- Match Report
WOMBATS OPEN DIV I ACCOUNT IN STYLE
by Ian Gason
Tokyo Wombats Division One campaign kicked off at Fuji yesterday with a sound 7 wicket victory over last year’s semi-finalists Indian Engineers. The Wombats routed the Engineers for 106, and knocked the runs off before drinks.
Before the game, 4 players were presented their TWCC/Hardys shirts. They were The Wookie (Rich Coleman), Killer (Mark Kelly), SS Jammer (Jarod Harris), and The Shinjuku Express (Reggie Dawson). Appropriately moved by the honour bestowed upon them, those 4 would go on to make significant and at times match wining contributions to the game.
Chuck Jones continues to compete with Chiang Mai skip Curly for the honour of Worst Tosser, and we were invited to bowl. Wombats wasted no time in making their Div I intentions clear, with 2 wickets falling in SS Jammer’s first over. The first had ‘keeper Shearer back amongst the high-fives with a rearing ball nicking the gloves. The second was the match winning moment, as his Kiwi bro’ from Saitama, Reggie, removed danger man and captain Sririram with a swift pick up and return from the cow corner area. The Jammer gathered cleanly and took off the bails, Engineers 2/8 in the 2nd.
The Indians added 30 before The Jammer jammed again, with a ball keeping low, LBW. No such action at the other end, and I was spelled in favour of The Shinjuku Express. That brought about the middle order collapse as 5 wickets fell for 20 runs. Reggie’s first probed the corridor of uncertainty, got wood, and Shearer snared a lovely low diving catch. Reggie’s first 3 overs all produced wickets, and he finished with 3/21 off 5.
Courtney Jones briefly lost his equipoise, after his shy at the stumps evaded the ‘keeper and the sweeper, gifting the Engineers 4 overthrows. It turned out the spitting of dummy from the usually cool cap’ was just part of an elaborate plan. Two balls later, the same batsman played the same glance to the same Wombat. But this time the throw was on target and from side on Jones hit, batsman run out by a metre or more.
At drinks, there was no doubt who was in charge of proceedings, although it should be pointed out that there was room for improvement. Oh, hang on. It WAS pointed out! (Former Captain) Grumpy let it be known that despite having our friends by the short and curlies, that mistakes had been made, and we were yet to bury them. And how he fired us up!
From 7/106, 11 balls later, all out 106. First ball after drinks, Killer Kelly got his first Wombat wicket, as the batsman fell shoe before wicket attempting to sweep a yorker. Biju Paul was next to go, same over, when he fended at a short ball, giving Jarrad Shearer his 4th (or 5th?) catch of the day. Spacey, who had struggled his way through an 11 ball ordeal of an over, was removed, and Cap’n Chuck gave me the ball, and I duly removed the last man, with the help of Zulu who took a well-judged running catch behind gully, to make up for the tough one he’d dropped off Reggie.
As the Wombats headed off, heads held high, what followed had to be seen to be believed. An apology from The Dinosaur!! I guess 3 wickets for none was just what the Grump ordered!
An excellent start to the season, with great contribution from the boys from Saitama. Mark Kelly’s patrolling of the boundary was first class, with one one-handed grab on the line in particular saving me some blushes. The Wookie at mid-off gave no quarter all day, and kept the voice up throughout. SS Jammer bowled unchanged, though he’d probably prefer we’d spelled him after 6 (2/26 became 2/46 after 8!). Mark Kelly’s 2 overs included a double-wicket maiden.
On the adjacent field, Ichihara were still making merry with the bat when Burkey and The Dinosaur set off in pursuit of 107 for the points. Things did not begin according to script, when The Dinosaur fell for 5, caught from the bowling of Sanjeep. Joy for The Engineers was short-lived, and by the time it next came, Ichihara were finally tucking into their lunches, and Wombats were just 5 runs from victory. Bowlers were changed frequently but without success as The Indians could find no way through our bats.
Burkey innings of 43* included one towering straight six, and many crisp late cuts to the fence. The skip began his season well too, with a selection of pulls, drives, and the odd French cut. He was lucky to survive what was probably a momentary lapse of concentration, when he cut in the air to point. Inexplicably, the fieldsman didn’t react til the ball had sailed past his shoulder at a very catchable height. A classic slog-sweep for 6 followed for good measure.
Opening bowler Sanjeep was re-introduced and Chuck (44) deprived himself of a half-century when he holed out to the deep cover region. Peculiarly, SS Jammer played a Dr Dave style cut off middle stump, for the inevitable result: bowled, 0. With just 5 runs needed, suddenly there was a scramble to get the pads on, but it was a mere flutter, as Zulu drove through mid-off for 4 to close proceedings in the 18th.
With thanks to Hardys, we then had a small presentation with The Indians. Reggie was awarded Play Of The Day for his luverly run out of Indian big-gun Sririram. A bottle of Hardys also went to Indians’ Best On Ground, Sanjeep, for 34 frustrating runs and all 3 wickets. Hardys Man Of The Match? Well, you can see his mug there on the front page.
Despite the absence of designated hentai, NIKKA, the van rides maintain their usual ambience. Not following Zac ATM’s directions helped keep things under control, but we still managed to sink rapidly into the gutter, do a couple of renditions of the Club song, and some recruiting for TWCC’s Chiang Mai 2006 campaign. The Wombats Ten Commandments were etched in foggy memories and will give us something to debate on future trips.
i) Thou Shall Not Squat
x) Thou Shall Not Play Soccer
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