- Match Report
Wombats Crush Aoyama
by Alex Koolhof
The Tokyo Wombats opened their 2019 Japan Cup campaign with a convincing 143-run victory over Aoyama Gakuin on Sunday May 5 at Yokohama Country & Athletic Club. First-time captain of the T20 side Dean Abbott won the toss under clear-blue skies and elected to bat first. As per custom in the majority of Japan Cup games, the usual 40-over batting order was reshuffled to provide batting practice to others, while top-order stalwart Richie Bracefield elected to sit this game out and take up scoring, photography, and doof doof doof DJ-ing duties (“it’s my playlist for chilling, bro!”).
Opening the innings alongside Jamei Payne was James Samarji and his waxed-to-the-max moustache. The two Jimmies set a solid pace early on, with the latter doing most of the scoring. Despite picking up the singles and striking one boundary, Bernie succumbed to a straight one and was dismissed leg before. Luke Eyes joined Samarji in the middle and quickly went about scoring boundaries with intent. Samarji too upped the ante and before long the ‘Bats were going at easily 10+ per over. This writer’s memory is somewhat foggy, but most likely there were a few dropped catches in the mix there too. Lukey’s lusty blows were especially entertaining, hitting the pill to all parts of the ground. Probably the shot of the day was the lofted straight drive for six back over the bowler’s head.
Samarji was bowled by Itoh for a handy 39 runs (including five 4s) and then soon after Eyes saw (see what I did there?) a too-good an opportunity to thwack another maximum, but this time it was hit so sweetly that it sailed over the fences and into the kiddy playground. OK, I lied – that was the best shot of the day, but it resulted in the ginger’s dismissal as per YCAC ground rules. Apoorv fell soon after for only 3 runs owing to a scintillating diving catch by Hamamichi, while Patmore stuck around for a while to accumulate 12. It was now up to Achal “I love punani” Gurnani and Deano to post a 200+ score. And that they did — hitting 10 boundaries (including one 6) between them to close out the 20 overs on 214 for the loss of five wickets.
After the break, the Wombats took the field and welcomed back club veteran Alex Koolhof for a one-off appearance in the baggy yellow. Despite being ridiculed for his now-portly presentation, the Russian was thrown the new ball to open the bowling with AJ. Augustine picked up the first of his two wickets with a thick edge lobbing gently to Deano in the gully. The next over, Koolhof was swatted to the boundary by Mutoh (thanks to JP’s Sydney Harbour in the deep), but soon broke through the batsman’s defences to see the white red king trickle into the stumps. Next over, AJ — known among his friends to be the greatest pick-up artist of all time — beat the bat of Itoh for Lukey to complete the stumping. The wickets continued to tumble with Kooly’s sharply rearing delivery catching the edge of long-time bunny and closet paedo Matsuchika – who received a ceremonial helmet rub to send him off. Nice back-pedalling catch by Deano, by the way.
The greatest impersonator of Peter Garrett of all time, Adam Cronin, came into the attack and soon removed Takahashi. The simplest of looking catches was made to look the hardest by the moustached one at mid-wicket: the hands pointed up, then down, then snapped shut to secure the rock. The sun was in his eyes apparently. Meanwhile, Takita, the opposition captain, was putting up some resistance with a few boundaries and became one of only two Aoyama batsmen to make it into double figures. He too fell victim to the Crow though, cleaned bowled for 17. The students’ second highest score came off the bat of Takase, who was next dismissed and also bowled through the gate by TWCC’s one-and-only T20 specialist E. Hitchman. He also picked up another clean bowled later on to finish with 2 wickets.
Other highlights include Patmore having a trundle and picking up a wicket with a wayward “yucky” delivery that somehow found the edge of the blade and into the gloves of Eyes, who was agile enough to take it, Hitchman dropping one after charging full-tilt for 20 metres, while Achal also shelled a sitter. By the 14th over Aoyama were all out for only 71 in reply, giving the Wombats their first Japan Cup win of 2019.
Lukey received a bottle of George Wyndham wine for his solid knock of 64 as the day’s Wyndham Estate man of the match and the boys quickly moved into highlights mode with a couple of Asahi beer towers. It was then off to the Yokohama Frühlingsfest to drink and be merry. Evan donned his lederhosen and Achal went pestering cute girls with sexy bums. All up, it was a good day out for a couple of debutants and returning veterans.
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Aoyama Gakuin CC|
|Japan Cup 2019 (South Kanto), YCAC, Kanagawa, May 5, 2019|
|Toss||Tokyo Wombats CC|
|Result||TWCC won by 143 runs|
|TWCC MoM||L Eyes|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 214/5 (20.0 overs)|
|J Samarji||b K Itoh||39||34||5||0||114.71|
|J Payne||lbw b T Watanabe||8||10||1||0||80.00|
|L Eyes†||retired out||64||31||12||1||206.45|
|A Jaitly||c Y Hamamichi b K Takita*||3||4||0||0||75.00|
|A Patmore||lbw b T Watanabe||12||9||1||0||133.33|
|A Gurnani||not out||33||18||5||1||183.33|
|D Abbott*||not out||20||12||4||0||166.67|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 0, w 30, nb 4)||35|
|Fall of wickets|
|18-1 J Payne, 130-2 J Samarji, 132-3 L Eyes†, 135-4 A Jaitly, 166-5 A Patmore|
|Aoyama Gakuin CC Innings: 71 (13.2 overs)|
|M Mutoh||b A Koolhof||7||5||1||0||140.00|
|M Ishimori||c D Abbott* b A Jacob||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|K Itoh||st L Eyes† b A Jacob||2||8||0||0||25.00|
|H Matsuchika||c D Abbott* b A Koolhof||6||6||1||0||0.00|
|N Takahashi†||c J Samarji b A Cronin||6||7||1||0||85.71|
|K Takita*||b A Cronin||17||21||3||0||80.95|
|S Takase||b E Hitchman||13||4||3||0||325.00|
|S Nakajima||c L Eyes† b A Patmore||0||7||0||0||0.00|
|Y Hamamichi||b E Hitchman||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|T Watanabe||not out||9||9||1||0||100.00|
|H Takayanagi||st L Eyes† b A Gurnani||2||5||0||0||40.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 0, w 11, nb 2)||13|
|Fall of wickets|
|1-1 M Ishimori, 8-2 M Mutoh, 17-3 K Itoh, 24-4 H Matsuchika, 28-5 N Takahashi†, 53-6 K Takita*, 62-7 S Takase, 62-8 Y Hamamichi, 63-9 S Nakajima, 71-10 H Takayanagi|
- Dean with the AFL-esque catch at slip/gully
- Luke with a sharp catch with the gloves off Patmore’s pie down leg
- Dean ‘Safe as Houses’ Abbott took a straight forward second catch at gully.
- James “fresh back from The Somme” Samarji with a great effort in the deep looking directly into the sun
- Ev’s charging bull attempt from mid-off to mid- on, only to lose it upon impact
- Achal dropping a simple catch at mid-off
- Ev: The Raven! (as Adam ‘The Crow’ Cronin is walking back to his mark, getting ready to bowl his next delivery…)
Patmore: The Three-eyed Raven!
Patmore: Just don’t show us your third eye!
- Achal – “C’mon, just get out!” – to the top order as they were batting well and not looking like getting out, as he was getting itchy for his first bat for the Wombats!
- Ev – “did they call for the extra wide sidescreen?” as larger-than-life Wommies legend Alex Koolhof strolled into view!
- Richie -“This bat has a better pick-up than AJ”
- Koolhof to Achal/Apoorv after a misfield: “Thanks for backing me up Apu”. 12 months in Tazzie and he’s already at Ken level racism!
Great Moments in Sport
- Alex “The Big Show” Koolhof’s return!
- All the bowlers getting wickets.
- Jamei looking positive and scoring a few boundaries.
- Luke the Master Blaster.
- Luke smashing 63 off 31 balls only to ruin it all by smashing a huge 6 into the kids playground and being dismissed for doing so.
- Patmore getting the nod to bowl and coming back with 1/6 runs off 2. Getting a wicket off the most yuck ball of the day.
- Luke’s catch off the most yuck ball of the day
Golden Thong Nominations
- Achal wearing his jock strap over his black trousers whilst practicing
- Apporva making a mess of the beer turning it to all head by pouring it into another jug and spilling some on the table
- James – for not pulling at the Beer Fest with 100’s of drunk Japanese girls dying for a piece of moustache action!
- Luke smashing a limp throwdown high into the YCAC fences “by accident”.
- Opposition batsman facing up with his bat around the wrong way
- Opposition keeper for missing not one, but two, very very easy run-outs