Chiba Sharks 1st XI vs Alpha Quashers 1st XI
April 17, 2021
by Arjun Gautam
Toss: Our skipper won the toss and opted to bat first under cloudy skies.
The Sharks for the job were as follows (in batting order):
Doogs, Marcus, Neel, Takady, Deba, Tanmoy, Ibby, Asala, Jimmy, Arjun, “Mystery” Mahesh, “Disco” Muneeb (12th).
Unfortunately, the weather conditions were not as clear as other days during this season in Japan. The forecast looked grim all week and most of us admittedly showed up prepared to leave early, only hoping to get some cricket played, having travelled so far. The rain started just before the start as promised, but was light enough to be able to start on time.
As usual, Doogs opened the batting with Marcus. After a slow and steady start, the pair just looked to be getting going, before Marcus departed for just 10 runs, skewing one to mid on off the toe while playing a pull shot.
Neel came in to bat at No. 3 and put on a partnership fo 32 runs with Doogs before Doogs departed, LBW for 21 by Quashers strike bowler Gurman.
Unfortunately, our no.s 4 and 5 were not able to trouble the scorers today, falling for ducks to the swinging ball. This meant we were in trouble at 50/4, and the opponents smelled a massive opening. However, these Sharks bat deep.
Tanmoy, playing in only his second game, was able to string along a partnership with Neel as the score moved to 95 without any further jolt after 20 overs. Neel then fell, top-edging a slog sweep trying to up the scoring rate, leaving us in some trouble again. Tanmoy and Ibby, however, continued the good work, before Tanmoy fell for 48 with the score now standing at 134/6.
Although wickets continued to fall around him, Ibby was meanwhile playing a blinder of a knock, while also observing the Ramadan fast it must be noted, looking comfortable as ever and ready to launch into the bowlers at the back end of the innings.
Arjun game him good support, and the two were able to put on 42 for the 9th wicket, taking us past the 200 mark and setting them 207 to win. This was certainly below par especially taking into consideration the wet outfield, but more than what had looked likely from 50/4. We were reasonably confident.
The swing-spin combo of Jimmy and Ibby started us off with the ball. The cloudy skies must have helped, as Jimmy was able to do what he does best, regularly beating the outside edge with great outswing bowling. He finished his first spell of 7 overs with 2 wickets for 24 runs, bowling 2 maidens along the way.
Ibby was equally magnificent from the other end, as he completed his quota of 8 overs in his first spell, taking 3 for 26 and also bowling 2 maidens. Jimmy and Ibby were the only bowlers used till the first drinks break, which shows just how dominating they were.
Alpha captain Rohit, fresh off a hundred in the previous round, and veteran player Gurman started to rebuild before Rohit fell for 20, well caught in the deep by Deba.
All Sharks bowlers showed discipline with the ball. Mystery bowled 6 overs for 24 with 2 wickets, Neel bowled 4 overs for 22 runs but with no wickets and Arjun bowled 5 over for 29 runs with no wickets. Doogs polished off the tail with 3 late wickets, putting the final touches on a very good performance in the field. Gurman top scored for Alpha Quashers with 71 off 64, following on from his good work with the ball to cap off a good day for him.
We were happy to have won the match by a comfortable margin of 59 runs in the end, and although we identified areas of improvement, made sure to be proud of ourselves for getting points on the board. We hope to build on this and get better.