Chiba Cup – Sharks vs University XI, 18/11/12
Chiba Minato Ground – By Kris Bayne
Another Chiba Cup, another deluge of water. Another ground, for that matter! The 3rd Chiba Cup has come and gone and it will be memorable not only for the fact that we finally got a full game in, but for what a cracking game it was!
Sharks in to Bail
The earliest arrivals at the Chiba Minato ground were greeted with wide, duck-egg blue skies that reflected attractively off several large, centimetres-deep ponds of water at various locations around the ground. Chris T was tempted to drop in a fishing line! Rather than consider bailing out, with true Shark innovation and determination we immediately searched for ways to, well, start bailing out. As for our initial mode of attack, who needs a ‘Super Sopper’ when you have plastic beer cups? Away we madly went and hamstrings on Tuesday be damned (which they were)! A call went out to the Minato Port groundstaff and they soon arrived with large bucket-scoops and wooden rakes. It must have been a sight – a bunch of foreigners fling water every which way, but with all hands to the pumps the water levels started to visible drop.
Next phase saw us send the price of towels in Chiba skyrocketing by snapping up all shapes, sizes and character prints from the nearby flea market! With these mopping up the excess and some good sun and breeze, the ground was amazingly ready for play at 11:30!
Thirteen Sharks turned out for the day. Kris took on umpire duties and new Shark, Faheem, kindly agreed to play for the University XI to even up the teams. The university boys were also filled out by Japan National team players Ogawa and Nakano, with Wombat leg-spin ace Rony, ensuring that this team would be no pushover!
Dave (c), Chris T (vc), Anton, Murad, Sayeed, Rockey, Sumon, Tommy, Taka, Moto (cricket debut!), Aditya (Shark debut), Atharva (6 ball cameo), Kris B (umpire)
Hagino, Shibuya, Takahashi, Shiratori, Ogawa, Faheem, Rony, Kudo, Yamamori, Nakano, Yumoto
The toss went the way of the visitors who invited us to bat.
Shark in to Bat
Anton and Sayeed sauntered out to the middle. Sayeed sauntered back to the hut a minute later after spooning the first ball gently down the throat of a surprised mid-off. Uni XI got really excited, as you’d expect. This brought Dave to the crease and we expected fireworks off the big Lollback bat. We got them, but off the walloping, whirring willow of Lloyd-Williams. He lofted a four pulled over mid-wicket and it was on. Defending straight bat when required he found the gaps and peppered the boundary in the ‘V’ between the wicket-keeper and gully. He enjoyed another 4, absolutely dismissing a short ball with an immaculate pull in front of square before finally being out caught for an entertaining 20 (off 22) in a 47-run partnership.
Dave meanwhile found his groove, and while a thundering cover drive found a fielder’s foot for nowt, he was soon enough piercing the field, lacing a string of 4s in the middle of his innings. Sumon had replaced Anton and picked up where he had left off, cutting and driving and playing the shots we know he can. The pair fairly galloped along until a mini collapse/slowdown (who’d have thought it?) ensued as Rony and the National lads entered the fray. But, that was not before Dave and Sumon made a bit of merry with Rony, clobbering 14, including a 5 to Sumon, off his first five balls, the 6th being Dave’s wicket (24 off 21). 3-80 off 9 overs.
Chris T’s arrival at the crease seemed to awaken hitherto snoozing demons in the pitch that then decided to enjoy some fun and sun on a good length, first from Nakano and then for Ogawa. Chris’ second ball faced reared up, almost taking off his nose, the next threatened to cut him off at the ankles before then deciding next ball that his head was a better option, after all. Chris gamely survived only to get much the same at the other end.
Sumon took a liking to Faheem including a 6 and a pair of 4s in one over. But Nakano and Ogawa put the brakes on a bit and inevitably some wickets fell. Rony returned with a vengeance and was at times unplayable, spinning it sharply both ways off a perfect length. Sumon was his next victim bowled for a blistering 31 off 15 balls. Murad took two runs off his first ball and that was it for him in the same over, bemused-bowled by an absolute crackerjack.
Chris had to deal with all manner of shooters and although he did get his own back by clobbering a couple balls into the Cricket Museum area, he was taken by a great two bite catch to the keeper off Ogawa (12 off 20). Sharks 6-112 off 15. Rockey could not reprise his feisty innings of Koiwa and struggled to find gaps. Taka got Rony in full flight and will probably have recurring nightmares about one particular over – one could only say that at least the pitch demons did not play favourites because the stumps moving seemed the only reason he did not get bowled a few times.
The return of the more inexperienced bowlers was celebrated by Rockey (n.o. 13 off 14) launching Yamamori over square for six and after a string of circumspect pearls, Taka (n.o. 6 off 13) sent one off Yumoto to the boundary. The boys added 19 cautious but invaluable runs. The field was surprising quick considering all the rain that had fallen the previous night and you could say that it favoured the batting side as some comic relief and extra runs were provided when fielders encountered some of the drying ponds. The bowling was a little wayward at times and we accepted some additional 20-odd runs and extra balls (which we promptly paid back!). At innings end Sharks had posted a respectable and sporting total of 131 for 7 off their 20 overs.
|U. Sobhan||c. Takahashi||b. Kudo||0||1||0||0|
|A. Lloyd-Williams||c. Yamamori||b. Yumoto||20||22||3||0|
|D. Lollback||c. Ogawa||b. Rony||24||21||4||0|
|M. Haque||…||b. Rony||31||15||5||1|
|C. Thurgate||c. Pauly||b. Takahashi||12||20||2||0|
|M. Kazi||…||b. Rony||2||4||0||0|
|S. Mehmood||not out||…||13||14||0||1|
|T. Morimoto||not out||…||6||13||1||0|
|Extras||…||nb0 w20 b0 lb3||…||…||…||…|
|Total||131||For 6||…||…||Overs 20|
Innings Change Over
The innings break was a chance to re-fortify with some delicious curry, nan, tandoori chicken and samosa – the Kujukuri beer would have to wait, but not that long. We also held the awards for the Boso League featuring the various Chiba Junior teams – Jinta, Inba Pine Cricket, Little Terns and Monstars. Monstars finished top of that League with a certain Marcus Thurgate picking up the award for Best Batsman.
Sharks in to Bowl
Our 131 was a decent total but this was a small ground and the Uni XI were supported by the experience of the National players and Rony. Dave tossed the new cherry to Aditya for his first over as a Shark. The lefty hussled in and sent down six balls right on the spot and at a decent pace. The sound of widening Shark smiles was audible. I admit yours truly smirked. The unfortunate Uni opener finally managed a bit of wood on ball six – a thickish inside edge that found more wood! Wicket maiden first up!
Dave took up Over 2 and almost went one better but a genuine edge flew between ‘keeper and 1st slip! Aditya’s next over almost followed his first, the only difference was that a run was squeezed out ball one and there was no edge as it crashed through the stumps ball three! Uni XI 2-3 and Dave followed with another economical over.
Sayeed was tossed the ball to redeem himself. If his bowling was as good as his ‘Gangnam’ then Uni were in big trouble. Well, move over Psy, we’ve got Say! We were treated to an eleven-ball over that went for 13 runs, including a 4, one no-ball and six wides… BUT it also saw a beeeeeautiful out-swinger catch a healthy edge to Sumon who pouched a textbook catch at third slip. Not done yet Sayeed ended off the over snapping up a skied caught-and-bowled, cue deet-de-de-de-deeeeet – ‘Sayeed Style’! Uni XI in a spot of bother at 4-18 but this brought the hard-hitting Ogawa to the middle to partner new Shark, Faheem.
Another new Shark got into the act again as Sumon enticed Faheen to pop one up to where Aditya took the catch in gully. [Scoresheets are unreliable here so going by memory and poetic license.] It looked like an early day was on the cards but Rony the Wombat and Ogawa had other ideas. In the middle overs the pair threatened to take the game away from us with some solid hitting, supported by our usual atrocious outfield catching, or should I say ‘dropping’. The ball went up, up, up and generally the catch went down, down, down. At times our attempts at catching a skied cricket ball might well be mistaken for us trying to catch a lofted anvil (maybe we can employ a World Champion for fielding practice in future http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhQ4dE_RGnQ).
While they are frustrating and our Achilles heel (the other heel being wides) they do provide some comic relief… especially if you involve mud. The problem was they also meant Uni XI crept closer to our total as Rockey and Sumon took a bit of stick and all bowlers gave up a boundary here or there. Ogawa helped us by holing out for 33.
Dave returned in the 15th to haul us back, sending the ball through the rampaging Rony’s defence, bowled for a hard-hitting 43. But it was getting a bit close for comfort with the short boundaries like sirens just beckoning lucky edges like they were sex-starved sailors. With three overs to go and the pressure building, Murad was tossed the bowl. A vital over! He sent down six total peach deliveries, right on the spot with no runs (a small matter of a wide in there)!
Sumon sent down the penultimate over which included some self-inflicted runs. Cometh the final over we were told by the now frantic Uni XI scorers that they needed 18 to win and with the ball in Aditya’s hand we were very confident. A pair of 2s started off and batsman Kudo managed to latch onto one for a six (thus almost doubling the runs hit of Aditya to that point and almost killing a spectator!). Eight needed off two. The final two balls were just too good for the batsman.
Sharks in a pretty tight one… which then became tighter when we had learned that the University scorers were not in the Mathematics Department as they had miscalculated. On count back – Sharks won by ONE RUN! And the Chiba Cup(s) go to us!!!!!
As umpire, this author had the best view in the house and it was a great day’s cricket. Some wonderful bowling and batting skills were on display, both in attack and survival, and the fielding always kept us interested and entertained. Even more inspiring was our attack AT the field. The way everyone got down, dirty and wet to get play underway is at the essence of our determination to play cricket in Japan. Also heart-stirring was looking up to see the hill and the boundaries where people were stopping and watching play. Old blokes dragging their poodles. People in twos and threes. The little cricketers of My-Wys, Little Terns and the like racing around in their whites waving cricket bats. Some spectators were bewildered but you could see them trying to figure it all out. Others sat themselves down on the grass with some samosa, tandoori chicken a beer and watched the game – NO, the spectacle – of cricket. MGC, Lord’s, Eden Gardens, Newlands, Galle … and now Chiba Minato joins the pantheon of great cricket grounds of the world.
A beautiful day!
This report would not be complete without some acknowledgements:
A big thanks to Yumi Ishimoto of JCA Chiba for her unwavering support and off-field and left-field organization.
Parents and supporters of junior cricket teams Inba Pine Crickets, My-Wys and Monstars who came and supported the event. Atharva of the My-Ys who gamely came on as 12th man and pulled off a crucial stop.
Chris Thurgate put in an almighty amount of time and energy and several degrees of frustration to get the Chiba Cup to fruition.
Manager Dave Lollback as usual kept everyone informed and organized when the edges would seem to fray.
And Anton was his artistic best in preparation of trophies and advertisements.
(Ed.s note – And to Kris Bayne for leaving his whites at home in order to umpire the whole game and expertly too.)deeo.ruтехнический аудитсайтакак взломать почту mailчехлы для macbook air 11где лучше взять кредитную карту онлайнcasino gratis para blackberryescorts outcallcasino makine oyunlar?on sitealtezza африкаводяные дизайн радиаторы