JCL: Sharks vs Wyverns at Sano3. 23.06.12
By Anton Lloyd-Williams
Bees can’t hear. Monkeys can’t swim. Chickens can’t fly. Sharks can’t bat. One of these four statements is wrong. Can you guess which? Yes, that’s the one. Chickens can actually fly a bit if they are light enough or are attached to a large enough projectile. For the first two, bees and monkeys, nature thought that they could do without those abilities. In the case of the Sharks however there is little evidence of any thought at all. Recent team batting performances have been bafflingly woeful and it is high time we started examining why.
The scene of this week’s collapse was a slightly overcast Sano 3, still damp underfoot after the recent mild flooding which left behind the carcasses of several rather large perch, gracing the air with their gentle perfume at the long off boundary.
Our opposition for the day was the all Japanese Wyverns CC who have continued where they left off last year. Strong in the bowling dept., unrivalled in the fielding dept. and a bit lucky in the batting dept.
The air was warming up nicely as we went through our stretching and fielding drills and new skipper Dave Lollback dutifully lost the toss. No harm done though as Wyverns skipper Chino put us into bat. On a pitch with a sticky, squishy and somewhat overgrown outfield it was thought that boundaries would be at a premium and a score of 200 would be a fighting total. Murad and Dave L fixed bayonets and strode out to get it.
Hagihara came flying in for Wyverns with a testing mix of line, length and pace and Lollback did a good job to keep him out. Our early concern about the heaviness of the outfield was borne out by a powerful Lollback cut which got poor returns for just 2 runs.
Murad opened his account next over with a nicely clipped single, allowing Dave to spank Nakano down the ground for the first boundary of the day. Two overs gone, both batsmen looking settled – things looked peachy. They turned pie shaped in the third. Hagihara had been getting quicker and quicker with every ball. It was a beautifully delivered slower ball though that settled Dave’s account as he played it way too early. He knew he’d been done for before the hollow clattering of leather and wood behind him confirmed it. The only consolation for a disappointed Dave was that he’d gone to great ball.
This brought Navin to the crease. We were all looking forward to seeing how Nav’s batting had improved after his sojourn in the English Universities cricket leagues so we were justifiably left feeling a bit robbed as he came back to the hutch 3 balls later after playing a shot found in no manual. Kris B. thought it looked like a “County Cricket Dab”, others thought it more reminiscent of a “Boarding School Tweak” or possibly a “Village Green Nurdle”. It was certainly not the “drive” that Nav claimed. Either way, a quicker lifting delivery took a top edge out to the man at point who took his chance comfortably.
Two down with three overs gone. Prashant came in with Shark hopes resting firmly on his ample shoulders. He and Murad applied themselves sensibly frustrating the bowlers with quick singles and defiant blocks. Prashant’s naturally aggressive play started to show itself as he sent a few through the air which landed (and stopped) in lonelier parts of the outfield. A booming 6 into the car park let everyone know that there was still something left in the locker should a bad ball come his way. Murad, also growing in confidence, hoicked Nakano out to deep square leg for a 4 but the bowler avenged himself next ball, uprooting the middle stump with a glorious inswinger.
Like tits, Shark wickets were coming in pairs. Sumon, next in/out found himself at the wrong end of an LBW shout having offered no shot. This brought Sushant to the middle and with it a session of cultured, stalwart defiance from both batsmen. For eleven overs the “Shants”, Su and Pra blocked out the good balls and took their chances with anything widish, steadily accumulating 1s and 2s to see the Sharks to 50 in the 14th over. Prashant, in particular, played a string of skillful flicks off his pads to keep the field cantering around. Scoring was sometimes slow but the batsmen paid no heed, looking to keep their wickets intact instead. This was not a pitch for a high scoring game. It would be about grinding down the opponent and refusing to budge.
With Sushant providing the bedrock, Prashant gave himself a bit more freedom to play shots driving another couple of 6s back over the bowlers heads. A fortuitously dropped catch later, the Sharks back in the scorer’s tent began to seriously entertain the idea that we might even get a three figure score but this was curtailed at the sight of Prashant walking back having been caught on the long off boundary. It was a good knock of 38 but nowhere near enough to offset the desultory collapse of the batsmen who came in after.
Next on the chopping block was Anton to face Takayanagi. An inoffensive stock ball down the off side was met with a horribly angled bat, took the edge it deserved and was caught smartly by a tumbling first slip. Sayeed up next. His first ball was going down leg but managed to get a bit of an attempted flick and was safely pouched by Chino behind the stumps. A hat-trick on the cards which even the bowler could not quite fathom. The field came in and 3 men were placed around the bat. Takayanagi sent in a harmless looking medium pacer outside Rockey’s off stump. The agricultural swing of an angled bat sent the ball up to just behind mid on, where Ogawa, the safest pair of hands on the pitch, plucked it out of the air. Wyverns delirious. Sharks incredulous. Bloody ridiculous. Three wickets gifted with shots so poor that we haven’t even seen them in training for sometime. Why did we choose to bring them out now?
Kris Bayne walked out in the 20th over hoping to restore a bit of calm. This he did by leaving the good balls and running like a madman when he could. Sushant, realizing that his party was about to come to an end, broke out a well executed 4 before Kris threw his dog tags into the Sharks suicide pot, giving the solitary fielder in the covers a bit of easy catching practice. He was livid with himself.
Vicky was the last man in and the last man out. Knowing that he had to rein himself in and play on the deck he couldn’t resist the sight of a Hagihara short ball and sent it straight out to Ogawa, positioned there for this exact purpose on the long off boundary.
Sharks all out for 87 of which 23 were extras. The scorecard makes grim reading:
|N. Jinasena||c. Ota||b. Hagihara||0||3||0||0|
|P. Kale||c. Hagihara||b. Koyanagi||38||43||1||3|
|S. Haque||lbw||b. Nakano||0||3||0||0|
|S. Lumb||not out||…||12||51||1||0|
|A. Lloyd-Williams||c. Nakano||b. Takayanagi||0||2||0||0|
|U. Sobhan||c. Chino||b. Takayanagi||0||1||0||0|
|S. Mehmood||c. Ogawa||b. Takayanagi||0||1||0||0|
|K. Bayne||c. Ogawa||b. Hagihara||2||8||0||0|
|V. Sancheti||c. Ogawa||b. Hagihara||0||4||0||0|
|Extras||…||nb6 w17 b1 lb0||…||…||…||…|
|Total||87||All out||…||…||Overs 24|
Such scorecards have become all too familiar of late. I am in no position to start offering answers but perhaps the great Richie Benaud may be able to shed some light on the reason why. In his book “Way of Cricket” he extorts the batsman at the crease to remember, “You are out on your own, and must display considerable initiative as well as ball-playing instinct if you are to survive, let alone prosper.”
Key here are the last four words. Perhaps we are looking to prosper before our survival is in any way established. Too often we contribute to our own downfall trying to score off balls that should be defended or left alone altogether. In any case, none of us can make runs sitting in the scorer’s tent bemoaning a loose shot. As long we learn from our mistakes then there’s no reason to believe we can’t turn things around. We have to be active though. It isn’t just going to all come together one sunny day. Sushant, Prashant and Murad showed the way. Patience, graft and focus on basic straight bat technique will allow us to get into a position where, if the situation permits, the fireworks can begin.
Well, the Sharks were down but not out. Skipper Lollback gave a stirring team talk and it was a noisy crew that took the field to lead the fightback. The field was all in as we had to attack. We were not going to hold Wyverns down for 40 overs so we would need to dismiss them all within 20. Vicky got the cherry and with roaring support in his ears sped down the hill towards Chino. The ball was zipping about and Chino looked happy to get out of the storm with a cheeky leg bye. This sent Hanada into the path of “Smiling Death” who struck him on the pads with the penultimate ball of the over. A huge roar, a pause….. and up went the Umpire’s finger. Just the early breakthrough we needed.
Navin took the next over, up the hill, and bowled a good line and length. The ball was moving around as it does with Nav at the controls and neither batsman looked in any way comfortable. The bowlers gave the batsmen plenty to worry about and the field was in top form too. Rockey covered three quarters of the leg side and shut it up for business by pouncing on anything that came that way. Anton cut off a certain 4 with a diving stop at mid on and Sayeed was giving a dynamic display behind the stumps. Ball after ball beat the bat but we had to wait until the 6th over for our next breakthrough.
Navin decided to come around the wicket to the right handed Kondo and hypnotized him with a pearler that he could do little more with than admire as it bent his middle stump back.
Prashant came into the attack and bowled aggressively but with little reward. Time after time, the ball nicked past an outstretched bat but the appeals were turned down. Nakano rode his luck sending Prashant high into the sky off a top edge. The ball seemed to stay up for ages before plummeting down and into…then out of the hands of extra cover.
Sumon took a bit of a pasting but had the batsmen playing unconvincing shots that dropped into the uninhabited outfield. More good work and sharp reflexes from Kris B and Sumon on the off side kept runs to a minimum though while Rockey continued his rule over the on side. “Rockey! Rockey! He’s everywhere!” came the cry from Murad in the slips.
Navin came back for a second spell and beat Chino for line and length, taking a glove on the way into the deft hands of Sayeed behind the pegs. He looked none too happy about it but nobody ever does do they?
Nakano was beginning to find his range with the bat now and the runs required figure grew steadily smaller. Nazrul came on for Kris B and made himself busy cutting off prods to the covers, but the batsmen continued to eke their way forward. Lollback got a well deserved wicket at the end, getting Nakano caught behind but the writing was on the wall. Ogawa signed off for the Wyverns with a 4 down the ground in the 18th over.
Despite our shoddy batting we had really turned it up in the field and made a proper game of it. The team spirit never flagged and wickets were celebrated with true gusto. Although it was frustrating to lose again, we at least went down fighting. If we can learn from our mistakes with the bat then we have everything else in place to lead to a more successful second half of the season.
Many thanks to the Wyverns for a good match, to Sule of Paddys for his umpiring, to Naz for cheerfully doing the job of 12th man and to Vicky for organizing the day as MO.сайтпродвижениепоискового продвижениеместонахождение мобильного телефоначерный маккредит на малый бизнес втб 24descargar casino gratis las vegasindependent female escortmega online casinoElite mobile casinoaltezzaзанятия кикбоксингом братиславская