Sharks vs University XI, 15 Oct 2011
By Kris Bayne
The Chiba Sharks and the plucky University XI defied numerous obstacles, natural and human-made, to make the Chiba Cup happen in inclement weather and trying circumstances. It was a two-part tale, part one being just able to play at all and part two the game itself.
As the bus ferrying the bulk of the two teams pulled into the car park, the absence of a pitch and some rather long Shark faces did not bode well. Heavy overnight rain saw Togane Arena make a late and apologetic/apoplectic decision to not allow us to play. Chris T and Taka entered into deep negotiations, but when such decisions are made in Japan, they rarely, if ever, roll them back. To their great credit Chris and Taka probed for alternatives and we also need to acknowledge that the Togane staff, although they had left us out on a soggy limb, did not then cut it off. What they did do was come up with a ladder! They knew of a ‘ground’ attached to a hotel near Kujukuri Beach that would allow ball games, so after a few phone calls it was back on the magic bus to Hasunumaho!
The ride was about 20 minutes and as it progressed toward the coast it was becoming apparent that we were entering an area that had suffered in March. While there was no debris, there were frequent signs of rebuilding – we were to find out that the ground, a soccer ground, had been inundated by the tsunami. It was desolate. It was barren. It was isolated. It was wet. It was a ground and we had two teams, a pitch, stumps, balls and a will – game on.
The rain was falling and at times sweeping across the ground as we arrived. It was fairly obvious that we would have to make ‘concessions’ to get any competitive ‘game’ in. We decided to lay half the pitch and play ‘a la Shin-Koiwa’. The other rolled up half was placed strategically in a gap on the ocean side – just beyond the ‘boundary’, running parallel to the ground, was a deep culvert, the domain of turtles and goodness-know-what. Any ball going in there was staying there. As luck would have it, we had several new yellow indoor balls, just right in the gloom and for our opposition. We established some ‘ground rules’: 1. Avoid boundaries toward the ocean (see above) 2. Very generous on wides 3. Four for any hit obstruction (mainly the soccer goals). By 11:30 we were ready to roll. The coin was tossed in the shelter of the eaves of the ground’s toilet – Chiba Sharks to bat. We had a Chiba Cup to win and WHAT a trophy it is!.
The squad for the day was:
Chris T, Taka, Vicky, Sagar, Sayeed, Anton, Rockey (outdoor debut), Charles, Tommy Tomiyama, Kris B, Dave L (umpire)
Kris and Taka opened the innings in light rain. The Flex pitch, low in normal situations (is anything normal in Japan?), did not sit well and it would be mostly front-foot stuff today. The pair got off to a cautious start, but after placing one lovely boundary Taka (4) was run out by a direct hit from the deep. Vicky joined the fray and, after his usual ‘sighter’ of three deliveries, went on the attack – 41:4:66266 – bowled for 35. One powerfully struck Sancheti drive was brilliantly fielded by the strategically placed extra pitch roll, thus saving a certain lost ball and some probably some hysterical amphibians.
Rockey (2) came and played some lovely drives for little return before being caught. Anton joined Kris, who was starting to find the boundary himself. The score and strike was turning over nicely til Kris (23) got a little too creative and popped one up to the ‘keeper. Charles and Anton kept the foot down. Anton blasted four 4s before exiting bowled for a sweet 20. Having paced the boundary, working off nervous energy, Tommy took guard for his second knock as a Shark but departed unfulfilled after a couple of deliveries. His time will come.
Charles (not out 13) was his usual mixed bag and one towering six off female university player, Mitsuki’s first ball, drew both groans from the Sharks, as it meant another search in the hotel car park, and a fair crowd to actually find the ball. Sayeed then decided that the jumbo jets that passed overhead every five minutes needed something to think about, promptly launching .464161614 bowled 33. Sagar (12) sent his first ball into the land of a thousand spiders for another six and search – it was found lodged in a fork of a roadside tree – and he was finally run out off the last ball of the innings. Chris did not bat but did a fine job keeping the scorebook from turning to pulp. Sharks 8 for 161 off 20 overs – and the sun finally came out to shine!
|K. Bayne||c. Fuchigami||b. Kanno||23||31||3||0|
|T. Morimoto||r.o. Shajib||…||4||8||0||0|
|V. Sancheti||…||b. Fukumoto||35||16||2||4|
|Rockey||c. Watanabe||b. Kanno||2||6||0||0|
|A. Lloyd-Williams||…||b. Watanabe||20||20||4||0|
|C. Steinhardt||not out||…||13||11||1||1|
|M. Tomiyama||…||b. Fuchigami||0||2||0||0|
|U. Sayeed||….||b. Shajib||33||12||3||3|
|S. Waghunde||r.o. bowler||…||12||6||11||1|
|Extras||…||nb 0 w 11 b 4 lb 4||…||…||…||…|
|Total||161||For 8||…||…||Overs 20|
The innings break could not come fast enough as it was still a little chilly and we were all damp. Chiba JCA’s Ishimoto-san had been kind enough to follow us down to our new location and to have a chat to the University team. Before leaving she also organised large amounts of very, very welcome coffee at the hotel! A BIG thank you is due to Ishimoto-san!
With a relatively novice line-up to bowl at, Captain Thurgate felt it was a good chance to spread the load around, bowling eight players. Sagar (1-3 off 2) opening up and was rewarded with a wicket, Taka moving to hold a good catch at square leg. Sayeed (1-22 off 2) was next to get into the act. This time it was Charles making great position with a clear call to take a sharp one to have the students reeling at 2-12.
The first bowling change had Anton take up the leather. After seeing one ball disappear to the boundary Anton (1-14 off 3) had his revenge, luring the batsman forward, finding the edge for Sayeed to take a good catch coming forward at slip. Taka was the double change and while he went wicketless (0-15 off 3) he slid more than a few balls past the probing bat. It was not all going our way as University batsman, Shimogama was proving hard to move (he would eventually go for 34). As a leftie, a solid pull for 6 seemed destined for the turtles but the ball found the centre of the only bridge over the creek to live another day!
The bowlers were rotating in two-over spells. The next set was young Rockey and Charles. Rockey (0-4 off 2), with his low slinging action really tested the batsman on the skidding pitch and Charles (1-1 off 2) picked up a scalp with Rockey holding a sharp catch to a well-struck cover drive. That was the end of the wickets for a while as Shimogama and Watanabe battened down the hatches.
Kris and Tommy got the next gig. Tommy (0-17 off 2) had his first bowl in any form of cricket and did admirably in not a little nervously. He would have had his maiden cricket wicket had not the fielder grassed what should have been taken… After some stingy bowling, a smart piece of stumpwork by Chris saw Kris (2-11 off 4) get his first Shark wicket, removing the well-set Shimogama at the start of his fourth over. A run out two balls later then did for Watanabe, which then saw University captain, Fukumoto, warmly welcomed to the wicket. His first ball pitched on middle and an over-balanced lunge saw the ball take the furniture and Fukumoto slide ungracefully to the pitch, only to have the Sharks celebrate around his prone body – such is life! Having seen her two senior players go in consecutive balls, Nishizawa watched the final ball past bat and off stump. The last few overs also saw the Thurgate boys get in some game time, subbing for some tiring bodies, and they did themselves and Mum and Dad proud.
Some generous umpiring allowed Nishizawa time to score her first run and the University completed the 20 overs 9-105, with Taka finishing off the game. The 22 byes were a bit of an anomaly thanks to our ground rules – the soccer goals beating the fielder to the ball in most cases.
Solid handshakes and pats on the back saw the teams file past one another before Cap’n Chris duly accepted the Chiba Cup on behalf of his happy crew. May it reside proudly on his lounge cabinet next his other cups….glasses and half empty bottles. We still had time before the bus rolled in at 5:00. Some took time to relax and reflect. The students were joined by a variety of Sharks to get a bit of bowling and batting practice. Dave, who had done a fantastic job umpiring and was thoroughly (and finally and thankfully) chilled, saw the hotel sento as the better part of valour. Others eventually followed suit (or suitless) as the rain returned and then set in for the day.
The Chiba Cup started in the most disastrous fashion – no ground in a country where cricket grounds are a rare as chicken lips. A measured and sensible approach to the situation saw Togane help us out and we got in a satisfying game of cricket. That it was played on a soccer ground that bore the brunt of a tsunami was somehow symbolic and moving.
A big thanks must go:
– Chris and Taka for the long planning and also crisis management.
– the University XI for being so patient and understanding
– Dave for umpiring in such a professional and innovative manner
– to Togane Arena for their help in rescuing our Chiba Cup
– to Ishimoto-san for her support and coffee
– to Anton for his work on the trophy
And so it was for the first completed Chiba Cup. After having dates affected by rain four times, it has to be blue skies from here on.раскруткараскруткапродвижение сайтавзломать страницу одноклассникикупить чехлыкак заказать кредитную карту приватбанкаcasino maquinitas gratis nuevasjapanese dubai escortslefkosa meritHow to play 21 card gameкогда в танзании сезон дождейфункциональный тренинг текстильщики