Sano vs Sharks @Sano1 Sep. 10, 2011
By Kris Bayne
It was a very difficult day for the Chiba Sharks as Sano CC and the Sano weather conspired to cook us in our shoes, beating us comprehensively in our final scheduled JCL game. With temperatures tipped to reach the upper 30s, the first battle to win was the toss. We were put into the Tatebayashi microwave without a nanosecond of hesitation by Sano, so guess who won that?
The Sharks offered a Menu du Jour consisting of:
Entrées: Pat (c), Dave L, Keiichi
Salads: Vicky, Sagar, Shafi
Mains: Sayeed, Anton, Navin
Desserts: Charles, Koji (12th), Kris
We entered the game quite bristling with bowlers so we hoped some part-timers could chip in and help out our top line on such a hot day. Vicky had come into the game with a lower back injury, but, super-trooper that he is, he tossed aside his crutches and opened up with a venomous over and was unlucky to have an edge fall short at slip. Sagar accompanied and while a bit wayward at first he recovered well to finish with 1-31 off 5.
Navin took up first change and it was the start of a day StatNav will record without much happiness. Not able to find a good line or length, he was severely punished. Vicky got us on our way bowling the Sano captain N. Miyagi, but that was the end of any glee for some time as Sano moved to 1/121. A series of bowlers had great trouble keeping the ball on the off peg and we leaked both extra runs, balls, precious energy and litres of perspiration as a result. Only Vicky always looked dangerous, and one ball sticks out. From the second it left his hand it was a wicket, swinging in from just outside off at the batsman’s feet and cleaning up middle and leg – a beauty!
Pat (2-41) and Dave (2-38) contributed with some fine (sometimes frustrating) overs and wickets but it was draining work for the quicks. We came back well after removing the top order but the Sano tail wagged as the Sharks sagged. Our fielding was, hmm, ‘okay’. Some Sano shots that were aired fell into spaces or just wide, but we did drop our usual complement of catches – a bad habit this season. We also may not have had the quality end of some umpiring decisions. Probably the highlight of our effort in the field was, you guessed it, Vicky. Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. To add to his 3-35 off 8, the young tearaway dragged himself out of his wheelchair to be on the starting end of two late innings run-outs as well as a catch at second slip (moved there by Pat the ball before!). Sayeed did well to take a tricky one coming down from the stratosphere and Keiichi also did a great, incredibly sweaty, job behind the sticks. Koji performed the 12th man duties with verve. Sano all out 258 with three balls remaining, 8.5 from the Russian judge as Charles held a catch off Pat.
Keiichi, no rest for the wicket-keeper, and Navin, wanting to redeem himself, would have to get us off to a solid start if we were to have any chance in chasing down this big Sano total. Nav was back after two balls, one a wide, so he had a nice, shiny duck to moan about for the rest of the day. Keiichi (1) soon followed, runout so…. yeah. Charles (9) further tinkered with the laws of batsmanship and was back early to have us 3-13. Might beat the Sun to the horizon at this rate… Form batsman, Dave, joined Pat and there rested any chance of a competitive total. Dave (19) was probably luckyto get the benefit of the doubt on a good LBW shout but used his extra life to go on to paste a few balls to the boundary and was disappointed to get caught both in a half-mind and at leg slip.
Pat, not having a season with the bat he would expect, put his head down to dig himself in and his team out of a massive hole, about 4-66 deep. Unfortunately, a procession of batsman brought spades instead of blades to the crease. Sayeed (9) looked lively before off spinner Bebe sent one through that didn’t spin. Sagar then holed out to deepish mid off first ball and Anton (1), looking to see how well his new bat would perform, might have tried putting it in front of the straight one from Bebe that rapped his pads for LBW.
Pat was visibly battling the heat that was touching 40C, but showed great patience, seeing off the good balls but picking up boundaries and singles. He got to what we hope is not his last half-century this season with Shafi’s wise support and, seeing as the game was beyond our reach, he was persuaded to retire, healthy, on 53. Kris joined Shafi at 8-104: if the two seniors could put on a run for each year of their combined existence we might be in for a chance!!! With Kanoh sending down all manner of spin, Kris did a wonderful job of surviving and driving the bowler and ‘keeper mad with his lightning back foot. Meanwhile Shafi (26 n.o.) started to find the gaps and the boundary. Throw in some sensible leaves for some wides, the crusties put on 34 before Kris (9) was given out leg before pudding in what were possibly dubious circumstances (well aren’t they all?) to the pie-throwing Fuchigami. Vicky (1) raised himself from the operating table, got into some pads and went out, but could be forgiven for his short innings. Sharks, baked, all out 139 off 27.1 overs. One of those shaky Shark performances with the highlight being Pat finding some form before the finals and a lovely cameo by Shafi.
Whether we would have done better if we had batted first will never be known. We made a bit of meal of both the bowling (inc. 32 wides in 40 overs/Sano 9 in 27) and we must hold a better percentage of catches (or GET to them in some cases) and everyone needs to take more responsibility with the bat, no matter what the order or the situation. Well done to Sano on the day, and the Sharks were just well-done.
For a full scorecard go to
For more Shark recipes go to..
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