- Match Report
Wombats Revisit Fuji 2, Repel Shark Attack
by Luke Eyes
The Situation: Six balls left, two runs needed, and only one wicket remaining. How did we get ourselves in this situation again? Only 20 minutes prior we were cruising to another win against the arch enemy, the “tadpoles” aka “Chiba Sharks”, needing only 20 runs off 5 overs with 4 wickets in hand, but somehow find ourselves in a pickle again.
The game on Fuji 1 had finished and all players were watching on as the tense final over commenced. From the boundary one got the feeling that all 30 of them were cheering for the two Wombats batsmen out in the middle. And the chant went up: VIK… VIK… VIK…
AJ and Vik, the last two standing at the crease, had been slowly withering down the equation. Where was Jamie Payne – the last person to win a game for the Wombats scoring 0 runs from 50 odd balls – when you needed him?
Alex “still thinking about playing the perfect cover drive surrounded by mirrors” Patmore, paced up and down the boundary rope, getting wetter and wetter as the rain continued to spit.
The rest of the team watched intently with their own nervous ticks, interspersed with the occasional laughter or cursed remarks.
Ball 1: Wide (scores are tied).
A huge cheer goes up!
Ball 2: Dot.
Ball 3: Dot .
This author started to think that AJ (as cool as a cucumber) was planning to bring to life every player’s fantasy and win the game from the final ball!
Ball 4: AJ plays through the covers for 1 run
WOMBATS WIN!!! What a bloody relief!
Another Saturday and another early morning trip to the home of cricket in Japan (for the Wombats anyway) – Fuji. All the boys made it to the pick-up point at Shibuya on time and surprisingly, not hung-over, rather a small miracle.
After some light-hearted banter in the van we made it to the Fuji 2 ground – words to the JCA might be in order after getting relegated from the plush turf of Fuji 1 for this game! That said, it was the club’s first game here after a 6-year absence – and nothing would be sweeter than a victory over Chiba to evoke the memories of the Wombats’ biggest winning margin (270 runs, vs. Chiba of course!) on this very ground. Patmore now on a roll with the toss (calling correctly for the 4th time in a row) decided to have a bowl – rain was forecast and the Duckworth system might come in to play.
Nige and AJ opened up and after a wayward first over from the former, both got into a groove (especially AJ) to bowl a great opening spell sans the luck. That said, there were a couple of dropped chances, including a very difficult one for Dean A that went miles in the air.
After some words in the skip’s ear from Dino to bring Luke on first change, we got our first break through with Dhugal falling to an LBW decision. Three balls later Jinesena nicked one to Dino, who took a great catch at first slip.
We continued bowling well for the next few overs minus the luck until Luke picked up his 3rd – nabbing the set batter Sanjay, trapped in front with another late in-swinger.
AJ continued to bowl an excellent opening spell without luck and finished on none for 24 after his 8 overs, but was really the pick of the bowlers. Nige finally got a wicket thanks to a nice catch by Richie.
With the spinners (including Vik) now coming on, the Wombats started to get on top with some tight bowling from Naren (including a quick stumping from Patmore), and Vik, who did another great job keeping one end nice and tight and picking up 2 wickets thanks to excellent outfield catching by Naren. Himan finished the innings off with the last couple of wickets.
Overall a good effort to restrict the Sharks to 169 runs on the small ground of Fuji 2.
After a quick lunch break our innings got underway. As is always the case, Patmore took strike to the first ball and we started off pretty smoothly with Richie and Patmore getting through the initial few overs. However, all too quickly Richie received a cracking out swinger that found the edge of his bat and the keeper’s gloves.
That brought in the old hand in Dino and together with Patmore they slowly continued to move the score along on the back of some nice shots all around the ground. But their momentum was halted with Dino being given out LBW with the score on 77. That’s when the skies opened up – it was threatening all day – and everyone took shelter off the field. At this stage it looked like the game might be over, but after some quick checking of the Duckworth Lewis method, all the Wombats breathed a sigh of relief given that we were well in front at that point in time.
The rain stopped and we returned to the field with only 20 minutes of play lost (even though it kept raining on and off for the rest of the day). Patmore was looking good, but flicked one off his hips and found the fielder at square leg and then Luke got out missing a full-ish one. Naren looked solid again and batted strongly for a well-made 23 before before being given out LBW. Two more LBWs followed – Dean A came back swearing he hit the cover off it (welcome to the JCL umpires Dean, we have all been there) and Mike, who interestingly thought it might have been out. Richie, however wasn’t too sure – he did have a good view of it from scoring square on!
At this stage we were still looking good with the score on 154… so only 16 more runs needed with 3 wickets in hand and 8 overs in which to do so. How wrong we were. Himan came and went quickly and Nige even quicker, which meant when Vik walked to the crease we still needed 10 runs off 5 overs and only 1 wicket in hand.
But cometh the moment, cometh the man: match-winner AJ dominated the strike until he felt fit to take a run (even when it nearly came at the cost of a run-out). Over the next 4 overs both Vik and AJ batted sensibly, attempting nothing foolish, and compiled the 1-2 runs an over required to win – the odd wide here and there helped too!
In the penultimate over we still needed a few runs to win, so Vik thought it might be a good idea to just end it right there and then with an almighty wild swing! Thankfully the ball just missed his off stump and went through to the keeper. The entire team thought to offer Vik some advice at this stage and he managed to see off the last ball in that over.
And the rest, dear readers, is history…
|Tokyo Wombats CC vs Chiba Sharks CC|
|Japan Cricket League 2018 (Div. 1), Fuji 2, Shizuoka, April 14, 2018|
|Toss||Tokyo Wombats CC|
|Umpires||Alpha Quashers-Yokohama CC|
|Result||TWCC won by 1 wicket|
|TWCC MoM||A Jacob|
|Chiba Sharks CC Innings: 169 (35.5 overs)|
|D Bedingfield*||lbw b L Eyes||10||20||1||0||50.00|
|S Anugula||lbw b L Eyes||48||48||7||1||100.00|
|K Jinesena||c J Shearer b L Eyes||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|P Velusamy||c R Bracefield b N McKay||40||49||7||0||81.63|
|A Ueda||st A Patmore*† b N Madhavan||20||27||2||0||74.07|
|A Arachchige||c N Madhavan b V Ragunathan||6||18||0||0||33.33|
|M Thurgate†||c N Madhavan b V Ragunathan||13||37||0||0||35.14|
|N Tomizawa||run out (J Shearer / A Patmore*†)||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|K Wakita||c N McKay b H Bugalia||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|R Matsumura||not out||4||3||0||0||133.33|
|M Kumar||st A Patmore*† B H Bugalia||0||5||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||(b 0, lb 0, w 25, nb 2)||27|
|Fall of wickets|
|55-1 D Bedingfield*, 56-2 K Jinesena, 82-3 S Anugula, 140-4 P Velusamy, 141-5 A Ueda, 155-6 A Arachchige, 161-7 N Tomizawa, 162-8 K Wakita, 169-9 M Thurgate†, 169-10 M Kumar|
|Tokyo Wombats CC Innings: 170/9 (39.4 overs)|
|A Patmore*†||c P Velusamy b R Matsumura||29||50||2||0||58.00|
|R Bracefield||c M Thurgate† b R Matsumura||6||10||1||0||60.00|
|J Shearer||lbw b K Wakita||19||35||2||0||54.29|
|L Eyes||b D Bedingfield*||7||8||1||0||87.50|
|N Madhavan||lbw b Bedingfield*||23||38||2||0||60.53|
|D Abbott||lbw b P Velusamy||4||15||0||0||26.67|
|M Farrell||lbw b K Jinesena||3||18||0||0||16.67|
|A Jacob||not out||16||30||1||0||53.33|
|H Bugalia||c M Thurgate† b M Kumar||2||7||0||0||28.57|
|N McKay||b M Kumar||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|V Ragunathan||not out||1||16||0||0||6.25|
|Extras||(b 2, lb 2, w 54, nb 2)||60|
|Fall of wickets|
|13-1 R Bracefield, 77-2 J Shearer, 89-3 A Patmore*†, 97-4 L Eyes, 113-5 D Abbott, 139-6 M Farrell, 154-7 N Madhavan, 160-8 H Bugalia, 160-9 N McKay|
- Dino with a tidy take at 1st slip off Luke “Masterclass” Eyes going across the chubby lefty batsman. One of those catches that “all went according to plan”, with Masterclassangling the ball across to a stacked cordon.
- Richie – took a low catch straight to him at cover from a misjudged cover drive by Pavethy, dismissing him just short of 50 off Nigels’ bowling and exposing the Shark’s tail.
- Naren with two excellent pressure catches in the deep at Cow, the second especially forcing him to take one well to his right. Key moments in the match.
- Nigel taking a decent catch running and taking it to his left at mid-off.
- Dino with a tough chance at Gully. We were still pretty impressed he could still move like that…
- Luke back-peddling and jumping to take one cleanly (it seemed) high to his left at mid-on before hitting the deck and losing the ball. A valiant attempt.
- AJ dropping a catch at mid-off off Vikram, after announcing that he takes them when they count…
- An early sky ball to Deano at mid-on off AJ which could have dismissed their eventual top-scorer Sanjay (47). A meaty clap of the hands but the ball was not to stick. A bitterly disappointed Deano who you’d normally back to take those.
- Richie to AJ – “the Wombats gave you blue balls”
- Patmore about Mike – “he’s like Dino and Gav’s loves child”. Hard to ignore the resemblance, he’s got Beathy’s eyes, and Dino’s personality.
- Mike to Richie… “how do you spell sledger…. don’t think Richie would know”
- Patmore about AJ – “I’ll be smashing one through the covers thinking about AJ tonight”
- Mike on shitter before the game – “ I thought I had 10 minutes and was going to rub one out before the game”
- AJ on not drinking beer tonight – “it takes to long to come if I drink beer”
- Richie – Naren, why don’t you hug? Did alpha hug you? Is that why you left them?…Leaving Naren wondering why he is suggesting he wants a hug?
- Mike – mate, what’s chat and banter? Patmore – it is chanter, mate (or something of that sort)
- “He reads leg-spin as well as I read kanji!” says Richie “Gary” Bracefield to Thurgate’s 18-year-old son!
- Patmore to Deano around the 10th over “keep warm mate, we might bring you on soon”. At the 20th (odd) over “stay warm mate, we might need you soon. Deano having kept warm for 30 odd overs at this point, “Ah, so we probably won’t need you to bowl today mate…”. What a tease.
- Patmore, talking about AJ during the end of match presentations: “He’s almost like the new Koolhof, except he’s four years older…”
- Naren, too many cooks spoil the broth. Himan, too many cocks spoil the pussy. AJ, smiling knowingly, yep.
Great Moments in Sport
- AJ’s opening spell
- The final over thriller with the Wombats in a close win at home against the Sharks in very tough conditions. The field was raided by ecstatic Wombats as AJ coolly cut the winning run to win the match. The song was sung there and then. Gold.
- The Wombats tearing through the Sharks tail with two stumpings by Patmore, some top class bowling by Himanshu, and some great takes on the fence by Naren.
- The tenseness of the entire Wombats innings, with the weather keeping the Wommies checking the DL calculations, the trigger-fingered umpires dismissing any chance of a solid middle order partnership between the Wombats (they fired Dino, Deano, Mike and Naren).
- Luke “Masterclass” Eyes having the insight to throw down a full banger at Dhugal to dismiss him cheaply for 10, LBW. Huge moment in the match. Of course it wasn’t swinging down leg!
- Pavethy bowling 29 wides in his 8 overs (of 52 extras bowled by the Sharks). He matched the top scorer (Patmore) who scored 29 off the bat.
- Vik, holding out to support AJ and lead the Wombats to victory (he let the tiger out of the cage with one big swing – many a Wombat lost his s**t on the sidelines).
- AJ, cool as a cucumber – plays a patient innings and avoids high risk shots to get the Wombats home with a confident cut shot to score the winning run with two balls spare. Man of the Match winning performance.
- The Wombats bowlers restricting their extras to less than 30 (as opposed to 52 by the Sharks). That has to be some sort of record low for the Wommies…
- Vik and Dino having a foot race chasing a ball played down fine. Vik wins!
- Richie almost “hugging” Luke in the field.
- Sharks being 140/3 in their innings, Wombats being 113/5 in ours. Shows the value of fighting right the way down – every run scored, every run saved, counts!
- Dhugal from the Sharks having a go at Patmore for coming out with some water and instructions to the last two Wombats to bat, AJ and Vik, ahead of the final over (2 to win). Dhugal: “thanks Waterboy!”. Dickhead.
- All the Wombats losing it when Mike was given LBW (the finger going up, it seemed, before the appeal had even started). Ironically, Mike didn’t seem all that phased as he walked off.
- Richie getting a tad defensive when having his chat called into question.
- Naren to the Instagram guy when he walked off cos of rain: Instagram guy – “oh some one is just chickening out,” Naren: mate I just hit your bowler (Dhugal) for 4. So shut the fuck up.
Golden Thong Nominations