- Match Report
- Photos 1
- Photos 2
WOMBATS BOWL OVER SANO TO REACH GF
by Ian Gason
Perhaps inspired by the bikini-shoot babe at Harajuku, perhaps motivated by the chance to get back to Harajuku in tme for the Brazilian Festival. Whatever the reason, Wombats vulcanized Sano Sunday smashing their way into a 6th consecutive Grand Final, to be played Sept 27th v bullet-dodging Wyverns. Man of The Match Kyal Hill growled his way through the middle order with 4-23.
The only delay in getting the troops to the battle was the aforementioned photo-shoot as the lads etched the mammaries into the wank-bank. GT won the toss, and must have wanted to enjoy a little samba action too, as why else would he choose to send in a team missing 4 of their best 5 players? Despite these pressing issues, his fine opening spell yielded no rewards.
Golden Shoes Alex Koolhof, fresh from a spell of Kenyan style barefoot marathon training, dextrously controlled the pill at the Shed End. The breakthrough came when the skip benched himself and gave yours truly a trundle, and an obliging bat lobbed a c&b my way. A windy waft by Japan’s Alex Miyaji at a Brett Lee special earned me #2, the ball flying to slipper Courtney Jones, whose world was plunged into darkness when a late dive by keeper Shearer threatened to complicate things.
No such complications moments later when Alex’s miserly and masterful spell coughed up wicket number three. The Big Grump got airborne reeling in an edge from Sano’s number 3, grabbing it low in front of Jones. A candidate for catch of the year.
The ball was swinging at both ends – yes disbelievers, even at my end – in with breeze from the Dutchman at the Shed End, and out from the River End. The ball struggled to find the bat, and the score-cards racked up more dots than Michael Hutchence’s face. No more wickets fell until Kyal Hill was invited to get amongst it.
Known to grab opportunites with both hands, Hill obliterated any chance of a Sano recovery. By the time he was done, Sano was sunk, and Wombats were sending text messages back to Yoyogi. Kyal dropped his pace a notch, and was quickly assessed as being innocoulous enough, but in taking a huge swing at harmless looking ball #2, the batsmen forgot to hit it, and was bowled.
Kyal confused the batsmen with wides both sides of the wicket, even hitting the edge of the pitch on leg side. Given the chance to hit the ball, next victim gently lobbed it out in the off where Adam Farmer took a good catch to his left. Victim #3 played a deft flick off his pads, and with GPS nanometre-precise accuracy, found the exact centre of the hands of the only man within a 50 metre arc, Steven Burke. The pressure of a potential Herschelle (rivalling Luke’s effort) was enormous, but Burkey coped.
There was no rocket science about Kyal’s work, just putting it on the spot (or so far wide that they can’t hit it….) time and time again.
Gavin Beath picked up a wicket with a young Japanese lad jumping across his stumps to get out of the ball’s way, and yet somehow managing to get his pads in between the timber and the leather.
Sano’s “Robocop” was the last man out, batting through from #4 for a well compiled, level-headed 26. Paul Shax bowling at his non-prefered Shed End, began his spell with a vicious bouncer and Curtley Ambrose death stare, lured him from his kitchen for Shearer to stump.
Sano had collpased from 0-34 to all out 87. Much credit must go the ball polishing team, lead by a man known for his glistening, Courtney Jones, with assistance from Steven Burke. Their vigourous ball rubbing helped us bowlers produce a set of figures not seen since….since Harajuku that morning: Hill 4-23, Beath 5 overs 1-9, Koolhof 1-12 fom 8, Gason 2-10 from 7.
Sano’s bowlers started well, bowling tidily and with great accuracy. However, without the likes of Rizwan, Munir, Razzaq, to win would require a DK Lillee v QLD-like effort from their two openers, and despite their best efforts, that didn’t happen.
Adam Farmer and Steven Burke began patiently, as you can when chasing 2 an over. A huge six hooked from the Shed End opener was the highlight of Adam’s innings, before the same fella had his revenge, trapping him LBW.
Ross Ferris came out, and that is never good news for a bowling side, especially one with many young and inexperienced leather-flingers. The pair made light work of the light-weight task. Ferris raced to 43 in perhaps 25 balls. As is his habit, Steven Burke stood erect for 24 (runs, not hours…), and in doing so became the first Wombat to pass the 2000 run mark.
Both batsmen’s placement was superb, their timing too. Leaning into balls to drive them in the off, or piercing square cuts. Ross also Tendulkar-ed a short ball over slip for 4.
There was nothing subtle about the innings’ most Highlights when Ross, who had almost perished to Sano’s young leggy’s first ball, served up 26 runs from his second over. 18 of those runs came off three unfortunate consecutive full tosses, all of which went sailing behing square leg. One of them was still rising as it passed our boundary line, and was evetually retrieved from the jungle near the mid-wicket region of Fuji I.
The game was over not long after that, some time before 2. A leisurly emptying of the eski’s contents followed, followed by an eager replenishing of it, and after McChucks, we entered traffic karma. The traffic ground to a halt, which is just as well for the slack-bladdered amongst us, one of whom (let’s call him “Alex” cos that’s his name) had actually asked for a piss-stop before we got going! Koolhoff, Shearer and Ferris jumped out and de-bladdered road-side, while 3 other wombats made the most of the open door to do the same. The sight of 3 of our least athletic specimen running along the emergency lane in thongs had us all in stitches, but the magnitude of this traffic monster meant that the only thongs we’d be seeing that night were on each other’s stinky feet.
An unprecedented detour to an Odawara combini filled up the eski but in doing so put paid to one Wombat’s plans for the evening. (57 piss-stops didn’t help either.) The extra fuel brought out the best and the worst in the lads. Those of you who have ridden a classic wombat ride will know, or guess. Despite custodian Courtney Jones best efforts, the polystyrene was pulverized, the floor flooded, when Kiwi Corner erupted with Rowdy Grant Turner leading the charge over the seats. The retardedness began spilling into the no-go zone, but our eventual arrival at Harajuku allowed it to be dumped out the door. (I later received a text message from The Freak Ray, “I just walked past all your shit at Harajuku!) Two of the Wombats finest bodies attempted to re-create the mornings stair-case photo-shoot, but I think we’d have seen a better class of arse if we’d got back to the Brazilian Festival in time!
It was indeed a van ride to remember – although I suspect few of its participants actually will – and it will also be the last one on which I will act as match reporter. Someone else will have to pen the words from here on in. It’s easy working with such a rich source of material though.