- Match Report
Wombats’ Coming Home (with a Win)
by Alex Patmore
In the end the Wombats ran out comfortable winners against a Wyverns side who’ve recently picked up a habit of not knowing when they’re beaten.
The game started 40 minutes late, reduced to 35 overs a side and a switch from Sano 3 to the less waterlogged Sano 4 – a new ground for the Wombats which meant that everyone was guaranteed some sort of a club record for the day. Wyverns won the toss and decided to have a bat in very muggy, overcast conditions, perhaps not taking into account the factor that would turn out to be key.
Swing. Swing everywhere. Swinging like a monkey. Swinging around corners. Swinging like AJ. Nige and AJ himself opened up and it wasn’t long before they were making the ball talk, spooking the batsman so much that even in the first over Koji “gun show” Iwasaki displayed none of the talents of an opening batsman and smashed one sky-high that Himanshu was very unlucky not to cling on to. But the Wombats and their hungry opening bowlers did not have to wait too much longer.
Caught and bowled brought the first breakthrough, a sore yet on-song Nigel getting one to rush Kano into a pull shot that could only loop slowly back to the bowler, much to the amusement of the slip cordon who watched Nige’s face light up in glee well before he’d snaffled the catch.
Over to AJ, who then ripped the heart out of the Wyverns top order, sending back Miyaji junior, Buddhika and the in-from Miyauchi all without troubling the scorers. Swing, good bowling, good catching, poor batting and some luck all played a part to leave Wyverns in the shiiiiiiiiit, and matters were made worse when Koji “I only ever do arms” departed to Luke’s first ball. All this carnage left Wyverns 29-5 and the first ten overs had yet to be bowled.
Mindful of the fact that we’d been on the end of some match-defining Wyvern lower order partnerships in recent times, we knew there was still plenty of work still to be done. A gutsy, gritty partnership between Okoshi and the Japanese Chris Gayle (off the pitch) Ota underlined this, as they survived some excellent bowling, one over to Ota from Nigel sticks in the mind as the batsman did well to either play and miss or jam the bat down in time to keep the ball out. At the other end, the fresh cut AJ was still hooping it around corners, bowling with great skill but little luck as a chance or two was grassed.
In the end the partnership was broken just before drinks when Rony was introduced for the first time this season, and with immediate effect. Mindful of the drinks break, Ota patted a full toss back to the bowler and when it was suggested from behind the stumps that any other over he’d have hit that for six, he duly tried to cut the next ball from off his middle peg, bails flying everywhere. Drinks after 18 at 64-6 was a great position and things got even better straight after, Rony combining with Dean Abbott to leave Wyverns dead and buried at 69-9.
Not quite however, as that previously mentioned never-say-die spirit was resurrected by the tail enders Sawada and Yamada, the former swinging at everything and the latter displaying the best technique amongst the Wyverns line up. Drop catches, edges for 4 and near misses led to a rising in the level of mercury amongst the Wombats, particularly from Naren who after getting slogged for 26 off 2 overs threw one from close range into poor Laids back, lying flat on the ground after Naren telling him to get low out of the way of the throw. The last wicket ended up costing 51 runs, a frustrating partnership but a total score of 120 that Wombats would have taken before the first ball was bowled.
Getting these runs was never going to be easy with the strong bowlers on the oppo, but Patmore and Mike set about creating a stable platform for the innings, until the skipper called Mike through for a quick single and was well short. Dean was in first drop, and with Patmore at the other end things seemed to be under control with few risks being taken.
However, Patmore gloved one through to the keeper with the score on 40, and Wyverns scented a way back into the game. Richie, in at 4, along with Dean helped double the total with some uncharacteristically watchful batting and thoughts on the sideline turned to how many beers were in the cooler and how many goals England were going to beat Sweden by.
Once again the Wyverns gave themselves a sniff off an upset, first with Deano top edging a pull to the keeper and Richie (fresh from a Steve Waugh-Herschelle Gibbs-esque reprieve the previous over when spinner Kano started celebrating his caught-and-bowled too soon and spilled the ball) nailing one down long-off’s throat. Still 33 needed, a slow outfield, tight bowling, an increasing run rate and two new bats in Laids and Naren at the crease with a job still to do.
Madhavan the record-money signing again proved what value he has brought to the team, playing aggressively but with control to edge us over the 100 mark, and Laids bringing all his experience to the table and knocking the singles around with ease. Naren, who might make an anger management counsellor very rich one day was annoyed with himself for getting out with two more runs still to get, but Luke came in and cut away his first ball for the winning runs and a deserved 5 wicket victory with more than two overs to spare.
Everyone pretty much contributed to this win making the man of the match award extremely difficult to pick, Nigel with his very tight bowling (and quad), AJ ripping through the top order, Rony doing a good Rony impression, and contributions throughout the field and down the batting order. Deano in the end got it for anchoring most of the run chase. Thoughts then turned to the post match circuit and how to get subliminal World Cup references into this match report.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Wyverns CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2018 (Div. 1), Sano 4, Tochigi, July 7, 2018|
|Result||TWCC won by 5 wickets|
|TWCC MoM||D Abbott|
|Wyverns CC Innings: 120 (28.2 overs)|
|R Kano||c & b N McKay||1||7||0||0||14.29|
|K Iwasaki||c & b L Eyes||12||15||2||0||80.00|
|N Miyaji||c N McKay b A Jacob||0||6||0||0||0.00|
|O Nanayakkara||c A Patmore*† b A Jacob||0||6||0||0||0.00|
|W Miyauchi†||c N Madhavan b A Jacob||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|K Okoshi||lbw b R Taluqdar||23||28||3||0||82.14|
|T Ohta*||b R Taluqdar||10||34||0||0||29.41|
|R Sawada||c R Laidler b H Bugalia||35||28||5||0||125.00|
|K Ogawa||b R Taluqdar||0||5||0||0||0.00|
|T Aoki||b D Abbott||1||4||0||0||25.00|
|S Yamada||not out||11||24||1||0||45.83|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 0, w 25, nb 2)||27|
|Fall of wickets|
|10-1 R Kano, 12-2 N Miyaji, 19-3 O Nanayakkara, 19-4 K Iwasaki, 29-5 W Miyauchi†, 64-6 T Ohta*, 65-7 K Okoshi, 68-8 K Ogawa, 69-9 T Aoki, 120-10 R Sawada|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 121/5 (32.4 overs)|
|A Patmore*†||c W Miyauchi† b O Nanayakkara||18||41||3||0||43.90|
|M Farrell||run out (R Sawada)||4||22||0||0||18.18|
|D Abbott||c W Miyauchi† b S Yamada||27||68||1||1||39.71|
|R Bracefield||c R Sawada b S Yamada||20||33||1||1||60.61|
|N Madhavan||c T Aoki b O Nanayakkara||18||21||1||1||85.71|
|R Laidler||not out||6||10||0||0||60.00|
|L Eyes||not out||2||1||0||0||200.00|
|Extras||(b 2, lb 0, w 23, nb 1)||26|
|Fall of wickets|
|14-1 M Farrell, 40-2 A Patmore*†, 80-3 D Abbott, 88-4 R Bracefield, 119-5 N Madhavan|
- Laids taking a screamer at short mid-off. The batman belted a ball from Himan, driving it straight at Laids who had to reach a little over his head, juggling the ball before falling to the ground to secure the catch, closing the Wyverns innings.
- Naren taking a comfortable back-peddling catch to dismiss “Guns-out” Koji at backward point. Koji getting it all wrong trying to cut AJ through gully on a damp wicket with a temperamental bounce.
- Nigel took a slow motion caught and bowled to dismiss Raheel Kano in the first over of the match. Nigel dug one in short and got Raheel to attempt a pull shot that got too big on him, hitting the splice of the bat only to limply lob it back to a gleeful Nigel. The slips cordon all made comments on Nigel’s toothy grin as he took the catch.
- Nigel, taking another catch at deep backward square leg (even though he should have been in front of square). AJ getting flicked off the pads straight down Nigel’s throat giving Nigel two catches in as many overs.
- Luke “Masterclass” Eyes, getting a gentle return catch off his very first ball.
- Mike “Chat Cop” Farrell dropping one off AJ at slip. You’d usually bank on Mike to snaffle those ones!
- Himan sprinting from mid-on to mid-wicket to attempt to take a towering over-the-shoulder catch. An ‘A’ for effort to Himan for the attempt. Much less to be said for effort by Laids, stationed at short mid-wicket, who was more than happy to leave it for poor Himan.
- Rony unable to gather a catch at short 3rd man. Unfortunate as he took virtually every catch that morning during the warm ups.
- Plenty of banter aimed at AJ who sheared off his trademark locks in favour of a new hairstyle that made him look disturbingly like a Bollywood version of John Travolta from Grease.
- Half the team asking each other whether Buddhika was Yusry. Borderline…
- Nigel, after claiming a sore leg to redeem a spot in the cordon, Negative Nige then proceeded to recall every negative memory of Wombat defeats clutched from the jaws of victory (much to the dismay of everyone in earshot).
Great Moments in Sport
- Rony making a rare appearance for the Wombats in 2018 and making big inroads into the Wyverns middle order right on Drinks. Rony walking away with 3 wickets from 7 overs for only 14 runs.
- No Wombats batting collapse! Wombats lost 5 wickets to chase down the 121 needed with all batsmen contributing. Yiieeww!!
- The opening pair of AJ and Nigel with the ball, taking wickets and keeping a tight rein on runs set the tone for the innings.
- Richie and Deans batting partnership.
- Naren hitting a six over long-on off Buddhika. The Wyverns knew it was over then.
- Naren, getting caught out when the Wombats were just 2 runs shy of winning the match. Naz came off fuming that he hadn’t been the one to see the Wommies home. He was the only one upset with his valuable contribution as he smashed the Wombats into a comfortable position to win the match.
Golden Thong Nominations
- Himan, ruining his brand new white Nike AirMax shoes to expel the water from the damp mat on Sano 3 despite the Wommies all telling him not to bother (he couldn’t hear them as he had his headphones in). Himan did an excellent job drying the mat. Hilariously, the game ended up being played on the vacant adjacent Sano 4 wicket. Mottainai Himan.
- Naren bowling round the wicket outside off stump to left handed baseball batsmen with a 6-3 field set (6 Leg side and 3 offside). That fella was whacking everything on off,ball flying of edges and had the only 3 fielders there chasing the ball. Guess that was only period when Wyverns had a free run.
Wyndham Estate Man of the Match