- Match Report
Upside Potential in Season-opening Loss
by Joe Lewis
After the murk of a Covid-afflicted 2020 season, it seemed fitting that the Wombats began their 2021 campaign under bright sunny skies on an expertly prepared wicket (big props and respect to Jarrad “Dino” Shearer) against the Alpha Quashers. What followed was a competitive, high scoring match that ebbed and flowed and would see 500+ runs scored by the time the sun set behind the mountains. It was a match where both teams showed grit, new debutants shined and individuals discovered an early form that whispers towards a season of potential and promise ahead.
Winning the toss, skipper Alex Patmore opted to have a bowl, perhaps hoping to take an advantage against a team that had had a number of changes in the line up since last season. His decision immediately seemed the right one as Muhammad Ali took the first wicket caught behind with the first ball of the match! The Quashers found themselves immediately on the backfoot against a wombat bowling unit eager to not let the batsmen settle. The bowling partnership of Chandu and Chelsea worked particularly well with their fast bowling/spin attack working like fire and foil as the Quasher top order showed skill in their starts but otherwise fell to the pace of Chandu or were tempted into fatal errors by Chelsea’s skilful spin aided by some sharp catching in the field. By the 15 over drinks break the Quashers were sitting precariously at 89/4. On a wonderful batting track, they were in danger of getting bowled out early! The Wombats had shown chirpy spirit in the field and took their drinks knowing they had won the first session of the season.
The second session seemed to start just as promisingly, Chandu produced a rip snorter of a delivery to remove the Quashers number 4, reducing them to 109/5, Chelsea tempted the number 6 into a loft that bounced through this writer’s hands while on 10. This was the second drop I had made off Chelsea’s bowling, the previous one being recovered in the very next over by Chandu getting the reprieved batsmen out. Unfortunately, this fortune would not repeat itself and would prove a costly moment. As the ball began to lose its movement, the Quashers began to settle and dust off the pre-season cobwebs to demonstrate that they had depth in their batting. On a pitch where the ball would be a practically guaranteed boundary once it got past the infield the Quashers were able to launch a prolific counter attack. By the 30 over break it was 195/6. The final session was a crucial one and both sides knew it, it started well for the Wombats when skipper Patmore snared a sharp stumping that was so sharp nobody appealed or saw it, except for the one who mattered of course! For the rest of the session the bowlers gave their all with Chandu and Zubair in particular consistently hitting the pitch hard with everything they could muster. Ali and Chelsea tried to coax a mistake but the ball seemed to fly everywhere except into a fielder’s hands. The Quashers finished on an intimidating 289/7 off 40 overs. (If you must know that generously reprieved number 6 scored 112 of them…)
Chelsea and Chandu took the best of the spoils at 3/49 and 3/59 off 8 overs respectively.
After a quick pep talk with his team instructing a level headed approach to batting and let the pitch do the scoring, skipper Patmore set out with his regular opening dance partner, Richie Bracefield, both no doubt aware the Wommies needed something big from the both of them to have any chance in this daunting chase. In this they delivered.
Showing their experience in both their game and each other they launched a controlled assault on the target. Both men showed an array of shots and security at the crease and despite some solid Quasher bowling it seemed only something special would break the partnership. This happened on the cusp of drinks as Richie was the recipient of a worldie catch on the boundary while going for a six down the ground, thus ending the 92 run partnership.
Alex Patmore was ably supported by Zubair (16) and then Ali (9) after the break, both of which showed some excellent mindful batting but it was soon clear it was Patmore or bust in this chase and the Wommies goal was to help him get there. Both showed resolve and both fell to good balls. Zu cleaned up by a yorker and Ali edging behind.
New debutant, 24 year old Rex Kobayashi from Kent was the next man in and he played admirably, sticking with his skipper to get to the 30 over drinks mark with Wombats sitting at 192/3 and with a sniff of pulling off an unlikely victory. It was all on these last ten overs.
It started well, Patmore passed his well deserved, chanceless century and Rex was showing some bosh of his own. Alas, in the 34th over with the sun just beginning to touch the mountains Skipper Patmore’s 150 minute knock vigil was at an end as he holed out on the legside boundary for 110 of 99 balls. Dino swiftly followed with a 2nd ball 0 in what was the only debatable (according to Dino) decision of a day where the umpires had been absolutely on the money. The Wommies were 214/5 off 35 and by this stage it was evident that the Wombat cause was lost but that certainly didn’t stop Rex Kobayashi and Mark McTamney from making a right go of it! Swinging from the hip right until the end they finished on 29 (holed out on the penultimate ball) and 17* respectively.
And so ended a gallant effort from the Wombats who can take heart from the fact that new faces showed immense promise, the skipper started his season in form, and a showing put forth from the team pushed a well resourced opponent to the brink. Indeed, 2021 can be seen as a season of hope in more ways than one.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Alpha Quashers Yokohama CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2021 (Div. 1), Fuji 2, Shizuoka, April 3, 2021|
|Toss||Tokyo Wombats CC|
|Umpires||K Bayne & S Hashiba|
|Result||AQYCC won by 43 runs|
|TWCC MoM||A Patmore|
|AQYCC Innings: 289/7 (40 overs)|
|V Jayakumar||c A Patmore† b M Ali||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|S Pedada||c J Shearer b C Moscript||18||30||3||0||60.00|
|V Sundaram||c K Jinasena b S Mudunuru||21||28||3||1||75.00|
|N Ibrahim||b S Mudunuru||27||35||3||1||77.14|
|D Krishnan||c Z Bappi b C Moscript||2||7||0||0||28.57|
|R Kesari*||not out||112||69||12||5||162.32|
|R Tanwar||b S Mudunuru||32||30||2||3||106.67|
|G Singh||st A Patmore† b C Moscript||17||16||3||0||106.25|
|M Joseph||not out||23||25||1||1||92.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 1, w 35, nb 1)||37|
|Fall of wickets|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 246/3 (40 overs)|
|A Patmore*†||c Y Wagh b V Jayakumar||110||99||18||0||111.11|
|R Bracefield||c G Singh b Y Wagh||44||46||5||2||95.65|
|Z Bappi||b R Tanwar||16||22||1||0||72.73|
|M Ali||c D Krishnan b V Jayakkumar||9||11||1||0||81.82|
|R Kobayashi||c N Ibrahim b M Joseph||27||43||0||0||62.79|
|J Shearer||lbw b Y Wagh||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|M McTamney||not out||17||19||2||0||89.47|
|C Moscript||not out||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||(b 2, lb 2, w 17, nb 2)||23|
|Fall of wickets|
- Dino diving forward (wasn’t going to be any other direction was it) at 1st slip to take an edge just off the ground.
- Quick reflexes from the skipper taking a brilliant catch diving forward on the first ball.
- Spider Joe. 1 when the would-be centurion was on about 10. Cricket’s a cruel game!
- After Joe dropped a chance off Chelsea’s first ball, the skipper quipped, “I should’ve stood next to him and caught it on the rebound!”
- “If he doesn’t settle down, put him upstairs in his cage and shut the door. Leave him there for a few hours; that’ll calm him down,” says new father Richie on the phone to his wife talking about his…. dog. Or so he says….
Great Moments in Sport
- Chelsea and T-Rex’s debuts, both contributing heavily to the team effort.
- Chandu’s return from a work-enforced absence in 2020, bowling with good gas and picking up 4-fer.
- Ali takes wicket with first delivery. A dream start for any team
- Richie’s textbook hook shot six.
- Captain’s knock by century man Alex. In a losing side. Pity about missing out on the Triple C….
- Dino at the crease after getting triggered on 0, shortly after extolling the virtues of the new JCA Umpire Panel!
- Gen Zer shown me and Alex a glimpse of Arachnophobia while moving the nets post match.
Golden Thong Nominations
- Debutant T-Rex Kobayashi coming off of a big hanami/house party, nearly sacking the game off, sleeping all the way here, reeking of booze, fags and cheap Lynx deodorant, asking everyone even the umpires for painkillers before the game. Pint of concrete young’un!