WL: Sharks vs Senshu & Go!Go!Ken! 18.02.12
By Kris Bayne
Tonight’s games were the last of the regular competition. Loading up for the Chiba Sharks this evening were Japan opening bowler Pat Giles-Jones (in, surprisingly, his first indoor games for the Sharks AND his sayonara games), the ‘Twin Towers of Dave’ – Rear and Lollback, 2011 JCA Bowler of the Year Varun ‘Smiling Assassin‘ Sancheti, Nick ‘Swing King‘ Hogg, the swaggering, swatting, swashbuckling Chris ‘Try Catchin’ That‘ Thurgate, Anton ‘Cover Drive‘ Lloyd-Williams, and ‘Kris ‘I Write The Reports‘ Bayne. Chris Malloy and Charles sat out tonight, but, as usual, Charles’ enthusiasm saw him in the nets and working on his game all night to good effect.
Back to School for Senshu University Cricket Club
We probably all agree that Japanese university students taking up cricket is a great sign for the future of the game in Japan. But sometimes the lessons will be hard, and the Chiba Sharks certainly showed a bit of ‘hard love’ in their utter pasting of the students tonight.
Kris took the captain’s duties in this one and while the toss was lost we got to do what we do best: case prey. SUCC were a bit of an unknown quantity. Kris mentioned their bowling seemed to show a bit but batting was a mystery… not only to us, it seemed.
Dave opened with stumping in his first over (Chris had a very good night behind the pegs) and a run-out followed in Pat’s. They could only manage occasional nudges for one until Kris positively leaked runs, cough… er… 9. By the end of the first pair after four overs the students had scratched to 15. That was as high as they got. From there on every over bar one saw a wicket, mainly caught, and, although they managed to get bat on most balls there was only one scoring shot over 1 run.
With Dave L, Pat and Dave R flinging them down at great velocity and height it was a matter of survival. Anton and Kris also made life difficult with a probing line and length. The fielding was excellent and when genuine chances came they were taken. Both Daves took ripper catches on the back net to get wickets and deny 6 runs. Dave R showed us why he has some of the cleanest hands in the business and Dave L just stuck out a mighty paw to stop a certain maximum. The highest single-ball score was a 3 and wides accounted for their entire score. Whilst they did not plummet to the mega-negative depths of IISJ of yore, it may have left them thinking twiddly winks was a better sporting option.
The final tally was a massive 10 outs for 14 runs and it was not a matter of how long or how far but how many.
Dave L opened with Pat and the quality of the bowling and batting soon came to the fore as both Dave and Pat start to crash the ball ever straighter and bloody well harder. Just about every ball disappeared back up the pitch for multiple runs. Dave was particularly severe in smacking 42 while Pat holed out once in his 17. By the time they sauntered off there were 59 runs up. Anton and Dave Rear picked up the lesson plan, carried their bats, collecting singles and extra runs with (eventually) good calling and astute running. Wides also accumulated.
Anton (25) cracked some lovely shots back up the pitch include a big 7 and Dave R (15) was good for the session. 99 after eight overs. Chris and Kris continued on the same theme and the ‘keeper rarely came into play as the strike and scoreboard ticked over. Kris (20) picked them off at will and benefited from some wayward bowling. This left a rather more mellow Chris to clout just one maximum in his 16. Both managed to give the students some joy by being caught on the back net in the final over. Chiba Sharks 3 outs for 135.
Dave L 3/-7 & 42 (MOM)
Pat 2/0 & 17
Anton 2/1 & 25
Dave R 1/5 & 15
Kris 1/10 & 20
Chris 1/5 & 16
Beauties and the Beasts: Sharks Devour Go!Go!Ken!
It is unlikely that the Go!Go!Ken! girls will face a larger arrangement of humanity at close quarters than that assembled by the Sharks tonight. Les femmes vetues de blanc – the women in whites – know they are always up for a challenge from the Chiba Sharks, but in this case ‘game’ also matched ‘gaze’, with the evening’s Sharks averaging a steepling 190 cm and 130 kilometres per hour (out of hand and/or off willow). It was a little disappointing that GGK were not the full blossom of the Japanese women’s cricket pool (Where HAVE all the flowers gone?), with some of their lesser lights and two blokes playing (a comedian and Miyakawa-san), but the x3 run rules can make mess of bowling attacks very quickly.
Dave L opened the attack with a beamer. Scoundrel!!! Then a couple of edges and netted blocks saw GGK at 13. Anton then put in a steady line and length over and was rewarded with him picking up his own slick run-out (17). Vicky then proceeded to terrify both batters, taking out middle stump, getting a plumb LBW (if we had had them) and basically all the girls could do was survive (20). Chris T sent down his wobblies, and although the girls were tapping and running, a smart piece of work by Pat behind the stumps saw him catch off the net and then run-out the incoming batter (26 after 4 overs). The next four overs had it all: comedy, pathos, sheer and utter gonad-shrinking terror…
The new pair featured a real stand up comic and he did not disappoint. His first game. ever. Kris, spectating and speculating, wisely enquired as to whether he was wearing a ‘box’. “A WHAT?”, the reply… This, of course, is something we would instinctively consider when faced with the option of a cricket ball in the nuts, and recommend to novice players, but obviously (?) the girls of Go!Go!Ken! have, ummm, other ‘equipment’. Or maybe they just envisioned him moving a step, or a Nick Hogg in-swinger, closer to becoming a fully-fledged Go!Go!Ken! lady. Anyhow, after some subtle urging from us and much giggling from his team-mates he inserted.
Once play restarted he was bowled, runout (nice rolling throw by Dave L at short leg), almost stumped, another bowled and then something just absolutely, inhumanly unplayable from Nick (13). He kindly gave them a wide to finish a devastating over. Welcome to cricket! Chris pegged them down (18), they picked up a scrappy few off Anton (26) before Pat chimed in with Chris holding a sharp catch behind and followed up with a stumping (24 after 8). The final pair featured Miyakawa-san, who is no slouch with bat and ball, and probably pots and pans too. Nick sent down a typically tight over (37) and some very slick fielding all-round held them down again in Pat’s over (45). Dave L was like some bloody great polar bear at short leg compared to the GGK lass who only came up to his chest. Dave, with what one suspects was a little extra effort, then sent a few whizzing straight past Miyakawa in an excellent over with a shattering bowled (43). Vicky took the last and from a series of edges and French Riveria cuts Go!Go!Ken! finished at 9 outs for 60. Very good bowling effort and the field kept up the pressure continuously.
Anton and Nick took the first set of overs, but it was a rather frustrating affair. The novice bowler for GGK basically send down wides and it was pretty unsatisfying for Nick, who had to cool his heels at the striker’s end before managing to hole out to a full toss. Anton, though, brought the new bat and played some nice drives off the accurate and fetching Yamamoto. They both finally found some satisfaction in the last over when they pounded 17, including a nice 6+ from Anton and a 4+ from Nick. There was some great running and calling and they finished on a healthy 36.
Next up Dave L and Pat pushed it around sensibly at over a run a ball, occasionally clobbering a 4 or 6 and without losing a wicket pushed us up to 78 in their four overs. The final pair was the hard-hitting Chris T and Vicky. Vicky smashed a couple back up the pitch for 4+ but there was more fineness than fire in his 25. After a quiet first over, Chris, however, brought his own personal war to the crease, creaming a brace of 6+ in one over. One was on a trajectory that would have hit Tokyo Sky Tree about two-thirds of the way up. He would have had another except it was impeded by Miyakawa-san’s sternum. More hard-hitting in their last two overs saw a procession of 2s, 3s, 4s in a hail of yellow leather to pump up their contribution to 55 to have us finish on just 1 out for 133.
Hardly a contest, really, considering. More like ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson at his nastiest taking on Snow White.
Dave L 1/14 & 26
Pat 2/6 & 16
Anton 1/12 & 26
Nick 3/0 & 10
Vicky 1/17 & 25
Chris 2/11 & 30 (MOM)
All-round great effort by the boys tonight. The opposition was obviously not in our class, but we should take heart in the fielding and bowling – we took our catches, made run outs and did not give up any 4s or 6s – and our batting, or battering – piling on 268 runs while only losing 4 wickets, almost always catches on the back net.
But it was also a nice tune-up before the finals. And we sent off Pat with two mammoth wins. So, next week it is Finals. We will face stiffer opposition in Sano and Wyverns who we will surely meet, and it would be nice to go one better than the runner up from last year.
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