was yet again on 99. All eyes turned to the skipper when he got up out of his chair and stepped forward ready to shout something. Wearing a smug look, the skipper this time tried “You’re doing well, Jimmy.” But it didn’t make any difference. On 99, the ball was bowled straight into Jimmy’s pads trapping him in front. Out LBW.
The Wombats finished all out for 182.
In true Wombats’ spirit, the boys weren’t going to let the result spoil the rest of the night and retired to the clubhouse where laughs and beers were had aplenty.
- Anton of YCAC: “You didn’t make any friends there”, after Yusry got a wicket off a controversial LBW that went our way.
- Anton: “You got lucky”, to Mili after eventually getting out after like having 5 lives in his outing.
- Lukey for sheer brilliance running back with the ball and diving full stretch (if that is even possible) to take what looked like an impossible one.
- Koolhof for holding on to a boundary catch which was a very damp and heavy cherry.
Great Moments in Sport
- Luke’s diving catch, running backwards as a keeper. Was amazing!!
- Jimmy carrying the flag yet again for us, almost all the way single handedly.
- Yusry and Beath’s epic adventure after the match.
- Yusry running in hard on to the wet plastic mat that they call the pitch…Sliding full stretch on the very first ball he delivered and being surprised he fell.
- Golden Thong double to Gav for screwing up Jimmi’s century by standing up and cheering him on yet again…
- For the entire Wommies dressing room for screaming like babies when Jimmi was given out.
- For Jimmi on the first ball after rain Beamer right in the neck for the new batsman in.
- For the rain for absolutely pissing down when we bowled every 5 mins and being an absolute angel to Yokohama when they were bowling.