- Match Report
Wombats oust pesky Wyverns
by Jarrad Shearer
The Wombats got the season off to a good start with a hard-fought two wicket win over a pesky Wyverns outfit at Fuji 1.
The day started with rain threatening to call the game off. Luckily for those involved ex-prez 2 overruled local knowledge in ex-prez 1 and the game started on schedule. In what is becoming a Brendan McCullum-esque habit, Skipper Patmore lost the toss and the Wyverns decided to have first use of the wicket. It wasn’t long however until the Wombats had a wicket with Yusry getting the bean boy (Mamenari) to nick-off. In what is becoming a bit of a tradition at Fuji, keeper Patmore knocked the sharp top edge over the bar to the waiting hands of Dino at first slip.
One became two with Hanada being cleaned bowled by that man Yusry again, getting one to dart in and have leg stump flying out of the ground. Nigel then got in on the action getting Matsuchika to get a thick edge that was well-held low to the ground by Luke at second slip. At 3-18, I was dreaming of an early bat, but it wasn’t to be with Bhuddika and Ota steading the ship to take the Wyverns to drinks without further carnage. Not long after drinks, however, Rassi bowled a nude ball and had Bhuddhika trapped in front for a sedate 36 by his standards.
Ogawa came out to join his national teammate Ota to add another 50 to the score with some lusty blows. Once Ota got to 50 however he decided that was enough and cut one to where Shahir was stationed at deep point. Apparently Ota hadn’t been watching Shahir rocket them in from the deep and decided to take on his arm. A bit of game awareness goes a long way and another Shahir missile over the stumps to Patmore had Ota well short and regretting the fact that he hadn’t been paying attention. Uehara then lasted as long as you’d expect getting a thick edge to the keeper off Nigel for said bowler’s second.
Okoshi and Ogawa were both dismissed not long later with only some lusty hitting at the death by Iwasaki getting the Wyverns over 200. Although some poor catching and wayward bowling—42 extras—contributed to the Wyverns getting a few more than they should have.
So it was with 208 to get to win that Skipper Patmore and the injured, crook, and reluctant Dino went out to get the run chase away. The bowling was tight early and less than 40 runs were taken off the first 10 overs. However, the change of bowlers allowed Patmore to play some fine cricket shots, and with the Dinosaur doing little more than holding up an end, the scoring rate increased at a brisk rate to be 0-93 at the start of the last over before drinks. It looked like the ‘Bats would go to drinks at no wicket for a 100-odd and very pleased with their efforts. It was not be unfortunately with the skipper (48) top edging a paddle off ex-fast bowler now slingy spinner/darts player Ogawa directly to the awaiting hands of Ra at short-fine leg. Still, 1-93 at drinks and the Wombats were sitting pretty.
Shahir was in after drinks and he started where the skipper left off with some fine cricket shots. Not long after the 150 came up, Shahir tried to sweep Ra around the corner, but missed the ball, being hit just above the knee. From my vantage point, it may have missed the top of leg stump, it may have even gone down leg side, but unfortunately the umpire disagreed with this assessment and Shahir was walking back to the tent after a well-made 22. At this point, with 8 wickets still in hand, 50 to get, and 14 overs to go, it would be a walk in the park. But that’s not how we like to do things at the Wombats, and the obligatory collapse was not far away.
Nigel came out to pinch hit and did what most pinch hitters do first ball: he blocked it. Although he swung the willow lustily for one boundary before being stumped, surprisingly, by Uehara off Raaaaa. Not long later, Dino was finally out after it looked like he might block his way for no runs through the entire innings. Luckily he edged through to Uehara ending a long and tedious innings, which resulted in few runs. Personally I slept through most of it so I doubt there were any highlights to speak of. Mick came and went after being struck high on the pad quite some ways down the wicket.
Luke and Jamie got us to within 30 before Jamie got run out. Luke also hit a number of attractive boundaries, and looked like he was going to hit an ankle high full toss onto Route 1 but only succeeded in hitting it directly to mid-wicket. Nonetheless Narendar and Rasi got us to the 208 runs needed for victory. Or so we thought. It turns out that neither the opposition captain nor umpires had seen the target score that had been on the scoreboard for the entirety of the Wombats’ innings. Apparently the Wyverns score was 209 and hence score to win 210. Rasi decided he’d settle it once and for all will a glory shot (wouldn’t be the first time) but only succeeded in edging behind. After seemingly winning the game could the Wombats’ actually end up losing by one run??? Luckily, Koolhof did what he does best with the willow and just stood there letting the bowler choke and hand us the game in wides. This time, the Wombats had indeed triumphed by two wickets. A good all-round performance from the team with both bat and ball getting the job done in the end.
Thanks to both the Wyverns for a game played in good spirits and also the umpires who overall had a good day at the office.
- Dino’s one-handed grab in the first over, sparing the blushes of the keeper
- Luke’s dive forward at slip off Nigel
- Jamie making one look easy at point
- Patmore in the first over (see catches section above) and fingertips on one in the penultimate
- Two one-handers put down by Jarrad and and easier one at mid-wicket
- Sitter on the boundary by Naren
Great Moments in Sport
- Shahir’s swoop from deep point and throw arrowed in over the top of the stumps, repeated an over later this time for a run-out!
- Three 12th men!
- Dino’s excellent knock for 67 runs
- First wicket partnership by Shearer/Patmore for just under 100 runs
- Team spirit in the field for 40 overs despite the cold, wind, and dropped catches
- Doing it in wides, again
- Yusry cracking his knee in the first over but manning up enough to continue his spell
- Yusry clean bowling the batsman on a free-hit
- Luke Eyes looking good with the bat during his innings
- “The wind came in my face” – Nigel McKay
- “The wind blew me off” – Nigel McKay
- “Jihadi corner” – says Yusry from the back of the van next to Zeesh and Shahir
Golden Thong Nominations
- The umpires/scorers/captain for not confirming the half time score, thereby allowing the Wombats to win the game by 3 wickets, then going back and winning by 2 wickets!
- Koolhof’s new shoes