- Match Report
- Photos 1
- Photos 2
WOMBATS BISH-SLAP WYVERNS IN FINAL!
by Ian Gason
Tokyo Wombats secured it’s second consecutive J1C flag Sunday after setting a healthy 246 run target for Wyverns. An all round team effort, with contributions from all the batsmen and all the bowlers -as well as Killer’s lawn-mowing- saw Wombats complete a dominant season undefeated.
Humidity at Fuji CG had the scrotometer soaring into triple figures, making for an uncomfortable day. Chuck lost the toss and the usual suspects Burke and Shearer strapped on the plast…sorry, pads and strode out to battle. Wyverns openers Giles-Jones and Hanada were as tight as a fish’s a**hole, conceding 1 run in 3 overs. Things continued slowly and not so surely for a while, til a bowling change or two allowed our lads to ratchet up the tension. From 2/over we were soon up towards 4, and were treated to a timely return to form for Mr Burke.
Take nothing away from that lumbering lump of love at the other end (Jarrad’s 31 set up the innings) but Steve Burke looked like the man who once made 350 runs in a month. His middling was even more than Very Middle. Twice fieldsman were sent jungle-bashing, with one monstrous 6 wide of long-off still MIA. Balls were elegantly and powerfully spanked left right and centre, with one blow belting a bloke fielding 30 metres from the bat, a skull crunching sound resonating around Shizuoka Prefecture.
With the score around 75, The Big Grumpasaurus was bowled by a fully, round the legs. Like Mike Gatting, he had the look of a man that’s found out the wrong way that Miss #28 isn’t actually a miss. Pleasingly, he exited the ground without playing Kick The Stumps.
Courtney Jones joined Burkey and slapped around a run a ball quarter century. Morty was next cab off the rank, he too launching his way to a quarter century. In seasons past, Steve Burke would score a 50 every second dig, but this year it took him 8 (OK, so 49* chasing 94 isn’t bad). A half-century in a Grand Final as an opener sets a team up for a big day, and his dismissal (60-odd) brought about Bish Big Day Out.
“This is ready to go?” Bish asked, swapping his beloved Blackberry for the new club bat.
A wee push for a single, just to test the willow we suspect, then the Bish went swish. He set about the Wyverns’ change bowlers like Morty at a buffet: gimme more. Easy as she goes, off the pads, over the ropes. Yep, the new bat is ready to go. A tough diving chance went to ground, and Bish went to town.His partnership with Morty was as memorable as last time the pair batted, every bit as spectacular, but far more successful. Morty had the confidence of a man who has Ginza hostess lining up to shag him, and thought he could out bash The Bish. A few choice words of fluent Japanese from that big Japan Fan, Bish, saw the lanky Pom settle.
Daijobu. Bish lifts another one of his legs for six and leans contemptously on his bat. No need to run Morty. Daijobu.
Runs on the board, wickets in hand, a man well in the zone: a situation made for Pup, who replaced Morty. From our pedestrian 2 an over beginning, we were now well on the way to a 200+ score, and Pup thought he’d help things along. Not wishing to compare our lad to that muppet Mal Loye, but Pup did go down on one knee and slog sweep Pat for 6.
A few more Bish Lean-tos, a vital single to Rhino and we had racked up a grand Grand Final total of 246 for the loss of 5 wickets. Bish’s explosive dig of 65* came from about 40 balls, and has replaced Tugga as the benchmark for a mid-innings lashing.
The opening bowlers were given clear, explicit instructions (the only kind you can give to bowlers I suppose….if you want them to understand them) and followed the to the letter. Dictating the terms to a class act like Gavin Beath is a challenge, but me and Morty will reckon we did just that. Though no real chance or even half chances were offered, the corridorability, backed up by diligent fielding saw Gavin wondering where the runs would come from.
His partner Chino provides him a confidence building crutch, and has oft been a thorn in our side. That crutch was ripped away in the 5th over by a blinding display of athleticism by that consumate and complete athlete, Paul Shackleford. Cutting at one of my wider offerings, Chino sent to the ball hurtling towards the ground. Fielding at gully, the young man from Wyhalla dived low and thrust out the right, plucking the cherry in its downward trajectory and completed one of those 1%er catches that can make the difference between a season won or a season wasted.
Number 3 Kawsar took a while to remove, surviving a stumping chance, the odd crayfish swipe, a big LB shout, a big caught behind shout, and a Hershelle Gibbs. With Gavin he compiled a 60-odd partnership, keeping Wyverns’ hopes alive.
Despite a spell that was both economical (20 from 6) and fiery, Morty Death Stares was replaced by Pup. Standing at fine leg, I had a Zulu-esque moment, when the crow on the fence talked to me. Not too clued up in crow-speak, but I could tell the black bag of feathers was saying “Wicket, this ball.” Pup threw out the wide one, Gavin chased it, and duly edged, gone for 34.
With the gun gone, the battle was going to be ours. Maidens either side of the main break by Rob Mann, and Wyverns were 50 runs adrift of the run rate, a massive 170 needed from the final 20 overs.
Six of those overs would come from the spell-binding fingers of one Jaideep Bedi. Bish weaved his usual magic web, alluding the bat as well as the keeper (who did bring out the teapot). Though they handled him better than his earlier Japanese adversaries, Bish still walked away with 1-20 from 8.
Cricket being the funny game that it is (and with all that 20-20 rubbish being played) Pat G-J was still capable of pulling a rabbit of out the Wyverns’ hat, and until we had removed him, there could be no relaxing. After 20-odd runs of resistance, he pulled the Body Koolhoff, miscuing it back over the bowler’s head. Running around from mid-on was Steven Burke, knowing that he owed the club one from an earlier Hersh (v Millenium. Today’s Hersh was Rob Mann.). Burkey made the distance and made no mistake, rolling around like a tin can for effect.
Chuck brought himself on and combined with Big Al (2 catches) to get amongst the action. Things petered out in the final few overs, Chuck dropping donkeys, tail enders boosting their averages. Not wrapping up the tail was a disappointment, but the game, and with it the season was well and truly won. The winning margin a comfortable 80 runs (thereabouts.)
Pat’s miserly spell won him Wyverns’ Best on Ground. Shax’s uber-catch won him some Hardys too, with Bish taking out the Man Of The Match. Beers flowed, shit was shot, the Grand Final Champagne bukkaked. Rhino upset the field in the (approx)100metre dash. (Chuck’s Ben Johnson salute cost him Gold.)
As usual we piled into the van, loaded it up with piss, and then stunned the staff at McDonalds by ordering, wait for it…BIG MACS! Who’d have thought……
I really don’t know what went on back-van, as for most of the journey, I had a rear-view mirror full of Chuck’s back. Deep down, I know it got ugly back there. Stacks-on-the-mill not seen since the Saints left Moorabin.
Unspeakable acts. Home videos. Eski crushing, garbage spraying, boisterous testosterone fueled shenanigans. 1 dis-loctaed finger. 1 dickey-knee. 1 bung ankle/foot by the “Leash Man” Luke Ray. (Jumping off the roof in thongs? Marvelous idea.) 1 dead phone. Perhaps some of this will surface on You-Tube?
While we look forward to a couple of weeks off, we still have to round out the season by defending the Hardys Ashes and the Pacific Cup. To finish the J1C undefeated is a marvellous effort, befitting the work we have put in again.
Thanks to the JCA and J1C committee(s); to all our oppositions; to our supporters here and abroad; to the match day umpire Anton and Neil, thanks to you all.
Thanks of course to Hardys, our sponsors for 6 years now. Your support makes a huge difference to our Club.
We are proud to have done the job.