- Match Report
WOMBATS GO 3 FROM 3
by Ian Gason
A petulant kindergarten-esque display of childishness from Japan’s softball community was the first of many obstacles the Tokyo Wombats had to overcome before thumping the Tokyo Predators in a satisfying but nonetheless un-enjoyable 8 wicket win Sunday.
Rudeness, aggression and arrogance greeted the lads at Fuji as the softball knob-jockeys parked the benches on the Fuji Cricket Ground #2 and played stupid catch ball warm-ups where we unreasonable foreign barbarians had entertained dillusions of having a game of cricket. Never mind they could have sat somewhere else and played catchie on the other half of the ground they were using, nope, they excercised their perogative to jerk us around til 1 o’clock. And abused us for good measure. Where was Bish when you need him?
If dealing with those f****its wasn’t enough, Predators threatened to take their bats and balls and go home – literally. While the logic of “let’s just see” did prevail, their brains trust was reluctant to accept the adjusted game conditions, even before they had been decided. The argument that “we don’t want to play a 20 over match” got ’em nowhere with two of Japan’s coolest umpiring heads, Thurgate and Lollback. To suggest that we instead play a meaningless hit and giggle practise match instead of playing for points probably didn’t help their cause.
Meanwhile the JCA sat on their hands and took the bold approach of asking us not to upset the softball tossers.
Sometime around 1, satisfied that they had not only been a complete bunch of pricks but that had also proved that their Dads are in fact bigger than our Dads, satisfied that what damage to our day that they could not do would be done by the rain, the Kings of The Sandpit Softball Tournament wrapped up and f***ed off. And gracefully allowed us to humbly use our cricket ground for which we must be eternally grateful, amen.
GT sent Predators in to bat in a game reduced to 35 overs. The first few overs were unremarkable before two soft wickets fell. Then came a collision between bowler and runner which may not have been intended but still showed a pretty thorough failure to understand the game. For a fieldsman to get knocked over standing over the stumps awaiting a return requires the runner to be running in the wrong place for a start……
Somehow the other batsman, Kiran, managed to portray himself as the victim of this, having a sook to the umps about something. The bloke was lucky to still be there at all, after being given the benefit of the doubt on a LB call on zero. Unluckily for us, 100 runs later he was still lucky to be there, courtesy of a brace of cross bat slogs and a dozen top edges. Lucky to be dropped 5 times (me twice, sorry Shax!) and lucky he doesnt walk when he edges to the keeper. Still, it’s in the book as a ton.
Sometime after Kyal Hill had bowled their best bat and sometime during all that edging and cross-batting, rain sent the players off the field. Whilst we didn’t lose any overs, the rain didn’t really stop and the ball was rooted. Spinners struggled for control. Koolhof’s shwing was abshent. Fieldsmen made meal of catches. Kiran changed his bat three times in three balls and kept getting away with jammy edges.
GT sent down a cricketing lesson to his opposing captain, with a spell so bamboozling that Jarrad would have been forgiven for bring out that lame-arse “Clue Shop” sledge. Chuckie picked up an LB. Shax grabbed a 3fa, despite my woeful display in cow corner. Koolhof bowled one 20 metres straight up into the air, and later picked up a run out, as the two noisiest batsmen this side of Gunma committed ritual suicide in the dying stages.
189 to get. 35 overs. Wet outfield. Long grass. Dark. And none of us had earplugs.
Predators first few overs kept us down to 4 an over, and Adam fell cheap to a slow full toss of all things. Predators appealling was as ludicrous as ever. Triple barrelled HOW IS THAT HOW IS THAT HOW ISSS THAAAAAT cries of the banxshies rung out every few balls. At least in this wet and shitty day the Wombats had something to laugh about. The umpires fortunately weren’t amused, or phased.
Ross started off with a huge six over backward square, and carved the bowlers up for a while. He fell slicing one out to the deep, but the bowler Younis let himself down, running up to the batsman, jumping up and down screaming YES YES YES in his face. Congratulations to Ross for not punching his lights out. Predators have some behavoural issues to address.
Well, that was pretty much the last joy for the opposition. Chuck started off with a huge six over square, summing up not only the state of play but his intentions. From that moment the run rate climbed up where we needed it, and not even the most enthusiastic and ambitious appealling could stop it. Steven Burke stood tall, and played second fiddle as C Jones set the tone. His sixes were as huge as they come, and I’d reckon he hit 7 or 8 of ’em. The experienced pair pushed the first runs hard and turned many a single into twos.
It was a lesson. Text book cricket shots. Straight bats, down the ground. Leg side half trackers sent into another postcode. And let’s not forget Steven Burke’s imperious crunching cut shots. Predos had no answers. The first 100 took about 20 overs, but the remaining 89 runs came in the next 10. Jones (78) and Burke (54) added an unbeaten 143 for a solid 8 wicket win.
Congratulations and thanks to the two blokes who really were deserving of Hardys Man Of The Match awards, Chris Thurgate and David Lollback. Without you two there, who knows what may have happened.