- Match Report
WOMBATS GIVE KYTES THE FIST
by Phil Walker
The long drive from Tokyo to Shizuoka induced an early rise out of 10 wobbly Wombats Sunday past. In the aftermath of Chuck’s farewell drinks, it was a motley cete who met in Harajuku with tired eyes and swirling heads, and with a few lads opting for the full Macca’s breaky the day’s timetable was tested early.
Driver “Socrates” Al finally got us underway about 30 minutes late and with “Spitter” Shearer having received an unfortunate knock to the mouth the night before, and hence in a somber mood, the outbound leg of the journey was quiet enough; most catching some zzzs, admiring the view or trying to work out exactly what Jarrad said and did the night before. A stop to lighten the load as well as another to pick up lunch left us even further behind schedule; the result of which was the skipper’s decision to reduce the match to a 30/30 contest.
After the long journey the scene upon arrival was more reminiscent of a weekend camping trip with a fire by the riverside and the mountains in the distance. The Kytes won the toss and elected to bat, and so in perfect conditions the Wombats found themselves out in field ready to rip into the unknown lineup that was Shizuoka. G.T. looked to Nick Goold to lead the charge with the new pill, and was immediately rewarded with Strepps searing through the opener’s defenses with the first legitimate ball of the day. When Phil popped his wicket taking cherry by knocking over the pegs next over, the Kytes were in it early at 2/8 off 2.
Conservative minds would have expected the Kytes to shut up shop and at least see off the new ball, however they had other ideas and attacked with abandon. With the boundaries flowing, so too did the edges, chances, miss-hits and overly ambitious attempts. It was not long until the next breakthrough came when Strepps induced a pull shot that came off a glove down the leg side and was beautifully taken by stand in keeper Beathy (note to the umpire for a sporting decision). Strepps’ spell done and Al bowling a tidy line, Ronny “Trigger” Parvez was introduced from the Paris end a few overs before drinks.
Dropping one short saw a decent six hit, but having lulled a complacent batsmen into a false sense of security, the next slog ended in some shaking hands on the cusp of the hill. Kytes 4/76 at drinks. The resumption was more of the same with Trigger producing the play of the day in his first over back, skidding one through the batsman’s defenses and then replicating it next ball. With a hat-trick on the offering the boys crowded the bat only to see the delivery safely swiped through the field and out of the reach of waiting hands. No harm done though as Trigger took another 2 wickets in as many overs; Al taking a high ball at backward point for the first and then G.T. chasing hard for a catch at deep long on for the second. Kytes 8/99 after 21 and Ronny 5/26 off 6. Shacks chimed in with a wonderful titty catch from his own bowling and when the last man fell in his next over the innings was done and dusted. Shizuoka 123 all out.
Chasing is not always easy, however the Wombats went in for the kill by deciding on the opening pair of Al and Ross. Al declined the opportunity however, and so it was an in touch Rayos who went out to challenge the new ball. Rayos looked in sublime form from the outset and when he unleashed a textbook drive off his 3rd delivery the game looked as good as gone for the Kytes. Unfortunately he missed and another century was nipped in the bud, Luke out bowled for 1.
Nick strode out and proceeded to slam the ball straight, but after being the victim of a wrap on the pads and with umpire Trigger’s life under threat in an extraordinary appeal, Nick was (rightly) on his way back to the fireside. G.T. was next man in and abruptly next man out. Surviving a “close” stumping appeal, GT swatted the next ball to deep backward square, only to find a strangely placed fieldsman (we think he was lost) who managed to take the catch. Three overs in and the Wombats were 3 for not many….
As is often the case for the Wombats, the cream rises to the top. Despite having watched the top order crumble around him and ably supported by Beathy, an unusually clear eyed Rosco proceeded to decimate the bowling. With the two big fellas reluctant to run between wickets, a mix of power strokes through cover, dandy dabs to third man and hoicks over mid wicket saw the Kytes’ 2nd and 3rd string bowlers flayed to all parts and the deficit quickly overtaken. Man of the match Rosco ended on a fine 74* off 60 balls while the more passive Beethy had 24* from 38 and the Wombats were victorious at 3/124 from 18.
3pm and a hit and giggle game rejected by the lads saw us over to the local soba shop for some liquid refreshment and deep fried weeds. Despite their heavy loss a few of the Kytes stalwarts joined us and offered up undoubtedly the best hospitality of any of our rivals. The usual round of highlights saw the beers flow quickly and one-liners freely, and we were able to get off just in time to catch the worst of the traffic for the return leg. A slow trip punctuated with stops was made the easier with jinro and beers, and the antics of a celebrating Rosco keeping us all amused. All said and done, perhaps the most enjoyable days cricket for the year.
“G.T.? What am I?”
Al “Socrates” Koolhof has too much time to think between overs.
“Short cover mate”
G.T.’s philosophy is far simpler, and typically understated.
“Shizuoka has the best seafood in Japan, the largest crabs in the world, the 3rd highest GDP of all Japanese prefectures, produces 80% of wasabi, 46.2% of green tea and ranks highest in catch and consumption of 5 popular species of fish. You’re uneducated Jarrad”
Kytes’ manager Rainbow Robeir has some land to sell, just not to Jarrad. You forgot to mention Japan’s highest mountain mate….
“Whhhirrr, clunk, whhhhhiirrrrr, clunk, brrrrooooooommmmmm”
G.T. finds second to chase down a great catch to give Rony his 5th.
“The Wombats need more gays”
Kytes’ skipper Neil reflects on the Wombat team balance.
“Phil?!.. Where’s Phil?!.. Have you seen Phil?!?.. Phillllllll!!!!!”
Rosco enlists the support of local shoppers in his quest to find his long lost mate and a much needed Taspo.