JCL. Sharks vs Sano at Sano3. 26.05.12
By Kris Bayne
A combination of fate, self-inflicted wounds and another lemming-like batting performance had us belted by our rivals from the northern plains. This is taking nothing away from Sano, who batted and fielded particularly well, but in painful hindsight (which more and more is the act of having to remember and write reports) this is one we contributed significantly to losing. But, despite the disgraceful walloping, the game did have some high points and encouraging personal efforts.
Squad: Dave L (c), Varun (vc), Charles, Murad, Sushant, Tommy, Chris M, Dave R, Sayeed, Rockey, Kris B, (no 12th man).
As Shark tradition has it, Dave lost the toss and we were in the field under warming, duck-egg blue skies, with nay a tornado in sight. Dave stressed the need for everyone to do his part and back each other up if we were to beat reigning JCA champions Sano.
Chris M and Vicky opened up with the new Kookaburra ball and it would prove to swing more than Austin Powers in a coconut-reinforced mankini. Twelve wides and two or three thick nicks wide of or over fieldsmen by the end of the eighth over and Sano were none for 62… it was looking likely to be a long day. A double change of bowlers, Dave R and Sushant, paid off almost immediately when Sushant got a big edge and Vicky took a great catch shoulder-high at 2nd slip, 1-73@10 overs. The scoring did slow down somewhat but the ball still would not behave. Dave L and Kris took the next change. Dave managed to at least get some control going and Kris’ first over was quite tragically glorious. (Now for a ‘perk’ that comes with penning reports.) His first ball to Miyagi looped and drifted rather gracefully down on the full and it was duly pulled straight into the hands of the fielder at square. Unfortunately it was deemed slightly above the batsman’s generous tummy and was called a no-ball. A couple of speculative skied swats just managed to elude desperate fielders for a few runs. Ball three eased politely between bat and pad, missing off by varnish coats. A single, then ball six snarled like a hamster, took the outside edge and into the shins of slip. The gods LOL, and we went to drinks thirsty, a bit demoralized and Sano at 1-133@20.
Kris then Dave took a bit of stick on return, but Dave soon put a smile back on some Shark faces. His fifth ball took a piece of bat and Charles behind the stumps snapped it up. The sixth ball liked the fifth ball so much it did the same thing and suddenly we were back in it. Dave in his next over pulled the field in for his hat-trick ball to the experienced Naeem. This ball decided not to copy its brothers by kissing the bat and snuggling up to Charles’ gloves. Instead it smacked, virginal and coy, into the unbelieving batsman’s plumb pads. Up went the appeal! The bellow flattened grasses and nearby baseballers. In a 10km radius the hands of elderly women flew fluttering to their throats, short-skirted teens swooned and blushed, businessmen answered their ketai, and every child under three years simultaneously wet themselves. Skyward went the umpire’s finger!! Lollback hat-trick!!! What can’t this man do!!?? Probably the macarena, but who gave a stuff as Sano were suddenly 4-158 (24th) and we were back in it!
Sad to say, ‘normal’ transmission resumed at this point as the ball kept landing wide of the mark and wide of the field. The post-hat-trick batsmen made us pay on the loose balls and hit sensibly into the gaps for ones and twos. The younger Sano lads are well-drilled and feature experience right through the line-up. We would do well to remember how they put their innings together. 7-278 @ ’40’ overs.
Dave’s hat-trick of course, but over the course of the innings Charles as ‘keeper was a stand out. With a little tutoring and encouragement he developed with each over. The 56 wides put him under a lot of pressure to limit the damage and he did so admirably. He took every catch that came his way, finishing up with three (two nicks and a well-called skied top edge). Eager to learn, he was always looking for ways to get a wicket or improve his performance. He made something out of nothing with a smart run-out from his take late in the innings.
A couple of chances could have gone begging but generally we did not drop catches – the catches just didn’t fall in the best areas. Dave L ran himself ragged to try to get to some. Our luck will turn here at some stage (oh, to have Sano’s when most of our aired shots went straight to fielders). Our ground fielding was pretty GOOD. In our championship year we were deadly in the ring and the pressure to score or get it over the Shark doughnut got us wickets. Rockey, Tommy (who also snapped up his first ever cricket catch!) and Sayeed pulled off some great saves and were sharp all day. Pre-game we discussed a more sensible and 21st Century approach to boundary fielding and the relay throwing system worked well – at least it looked good.
In bowling, Chris M and Dave R threatened at times. Vicky was again unlucky with edges that would have required a steel mesh net to take. I feel that a big haul is not far away for the Smilin’ Assassin. Sushant has a nice habit of nailing someone in his first over. Kris’ overs suffered from a couple of loose balls and a better field setting is now clear (should he ever bowl again…), and Rockey and Murad, who snaffled a late wicket, did okay with limited opportunities.
Dave’s hat-trick and support in the field had given us a sniff but we had worked ourselves out of it by sending down what would be a final total of 56 delicious wides, with a few no-balls for seasoning. Given our still poor ‘average’ of, say, 20 wides that we usually send down, we gifted Sano at least 6 overs above the norm – 36 runs plus whatever was scored off. Sorry, but that’s unacceptable. We MUST do something about the wides as we are hurting ourselves every game. Avert your eyes as here are the figures:
So! We had the small matter of 279 runs to win off, theoretically, 40 overs. To be honest, it was also probably not our strongest batting line up so there would have to be some significant scores and contributions from everyone. To be even more honest, we were woeful and got nowhere near that required effort or total, falling short by about two hundred runs. Not much to say really. We were shite.
I think it was yet another case of us ‘getting out’ rather than having been ‘got out’. New Sano import, ‘Bowler’ Araki, with a delivery arm like a hair-pin bend and more chucks than a Charles Bronson look-a-like contest, made inexplicable inroads into our top order.
First to go was Dave L, top edging back to the keeper. As our ‘in-form’ batsman, that was probably ‘it’ right there, but we cannot continue to rely on so few, or one. We then had the usual procession of batsmen managing to find fielders with centimeter-perfect precision. Sano did catch well, however. To be brutally honest, we were never going to make that total after Dave’s dismissal. But we had another ten batsmen, heaps of overs and a great chance for every player to BAT.
We don’t get many chances to bat in the middle and we are throwing away those chances, and chances of winning (or losing more gracefully), too easily and too often. It is no shame to be done in by a good ball or a great piece of fielding. But the longest stay at the crease by any Shark was 22 balls! We didn’t even make Sano work for the victory. We have to STICK there and be more patient!
Charles backed up his great work behind the stumps to top score with 26 off 17 balls. That innings saw some nice hits down the ground. Tommy opened his account with a very competent straight boundary and also Rockey probably played the shot of our innings with a great drive over long on that just fell short of a maximum. That’s about it. Avert your eyes again, here are the figures:
|D. Lollback||c. Keeper||b. Hanif||3||8||0||0|
|K. Murad||c. Fielder||b. Araki||6||18||1||0|
|S. Lumb||c. Fielder||b. Araki||12||22||2||0|
|V. Sancheti||c. Fielder||b. Araki||0||4||0||0|
|C, Steinhardt||c. Hanif||b. Shabir||26||20||4||0|
|S. Mehmood||c&b||b. Hanif||6||5||1||0|
|U. Sobhan||c. Miyaji||b. Araki.||3||11||0||0|
|M. Tomiyama||lbw.||b. Shabir||6||5||1||0|
|K. Bayne||r.o. (Hanif)||…||2||17||0||0|
|C. Molloy||not out.||…||6||12||0||0|
|D. Rear||c. Keeper||b. Shabir||0||3||0||0|
|Extras||…||nb0 w10 b0 lb0||…||…||…||…|
|Total||84||All out||…||…||Overs 21|
It was quite depressing today. Maybe this report is a little hard. But, although I am so grateful to be able to play cricket and enjoy the company of my teammates, I don’t like to lose, and I bloody well HATE losing badly. I gave every driver who cut in front on the way home such a serve it set my airbags off! Luck my footy team is kicking arse.
It is the aim of the Chiba Sharks to field a team in 2nd Division – we don’t mean THIS one. We must pull up our socks in the field and at the crease or else we are headed south in 2013, boys!
Adore must feel our pain.
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