JCL Semi Final vs Wyverns @Fuji2. 01.10.11
By Anton L-W, Pat Giles-Jones and Dave Lollback
It had been an odd season. We had won some and lost some. Our batsmen had looked imperious one game and delirious the next. Our bowlers had hurled unplayable beauties and then lobbed more filth down leg than you’d see at an incontinence convention. Nonetheless, we now found ourself in a Semi-Final at Fuji playing the Wyverns. The only unbeaten team in the division. What could be better?
Well, it didn’t start too well. Manager Lollback is not what you’d call a “morning person” and his mood and language started to fall off early when Rasib called to confirm that the match was cancelled. He was still in deepest, darkest Saitama and we were just approaching Shinagawa. Lollback politely asked him to promptly make his own way to the ground (citation needed) . Prashant then called to say he had missed the train. No he hadn’t fallen on the track, the train had just left without him. Lollback politely asked him to promptly make his own way to the ground (citation needed).
Our happy crew bounded enthusiastically out at Fuji station and soon disappeared into its various toilets, bakeries and kiosks. Lollback politely asked them to get their f%!king lazy ars&s down to the taxi stand (no citation necessary) where we were amazed to find taxis for once. We arrived at a resplendant Fuji, with light cloud cover and a gorgeous breeze, and proceeded to assemble Camp Shark.
Prashant turned up soon but there was still no sign of Rasib as we went through our stretching drills. Pat almost won the toss so the Wyverns put us in the field with Keiichi biting the bullet and donning the keeper’s gloves again and Anton was pressed into early action as 12th man. Pat gave the team talk – keep it simple and keep it it steady! 10:30. Game on!
BOWLING (Pat Giles-Jones)
Opening bowlers Vicky and Dave began proceedings against the opening Wyverns pair Ohnishi and women’s national team player Mariko. “Beware the wIdes of March…” wrote the Bard. Wrong month but right idea as the bats(wo)men found runs were hard to come by with the majority coming via edges and the extras column (tsk tsk). With the score on 19 Vicky finally got the breakthrough as a reward for his accuracy sending back Mariko clean bowled. This brought the Wyverns and national team skipper and keeper Chino to the crease who seemed intent on sticking around. The arrival of Rasib, looking a little shame-faced, meant that Keiichi could relieve himself of the keeper’s gloves and Anton could relieve himself behind the Pavillion. Rasib, keen to make amends for his tardiness, promptly stopped a ball with his nose, which required a little plugging, and a helmet. Bowling changes saw Sagar and Prashant continuing on from where the openers Dave and Vicky left off, bowling tight lines and not giving the batsman much but not getting much either. It was becoming imperative to send the Wyverns talismanic stumper back before he got his eye in. He is well used to making big scores on this ground and was starting to look around it with some intent. Sagar duly struck in the 12th over with the big wicket, uprooting two of Chino’s stumps with a magnificent slower ball yorker. As the celebrations died down, Jummei came in next to try and weather the storm, but lost his partner when he played on to Pat in the 15th over.
Young K. Ogawa walked out to join Jummei in what the Sharks thought would be the make or break partnership of the innings. Ogawa is known as a bit of a beefy hitter and he took an instant liking to Sumon’s offspinners, taking a 4 and a 6 off him in consecutive balls, but he couldn’t repeat the dose in the following over when Pat managed to find the edge and Vicky took a sharp catch high to his left at second slip. Wyverns, 4-59 after 17. The Sharks were just warming up though, with Sumon getting Ota first ball tempting him into a sweep which he top edged to Vicky, and Pat picked up his third wicket by getting the new man in to chip a ball to Sumon at short cover.
6-68 at drinks and the Sharks well on top. Whereas in the past the Sharks have sometimes struggled to finish off proceedings, today was a different story. While S. Ogawa and Takuro did their best to consolidate after drinks with some steady batting for a few overs, Vicky came in like a wrecking ball in the 25th over, taking the first hat-trick in Sharks history. He first yorked Takuro with a beauty. Next up, Nakano fell first ball to Vicky’s deadly stump-to-stump line, getting him LBW with one that took the pad first just before the bat. The Sharks circled around for the hat-trick ball ready to pounce on anything that popped up from new batsman Kiminami. As is so often with the Sharks, if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself. Vicky heeded this, delivering an unplayable “Sancheti Special” that cut in from a length outside off to take out the top of middle, sending the stump cartwheeling and the Sharks into a frenzy. With Vicky in this kind of mood it was tempting to tell the next man in not to bother bringing his bat as he’d only have to carry it all the way back again, but he saw off the final ball of a magical over. With the Wyverns still in shock, Dave soon picked up the final wicket, getting S. Ogawa to chip one to Pat in close to end the innings at 84 in the 28th over.
Sancheti finished with outstanding figures of 4 for 9 and Pat with an almost surreal 3 for 3. Amazing stuff! Erm….we also shipped 39 extras….erm….anyway…
BATTING (Dave Lollback)
After steamrolling the Wyverns for a double-digit score on the back of Vicky’s awesome hat-trick, it was always gonna be a walk in the park to knock off the runs. Our openers strutted out after lunch, and with the outcome a foregone conclusion, none of the other Sharks bothered to pad-up, except of course for Rasib, who is always padded-up with helmet on and ready to go, shadow-batting on the boundary, because that’s just how he rolls. Silly Rasib, though, because of course our openers knocked off the 80-odd runs in about five overs, all too easy, okay here’s the taxis, whoa the train’s just pulled up at Fuji Station, and hey who are all these bikini-wearing ladies on the train they’ve brought heaps of beers and speakers plug in Sagar’s iPod this is awesome no way Charles has just pulled out Twister mats and a roller limbo set from his kit you’re the man let’s kick this party off in style the train conductor’s radioing ahead for more liquor at the next station and who would have thought Twister was so hard on a train look out Anton’s fallen on the girls again so another tequila body shot for him on Ms Polka Dot Bikini and boy that was quick we’re already at Tokyo Station who would have guessed time flies when you’re playing drinking games and limbo with girls in bikinis on a train and did I mention the girls in bikinis and hahaha joke’s on you Pat because you always drive home and miss stuff like this every game we have in Fuji, playing cricket in Japan is so awesome and always goes exactly as expected. Bikinis.
Okay, mea culpa, we all know I probably fibbed a bit in that last paragraph. It’s never that simple to get taxis from Fuji.
I suppose it was also kind of a fib of omission that I didn’t mention anything about us having a big, Sharks-style batting collapse. Thinking back, it was probably wrong of me not to mention that part.
Keiichi (11) and Nav (16), who was playing his last game as a Shark before heading off to make the college co-eds of England swoon, got us off and running. Wyverns opened with Wild Thing Ogawa (1-9) from the Pavilion end and Hagihara (2-28), another of Japan’s best and brightest, from the River end. The Wyvern’s opening pair form an intimidating partnership and are one of the reasons the Wyverns haven’t lost a game all year. The Fuji 2 pitch was playing like the enormous banana skin it is these days, but Nav and Keiichi absorbed the early barrage to make what turned out to be a crucial contribution early on, scoring over a third of our target. Highlights of the partnership were Nav’s Greenidgesque pull over mid-wicket for 4 off Nakano, and Keiichi’s flick over mid-on for another boundary.
A change of bowling saw the crafty Hanada (5-21) take over from the River end bowling his canny selection of outswingers and off-cutters. Hanada certainly knows how to bowl on the Fuji 2 pitch. Nav had just started to look comfortable when he fell to Hanada, assisted by a stunning catch at point, care of Ogawa.
Well done, Nav, enjoy your cricket in England, we’ll look forward to hearing about all of your university hijinks when you’re back on holidays.
From a modest but solid beginning of 1 for 31, the wheels quickly fell off in a way that only the wheels on a Sharks innings can. I (5) joined Keiichi in the middle and our partnership didn’t last long, with Keiichi being caught at gully by Yamamoto off Hanada. Pat (3) joined me and we basically looked to survive for a while and simply play out the big, wind-assisted inswingers from Nakano (0-28), who had replaced Ogawa from the Pavilion end, while negotiating Hanada’s tricky assortment from the other. We added 6 before the newly-reintroduced Ogawa pinned me in front. I wasn’t a big fan of the subsequent lbw decision (no one ever thinks they’re out lbw), and only half a nursery mobile and maybe a broken rattle or two remained in the pram by the time I got off the ground. Needless to say, I got over myself soon after and felt a little sheepish about ten minutes later.
Sumon (1) was next in and managed to score a single glided through the slips before he became Hanada’s next victim, bowled neck and crop with our score at a precarious 4 for 45. Memories of collapses past started to swirl. We still had good players on the bench waiting for their dig, but these collapses tend to take on a life of their own. Prashant (0) joined Pat who had been quietly defending away as the last two wickets had fallen, and with our two Japan national team reps at the crease, it felt like make or break, even though the target was now only 40-odd to win with 6 wickets in hand and, I don’t know, let’s say 500 balls left.
Scoring hadn’t got any easier though, and with the scoreboard in a coma, Pat decided runs were needed, stat, and hit Hanada over the top, successfully clearing mid-off and scoring two. He tried to repeat the dose next ball, but instead of the whipcrack of a ball being laced through cover, we heard the “tink” of stumps being rearranged. This wasn’t good.
Shafi (0), backing up from a confidence-building stay at the crease in our last game at Sano, charged to the wicket with a “leave it to me” air that was reassuring until he faced his first ball. Full toss, struck on the pad in front, LBW, oh FFS. Charles (8) joined Prashant in the middle, and Prashant promptly left, Hagihara getting one to go through the gate as Prashant pushed forward defensively. From 0-31, we had lost seven wickets for 20 runs as quickly as you can say “don’t pani…”. With Charles and Sagar (8*) at the wicket, we somehow managed to stumble and gasp and wheeze our way to the drinks break soon after without suffering any more setbacks.
In their innings, Wyverns had gone to drinks at 6-67, yet somehow we had managed it out-mediocre them with the bat at the same stage. Never underestimate the Sharks’ flair for the dramatic.
Sagar and Charles continued after drinks, with Charles showing off some novel “ball-leaving” techniques, the sort that are usually marked with a skull and crossbones in the coaching manual. When he did make a connection it wasn’t of the push or nudge variety, and with Wyverns skipper Chino sensing not even Charles was always fully aware of where the next ball was heading, the field were obviously given the instructions, “Guys, just spread out.” Charles did crack one through square for a pressure-relieving boundary, but perished not long after, caught by the “other” Ogawa off Hagihara. A little over 20 runs to get with two wickets in hand. A bad, wide-filled over with a couple of clean hits could nearly get us there, but a panicky, yes-wait-no-sorry display of running between wickets would almost certainly doom us.
The sun broke through the clouds, Fuji appeared, cherry blossom petals started falling to the ground, and Vicky (10*) sauntered out to the middle. Was it even possible for this day to get any better for him?
Well, Sagar and Vicky, they showed us how to do it. You wait for the loose ball to come & hit it through the “V”. With a reassuring calmness, both Sagar and Vicky belied their flashy reputations with the bat, sensibly realizing that with more than a handful of balls…no…with so many balls in hand…I mean, with a lot of deliveries remaining, there was no point hurrying. Sagar had taken Hagihara on a journey over mid-wicket early in his innings and was looking solid. Vicky waited and waited, biding his time, and then belted a carpet drive through covers to the longest boundary on the ground, best shot of the day. Only 11 runs left to get.
A subsequent mixture of wides and singles brought the target down to five. Obviously both batsmen were thinking the same thing, keep accumulating these singles, it’ll be ugly cricket, but getting the result is the only thing, just play out the good bal…CRACK! A long, clear arc over long-on, ball lost in the bushes at the river end, GAME OVER! Vicky performs a fitting encore to his earlier heroics. Water bottles sail through the air, players run on to the field, and the Sharks book their spot in their JCL grand final, handing the Wyverns their only loss of the season in the process. Not a bad day’s work (don’t bring up the losing 8 for 42 part…).
|N. Jinasena||c. K. Ogawa||b. Hanada||16||29||3||0|
|K. Warabi||c. Yamamoto||b. Hanada||11||32||1||0|
|D. Lollback||lbw||b. K. Ogawa||5||16||0||0|
|P. Giles-Jones||….||b. Hanada||3||18||0||0|
|S. Haque||…||b. Hanada||1||4||0||0|
|P. Kale||…||b. Hagihara||0||5||0||0|
|S. Ullah||lbw||b. Hanada||0||1||0||0|
|C. Steinhardt||c. S. Ogawa||b. Hagihara||8||19||1||0|
|S. Waghunde||not out||…||8||15||1||0|
|V. Sancheti||not out||…||10||9||1||1|
|Extras||…||nb 1 w 20 b 4 lb 0||…||…||…||…|
|Total||86||For 8||…||…||Overs 26|
And just as a final word, let me say a big thanks to Anton for making himself available at the last minute to be 12th man in this all important game. Having guys like Anton in our team is the real strength of the Chiba Sharks.
(Cheers Dave! Cheque’s in the post)сайтсайтоптимизация сайтов под поисковые системывзлом социальных сетейаквалоо ценызаймы онлайн через интернет по всей россииcasino online x macbleach sexy girlsmerit otel casinoEnglish blackjackотдых на 1 мая 2015фитнес для девушек марьино