TWCC 118 - 119/9 Alpha Quashers Yokohama

April 6, 2024 - 11:00 am at Fuji 2
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Wombats Fall in Love, but Agonisingly Short of Victory

by Joe Lewis

The first match of the season lucked out on the weather, despite rain on either side of the week it held off for Saturday. Evidently the JCA’s delayed schedule release even offset the weather as it is normally so on point selecting cricket weekends to unload its grief. Unfortunately, the Wombats started with some ill luck when from 12 they went to 10 players as the 12th man opted out and another player called in with a fever at 6am. A scramble to find an additional player seemed futile as any sane wombat not playing and who had an empty Saturday would not likely arise from their burrow until noon. Fortunately, Sanira was in the later stages of his night shift and cheerfully said he would travel to Fuji after his shift finished at 9:30am but on the single condition that any drops would be forgiven on the account of sleepwalking. No worries, mate! We’ll cover your match fee, see you there!

At the ground Ali won the toss and had a decision, bat first on a slow deck or field with 10 men. He opted for the former. Alex and new debutant Robbie McKenna (Not to be confused by any wommie senior with a Robbie Mckenna from years past, this young Robbie is 22. Inquiries about bloodline can be made to Alex.) strode to the crease and started with some positive singles with good stroke play. Robbie almost edged his first ball to slip but showed some tidy promising shots before getting his stumps splattered while trying to play across the line for 6. Like any humble 22-year-old on a Saturday he walked gracefully back to the team dugout (Fuji lacks a dugout and I’m not calling it a bag dump.) proceeding to nap through the rest of Patmore’s innings.

In fairness to Robbie, Ali and Alex were both in their “having a look” faze where one single was scored in nearly five overs. Ali was finally starting to look settled and hit his first boundary but was caught at slip soon after. In the final ball before the break Alex was hit on the pad and after a long appeal followed by an extended silence the dreaded finger went up. Alex sagged on his bat in disbelief and didn’t start  walking for ages.

Wombat hopes resting on the last two specialist bats Masaki and Rex, who both enjoyed fifties against this team only two weeks previously. Unfortunately, that gave AQCC plenty of time to watch their strengths and they set fields to nullify their attributes, both were soon out caught playing their favorite shots, Masaki to extra cover for 5 and Rex afterwards to deep extra cover for 3 (get some new shots lads!). This left the Wombats teetering on 71-5, the only silver lining was that Spider won a bet with Ali who said that Rex would hit a 50, whereas Spider said he would soon hole out to deep extra cover cue the almost immediate- WHACK! CATCH ‘IM…. YESSSSSSSS!’. Ali was required to pay Sanira’s match fee.

Aidan swiftly followed edging behind and with the Wombats 72-6 it was not getting any better, in fact it continued to get worse. Louis was looking promising but in a mix-up with Kavin got himself run out, Kavin then nobly walked after being caught behind, Spider fell the same way. This left Wombats 89-9 and both teams perhaps mulling what they will do for a sizable chunk of their afternoon. Enter the man who never was supposed to be there Sanira, provided support to Satyam, who with his girlfriend Nao watching put in his best performance with the wombats. Alternating the strike, hitting a six and a couple of fours in a defiant 23 that dragged the sorry wommies to 118. Their 29-run stand the second biggest in the innings. Fun additional numbers for our readers (and a slight dig at others), Satyam’s 23 was the same  amount that numbers 2,3,4,5 managed combined and at more than twice the strike rate. Get that lad up the order! (*On the condition of Nao being there.)

The demoralized wombats tried to take some inspiration from the famous win against the now defunct Paddy Folies last season where they successfully defended 120. They also had a secret weapon, as well as Satyam, Kavin too had brought his girlfriend to the game and she would have a big effect on the next innings. In the second innings it was evident AQCC had places to be as they set about aggressively, scoring 14 off Spider’s first over including a six that led to many wombats spending the first 5 minutes of the match looking through the neighboring baseball dugout (Dear JCA, why don’t we have one? Love, The Wommies). However, Spider bit back taking two and Kavin got another and by the break AQCC were 60-3, nearly exactly where the wommies were minus a Spatmore incident.

In the second session Kavin, mindful of his Ukrainian girlfriend on boundary cheerleading (“KAVEEEEEN! I LOVE YOUUUUU!!!!!!!  impressively keeping it up for 30 overs) he proceeded to bowl his best spell for the Wombats, bowling the dangerous Vellingiri, Ali joined in with Masaki taking a worldie against a hook shot at silly short leg to remove Tomo “Judas” Rear, the 15 year old who played for wommies against AQCC but was apparently unavailable to play on Saturdays only to rock up with AQCC. Kavin kept tweaking a masterclass, the scoring stagnated, Subramani fell to him LBW, Prasad caught sharply by Kav off his own bowling. His girlfriend going mental and kissing and hugging him on the boundary rope between overs to further unsettle the batsmen and certain boomer Wombats.

The Wombats heroically threw themselves at everything in the field, every single run precious, encouraging each other between every delivery. Spider took a ball directly into the kneecaps needing to adopt a teary-eyed fetal as a recovery position (‘Ah, so that’s why they call this place Shin-Fuji.’- Patmore). When Khan edged behind off McKenna AQCC had gone from supremely confident 21-0 to 88-8, still 31 adrift.

However, where the wombats had Satyam at No.9, the AQCC had their own hero at that position. Veeraraghan was a big fella wearing battered white pads and the demeanor of a grumpy shepherd who wasn’t going to die wondering and attempting to loft the AQCC to the win. He was the only batsmen left with a scoring shot and the remaining tail were there just to survive. For every boundary he hit he would give the wommies 2 chances and unfortunately the wommies just couldn’t take them. Louis dropped 2 in the deep in 2 overs costing Kav his five-for and justification for me to type kaVin would’ve been nice but not to be and KAVEEN is the closest we got.

In another instance both batsmen were stranded in the middle Masaki threw the ball to Patmore, normally a scenario with this pair in the field you would bet your house on a run out. Unfortunately, the throw was wayward, and Patmore couldn’t quite get it. With only 5 to win the AQCC were getting loud telling their man to finish it but were silenced by the sudden twist of Veeraraghan playing onto his stumps off Robbie McKenna, AQCC were 114-9!

The last pair strategy was clear, survive until the wombats made an error and extras prevailed. Overs came and went, back-to-back maidens off Kav and Ali with the wombats completely focused on every ball with the last pair scrambling sketchy singles when they could. Not sure what it was like in the AQCC camp, but this passage of play must’ve been agonizing for their skipper who was probably having serious regrets giving the entire team a chance to bowl when wombats were 80-8.

As the overs ticked by the wombats were running out of bowling options. The Wombats suffering the consequences of a weakened attack from that fever at the start of the morning. Kavin, Ali, Mckenna were all bowled out with just Spider and Satyam left. Spider bowled a maiden but 2 extras in Satyam’s secured the tie, and the final ball of the game was shot through skipper Ali’s hands and past Louis’s dive giving the AQCC the win by….forgive me…the narrowest of margins.

What a game and what a start to the season! Let’s address the fact that AQCC is a team the Wombats usually beat and we will need to really up our game against other stronger sides this season. However, let’s keep our heads high as it was a great learning opportunity. As a team the Wombats showed tremendous spirit and fightback. We learned that if our batting fails we can bounce back, we learned that batting out 40 overs is important and most importantly of all, we learned that young love is one helluva PED. Whatever may, this match was a lot of fun and we are a much better side from the experience gained at this game. Roll on to round 2 which will be on May 18th! Rising Stars a whole 6 weeks away, plenty of time to convince your lady friends to come! Big up The Wombats!

Tokyo Wombats Cricket Club -- Match Scorecard

Tokyo Wombats CC vs Alpha Quashers Yokohama CC
Japan Cricket League 2024 (Div. 1), Fuji 2, Shizuoka, April 6, 2024

Tokyo Wombats CC
ResultAQCC won by 1 wicket
TWCC MoMK Jinasena

Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 118 (33.3 overs)

R B 4s 6sSR
A Patmorelbw b M Subramani33416080.49
R McKennab J Veeraraghavan6110054.55
M Ali*c V Perumalsamy b K Vellingiri10301033.33
M Kawashimac Y Wagh b M Subramani5230021.74
R Kobayashic Y Wagh b M Subramani3100030.00
L Chanrun out (M Dongre / J Veeraraghavan)8151053.33
A Sarawanc M Dongre† b M Subramani02000.00
K Jinasenac M Dongre† b V Prasad2120016.67
S Singhc R Keshri b M Subramani23292179.31
J Lewisc M Dongre† b W Khan014000.00
S Shimizunot out6151040.00
Extras(b 2, lb 3, w 16, nb 1)22

TOTAL(10 wickets)118

Fall of wickets

O M R W wd nb Econ
M Joseph4.01200005.00
J Veeraraghavan3.0081302.67
K Vellingiri5.02191003.80
Y Wagh4.01110002.75
M Subramani6.30205703.08
V Perumalsamy4.01100102.50
V Prasad
W Khan
R Keshri
T Rear

Alpha Quashers Yokohama CC Innings: 119/9 (31.5 overs)

R B 4s 6sSR
R Keshric K Jinasena b J Lewis251222208.33
M Dongre*c M Kawashima b J Lewis2120016.67
V Perumalsamyc A Patmore† b K Jinasena240050.00
T Rearc M Kawashima b M Ali7431016.28
K Vellingirib K Jinasena21300270.00
M Subramanilbw b K Jinasena390033.33
V Prasadc & b K Jinasena2110018.18
W Khanc A Patmore† b R McKenna6130046.15
J Veeraraghavanb R McKenna252212113.64
Y Waghnot out7260026.92
M Josephnot out2110018.18
Extras(b 0, lb 2, w 13, nb 2)17

TOTAL(9 wickets)119

Fall of wickets

O M R W wd nbEcon
J Lewis6.01312415.17
K Jinasena8.02234302.88
R McKenna8.00222312.75
M Ali8.02291203.62
S Singh1.50120106.55


Dropped Catches


Great Moments in Sport

Dummy Spits

Golden Thong Nominations

Kavin Jinasena
vs Alpha Quashers Yokohama (April 6, 2024)
Spurred on by some romantic sideline encouragement, Kavin produced a fantastic spell of bowling that nearly got the Wombats home in nail-biter at Fuji. Respectable bowling figures of 4/23 was certainly worthy of this week's Jacob's Creek Man of the Match award.