- Match Report
WET WEATHER WAITS WHILE WOMBATS WHIP WYVERNS
by Ian Gason
International duties deprived both sides of a number of their anchor players, but it was the Wombats who had the depth as they prevailed over Wyverns in an anti-climatic Grand Final replay at Fuji on Saturday.
Weather forecasts were chopped and changed like English wicket keepers, predicting somewhere between 20 and 90 percent chance of rain sometime between Friday and the second coming of Christ. Conversations centreing on will we or won’t we get on the pitch flew back and forth and well, eventually we did. Brief showers fell at the Fuji Family Mart and returned again at fine leg moments after the Wyverns innings got under way.
Burkey inserted the opposition. Pup took the keeping gloves. Me and Morty shared the new ball. Morty at least did something with it, producing 2 early wickets with edges to the waiting cordon. Grant pulled off a superb slips catch to add to his nascient Hardys collection. When I was finally dragged, Reggie got amongst the wickets, and Wyverns were struggling. Big Gay Al replaced Morty at the City End and he too was soon amongst the wickets, and brought out his new wicket celebration, the I Am A Spastic And Have Tourette’s Dance.
Our Captain and Coach spoke of the importance of getting through our overs quickly. With the notable of one lethargic Tasmanian, Wombats young and old jogged through the change overs, often urged on by one “dictator”- yours truly- encouraging (in Al’s case in vain….) the troops to “look alive.”
Despite rain about, Fuji made a brief appearance, and Wombats started to think about knocking off the runs. That’s when Wyverns rallied, stodgedly defying our leather flingers. As we searched for that elusive 8th wicket, Luke Ray was looking for a hole to fling himself into, after he (call me Joffer if you will) wrapped up the Herschelle Gibbs for the year. Off his own bowling, the ball arced gently back to him in the exact position where his follow through ended. Pup reckons he has never seen a worse drop, even in under-12s, yet The Freak, taker of the often untakable catches, dropped the undroppable.
Most bowlers’ armory contains an “effort ball”. Apparently Luke’s instead contains a “pissed off ball”.
What else happened? A clash of cultures, as Morty called “Morty” running in from cover to collide with me at point calling “mine”. (Catch held by Morty). Two balls after the drinks break, the Quiet Achiever caught having a slash in the bushes. G-spot racked up 3 catches, including 1 as keeper. A few displays of soccer skills, balls being kicked from running player to player in one case, and from foot to foot to fresh air and a run in another. Shaxxie flighting the ball magnificiently for 2 wickets. A dead cert run out missed as the ball richoted of a tuft of grass – on a 3 metre return.
From 6-60 or so the Wyverns, a type of small dragon by the way trivia fans, had tail wagged to 120.
After a 15 minute speed scoff, Pup and Rhino went to face the music. Captain Steven Burke may well be rueing his decision to shield himself from the new ball attack, cos to be honest it was as toothless as pensioner with all his teeth removed. Pup belted the first ball for 4, and went 8 balls before collecting a dot. Rhino anchored the 50 run partnership, standing at the non-strikers end, running when Pup hit the ball, especially those vital last ball singles. The importance of Rhino’s contribution is best not judged on the 3 runs he added, but by the downfall of Pup 5 short of his half-century not long after his trusted opening partner was caught. Pup’s 38 ball knock included some sweetly timed drives as well as the usual display of power-Pup hitting.
The G-Spot quickly found the sweet spot and showed his timing was up there with the best. By this stage our only enemy was the rain, as we were helped along by a score of wides. Grant was bowled as Wombats entered the home straight. The Big Roy, Dave O’Carroll emerged from semi-retirement, looking nothing like a man whose last encounter with a bat was a duck 9 months ago. He stroked the ball through the gaps in a brief innings that showed his true class. Uncle Dan’d be proud. (Roy, teach Uncle Dan to ground his bat, by the way.) Morty got a few runs in before the victory was wrapped up anti-climatically by a wide which trickled into the bushes.
Timing. Not only by Pup, GT, Roy, but the Big Fella upstairs. The first drops fell not long after the hand shakes, and within about 30 minutes of leaving the field, there was enough rain for us to be heading for the van.
A tail-end 30 by Ra Mason got a Hardys award for Wyverns BOG. Twas a truely omnipresent performance by Mark Ainslie behind the stumps, wrapping up the tail, and a 45 run flier to beat the rain – and he was our Hardys Man Of The Match.
Post match, the eski was stocked and and McChucks run done all by 3 oclock. Onto the Tomei and into the highlights before dark is an unusual phenomina. Afternoon drinking is not Morty’s forte and it showed. Pup turned it on with a colourful display of potty-mouthed banter. Grant was subdued, feeling that something was missing from last week’s ride. Attempts to break up Kiwi Corner failed. A few discussions of the strange and deliquent spluttered into and out of life. Pup was bleeting for a pee, but to his surprise we were back in Tokes and pulled into Harajuku just after 6, sending Pup scurrying for somewhere to relieve his bladder amongst the throngs of Saturday arvo shoppers.
Next up: Sat June 21, Nagoya at Shizuoka.