J-Cup: Sharks vs Paddys, Sano 2, 29/7/2012
By Kris Bayne
Our final Japan Cup outing of the year ended in disappointing circumstances as we coughed up back-to-back games against Paddy Foley’s. The first was our final, regularly schedule game and the second was the final for 5th and 6th in the Japan Cup league. Tatebayashi topped the national heat scales at 37.1C so it was never easy going. As the games had fallen, we were more or less assured of two games, the last being a final of some sort. Whether it was 3 vs 4 or 5 vs 6 was up to the results of other concurrently played games. If it was 3 vs 4 then we still had a chance to progress to the Nationals if we finished 3rd.
The squad was an even XI today: Dave L, Prashant, Sushant, Murad, Navin, Vicky, Tommy, ‘debutant’ Mick Lay, Sagar, Charles and Kris B. All thoroughly hydrated and sun-creamed up.
We lost the toss and were sent into the fry-pan by Paddy’s. Cheers.
We had done a great job in the field our last outing so Dave urged us to play to the same standards. Did we ever!
Vicky rocked in and immediately had the batsman playing and missing. Serious heat in serious heat! Sagar ‘Tip-toeing Lightning’ Waghunde, took up the other end and first ball trapped the batsman in front and up went the finger, LBW! Magnificent start! It got even better as in his next, Sagar pitched up and got the other opener to drive where Dave took a great catch centimetres off the ground at long off. Brilliant start! 2-10. Next in Amila immediately tried to even it up, throwing the bat to effect. Prashant came on for Vicky and first ball claimed Amila, shorter ball gloved to Charles, who took a good catch behind the stumps. What a start! By the end of the 5th we had Paddy’s 3-28.
Sushant took the other end and predictably the batsmen were a bit more cautious and started to tap the ball around. Sanjay could not resist opening the shoulders and walloped Prashant over the rope. He tried again and got a lot of it. The ball was heading for the rope but Dave from deep fine tracked it all the way and grabbed it with outstretch hands running full pace along the boundary. Spectacular catch and it probably broke the resolve of Paddy’s. Sushant, meanwhile was mixing up wides with almost un-playable deliveries – keep ’em guessing! He un-nerved key batsman Chaminda with one ripper and had the next go through him bowled!! Over 10 we had them 5-68.
With the best of the batsman back in the tent we had a good shot at nailing Paddy to the turf. Dave took a bit of stick in his first over but Sushant then removed the batsman in somewhat controversial circumstances. A play and a miss at a full ball touched something on the way through to Charles. We went up the slips and ‘keeper and up went the finger. It sounded like pad to me and he was given out caught. He could well have been LBW, either way he was GRU – gone rather unhappily. Dave, already two catches to his credit lobbed back in with a wicket-maiden (catcher not noted by Paddy). And to heap more misery for them and joy for us, Sagar came back with another wicket-maiden. A wider, shorter ball guided to Sushant at deep third man. It sort of went in slow motion – one of those catches that is so easy it is difficult. On return, Vicky added his wicket-maiden, crashing through the defences and splattering wood everywhere. Paddy’s lost 4 wickets in four overs for six runs. We were now not only hoping for a wicket – water was probably more on our minds. But with one wicket to get, one batsman had other ideas, creaming 16 in three balls in an over before Prashant started as he began with the final wicket, an LBW/GRU, with his first ball of a new over. Paddy 16 Overs all out 91.
It was a great effort since Paddy’s own some awesome firepower in their hard-hitting Sri Lankan contingent. To knock them over so cheaply (91) on a small ground was fantastic. We held every catch that came our way, include that absolute beaut by Dave on the boundary. Charles pouched two and let nothing through at all. Vicky was in great form, only conceding 8 runs, made up of three shots off the bat (1, 4 and 1 each in a different over) and two wides! All bowlers got wickets and 3 a-piece to Prashant and Sagar decapitated the top order. And I reckon three wicket-maidens could be a ‘Bowlers’ Hat-trick’. The general fielding was very good. We had put ourselves in with a great chance to win this.
Vicky 4 – 1 – 8 – 1
Sagar 3 – 1 – 30 – 3
Prashant 2.1 – 0 – 18 – 3
Sushant 4 – 0 – 20 – 2
Dave 2 – 1 – 14 – 1
As we were preparing in start our innings, news came through that Wyverns has de-constructed Keio (all out 50 which Wyverns got in 2.3 overs – that is not a typing error). This meant that if we aimed for 4th, we had to get the 92 needed in 7 overs. As the Wyverns-Keio result also assured us of the second game regardless, Dave said, “Go for it!”.
Navin, in his last games before returning to England to NOT represent Sri Lanka in the 100 metres sprint at the Olympics, opened with Prashant to face the fiery Amila. Prashant showed a bit of his own heat by unleashing the first of his many sixes for the day. A 4-6 Kale combo in the next over had us nicely at 21. Amila struck back hard though, sending Prashant (18) back caught – a vital wicket. Dave joined favourite dance partner Navin. A classically elegant Jinasena clip off his toes over backward square got us another boundary. After almost running Dave out again in identical fashion as last time, that was about it for Nav (7) as he was trapped LBW next over. This brought Charles to the fray. His second ball disappeared for 4 into his favourite ‘zone’ between long on and a bit left-right of it. 5 overs 2-35. End of fourth spot.
A single to Dave brought Charles on to the ultimately swattable Sweet and Charles did so, belting 2, 4 and 6 to you-know-where. If these two could stick then the win would come. But ‘stick’ was the key word and Sweet rearranged Charles’ (16) sticks next ball. Vicky in next and hopefully with his sights set. In Amila’s last over again disaster as a decidedly determined looking Dave (4) was done in by a definitely dodgy LBW decision, the sound of a thick edge onto the pad rolling across like thunder the northern Kanto. “Kanto” was also on Dave’s lips several times as he saunter/sauna-ed back. At 4-48 Murad joined Vicky and things did not look so hot. They would quick get worse when Vicky (0) played all over new bowler Udaya, bowled. Sushant joined Murad. 10 overs 5-55. End of fifth spot?
37 to get in 10 overs with 5 wickets and we had a very steady pair of Sushant and Murad at the crease so we just needed to refocus. They knuckled down against two veteran bowlers in Chaminda and Udaya and though runs only came in ones they inched the scored along. But Sushant picked out a fielder on 4 and Kris came in. In an on-going season’s compendium of “Crap Cricket Shots Through the Ages”, Kris (0) took the ‘disgraceful duck’ label from Navin, skying a ‘pull’, grabbed on the second attempt by square, not far from where it started. Embarrassment and/or retirement loomed. Mick Lay, in his first cricket game for a while, entered and proceeded to show some of us what we should have done, that being, hit some sensible balls and not get out. Murad, who had put his head down and survived for about 30 balls was very unlucky to go, brilliantly caught off a fine glance down leg for 9. 15 overs 8-70. End of game?
Mick greeted the new bowler with a lofted four down the ground but Sagar (0) came, saw two balls and went. Tommy was last in. He faced a total of balls equal to three other batsmen (who shall remain nameless) and his one run also outscored them (who shall remain scoreless). He finally succumbed in the 18th over, with Mick 9 not out. End of innings. Sharks all out 79 in 20 overs.
It was very, very disappointing to get rolled after the big effort in the field kept Paddy’s to a low score. One over probably did us in (which is why this reporter is no fan of T20). But, in hindsight we probably should have been a bit more cautious early on, but also some batting in the middle could have also been a bit more sensible. No excuse for ducks in T20, I think.
N. Jinasena LBW b. Amila 7 (12 balls 1×4 0x6)
P. Kale c. Thila b. Amila 18 (10 1 2)
D. Lollback LBW b. Amila 3 (7)
C. Steinhardt b. Sweet 16 (8 2 1)
V. Sancheti b. Udaya 0 (2)
K. Murad c. Keeper b. Chaminda 9 (30 1)
S. Lumb c. Sweet b. Chaminda 4 (12)
K. Bayne c. Sweet b. Udaya 0 (4)
M. Lay N.O. 9 (10 1)
S. Waghunde b. Rafika 0 (3)
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