by Alex Patmore
The Wombats ramped up their 2016 preparations with a severe test against reigning Japan Cup T20 champions Samurai CC, in a T20 double-header up at Sano 3.
The game was billed as the inaugural Saori Cup, thanks to some generous contacts in the Samurai team who laid on food, trophies and awards for the man of the match. Saori turned out to be a car import company, much to the disappointment of some of the team equipped with slightly more fertile minds.
Samurai batted first in both games, racked up 176 in both games, and bowled us out for under 100 in both games. A bit of a battering, then? Sure, but there were plenty of bright spots that came out of the day.
The opening bowlers Nigel and Yusry looked handy with the ball first up, taking a couple of good wickets and bowling one side of the wicket. They got a bit of slap as it was a T20, but their consistency boded well for the 40 over campaign.
Rony bowled with mystery and guile like he always does, and Vik gave a good show of slow mediums, a la Koolhof. (Sorry Koolhof). Some good catches were snaffled in the field, notably Naren, but a fair few were shelled too. The worst dropped ball occurred off Vik’s bowling, when one of Vik’s deliveries evaded batter, stumps, keeper gloves, and keeper box, but managed to connect with keeper ball. A 10 over spell on the sidelines, on hands and knees, dry-retching into the bushes ensued, so the brains trust of Jamie, Nigel and Yusry assumed captaincy duties.
With the bat there were a few highlights amongst the carnage, Patmore getting off to a good start in the first game, but getting off to the worst in the second, snaffling a first baller. Naren dug in well in the first game, but the highlight of perhaps the whole day had to be the sight of new Prez Jamie Payne, Jamie Payne of 0 not out off 64 balls fame, caressing the ball comfortably over deep midwicket’s head, and then the midwicket boundary, for his first ever DLF maximum. The ease in which he cleared the ropes may signal the start of the most dramatic career change since Dino quit his IT job to found the Fuji branch of the Jimmy Anderson fan club.
Second game we did well to post any sort of score, as 1-0, 2-4, 3-8, 4-9, 5-16, 6-22 made it look like we were doing our best impression of Australia at Trent Bridge in 2015. This was down mainly to Rony, batting with immense determination and application, and new boy Chacko smiting a handful of 4s.
Train beers were had, some more drinks back in Shibs, and at least one player wound up in the pong. He shall stay nameless but no doubt yus can figure it out for yourselves.
Special thanks and welcome to the players who turned out for the first time for the Wombats on the day, hopefully it will be the first of many opportunities to play cricket for this fine/debauched establishment.