- Match Report
WOMBATS WILT TO WYVERNS IN HEATWAVE
by Luke Ray
The day started well enough, no serious MIA’s at time of departure, perhaps due to the skyrocketing number of family-minded/contraceptively-challenged Wombats with offspring, and therefore, (gulp!) responsibility:
“An inverse correlation is found to exist between the number of offspring and the ability/willingness/motivation/energy on the part of the parent to indulge in previously normal behavioral patterns, generally involving the consumption of inordinate amounts of alcohol and partaking in the shenanigans that invariably ensue.” (C. Jones, S. Burke, R. France, M. Kelly et. al. 2010)
Though even prompt arrival at the meeting point, combined with the flourishing display of birdlife around Gakushuin University for Nubile Young Ladies of Superior Birth, was not enough to calm Captain Grumpy, who declared that anyone who has had children has in fact “died”, thereby posing some interesting dilemmas for the continuation of the human race. A blunt yet poignant observation, one of many that have come from the big man, that highlights his obvious loneliness in the absence of many of his paternally-inclined teammates and verbal (and sometimes otherwise) sparring partners.
A solid driving effort by The Big Gay Russian Arm-Body (can I propose a motion that Al be given no more nicknames, at least for the rest of the season?), with a brief Conbini stop for Garigari Kuns, the best icy-pole in Asia, meant a relatively swift arrival at the ground, despite Dino’s dogged insistence on sabotaging Al’s efforts with repeated and gratuitous back-seat driving of a scale and intensity not seen since, well, the last time Dino was in the back seat.
And Jes*s F**k**g Chr*st Al**ghty, was it HOT! For the record, I didn’t drop that Garigari Kun, it melted before I could get it from the packet to anywhere near my face’
(*At this point, dear reader, you may be growing slightly suspicious at the tendency of this report to dwell on subjects wholly unrelated to the game of cricket itself – a well-founded suspicion, and one that will inevitably lead to the more-or-less correct conclusion that there was little cricket played by the Wombats on the day that warrants written assignment to the annals of history, but I get ahead of myself, more of that later)
The ground was still being mowed when we arrived, which was, in my mind, definitely an argument for batting first (the outward concentric circles used by mower dude surely resulting in considerably longer boundaries in the second innings, no?) May I just say at this point, it was wonderful to see captain Beath adopting the coin-tossing traditions established by a certain previous captain (we lost the toss). In hindsight, it may have even been a type of homage by Beath to the late Captain Chucky (RIP). GT, our regular captain was getting married in Australia at the time the match was played. What does marriage equal Dino? An extended coma perhaps?
And now at last, on to the match:
The Wommies bowled well. The dangerous opener Chino was bowled for a 2nd ball quacker by Nick ‘Russian chicks are scary’ Goold. A. Koolhof, 2 for 15 off 6 overs, recovered well from Shearer’s barrage of “Which part of turn right don”t you f***in” understand Koolhof!?” L. Ray, 2 for 19 off half as many overs. Tim “Chairman of the Board” May once again probably too good to get as many as he deserved, 1 for 14 off 6. Young Hajime chipped in and got his debut wicket in his debut match for the Wombats, finishing with 1/18. Shearer took 4 catches, including one laser beam that would’ve surely put and end to his back seat antics. It should’ve been five catches though. (Mate, if the batsman hits the ball and the ball hits you, it’s a dropped chance, simple as that. The fact that you were about a metre from the batsman when he tried to hit the skin off it is neither here nor there in my opinion.) A good run out by R. France and J. Shearer gave a smidgen of respectability to a very average display in the field, with more balls hitting the grass than (insert smutty Chiang Mai sixes analogy here). Despite the holey fielding display, for the Wyverns only Junmei Hanada stood up to the Wombats attack with a smoothly constructed 28.
Wyverns: 160 all out in the 32nd over.
A “hord torsk” (Tony Grieg impressions, anyone?) under the blistering conditions was made to look easy by the openers, setting a base for the chase well, in the face of heat like mace that would melt the heatproof case off a space shuttle. The underspoken Beath and the overspoken Shearer compiling 70 for the first wicket, running a fair percentage of them, thanks to mower man forgetting to rake up the bloody grass cuttings. G. Beath a sweaty, ballsy (sweaty ballsy?) 48. J. Shearer 20 odd. Heat exhaustion all round.
1. The act of falling down or inward, as from loss of supports.
2. An abrupt failure of function, strength, or health; a breakdown.
3. An abrupt loss of perceived value or of effect.
Allow me to add a number 4:
4. ALL OF THE ABOVE
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, despite the opposition generously gracing us with 30 runs in wides, the Wombats ignominiously (always wanted to use that word in a sentence) lost 10 wickets for the addition of 74 runs, Amigo doing most of the damage taking 6 fa with his offies. His holiness the Rev. Reg deserves a mention with some nice straight hitting, while Hajime claimed another record to add to his sheet (first Japanese Wombat, youngest Wombat, first game, first wicket) being the first Wombat to shed tears for his team for failing to get us home under trying conditions. After top-edging a cross-batted catch to end the innings, his words will remain with me forever: “Shit! I’m a bloody baseball player”! I can see good things to come from this young lad.
The day ended nicely at least, with some sunset beers and a discussion on the benefits of naked jogging. The trip back was suitably subdued, the highlight being a KFC with no chicken (yes, readers, yes.) Kentucky F**k-all Chicken! No ducks would’ve been a better result, just ask Ryan France (RIP).