Winter League 14.12.13 Kashiwa
By Kris Bayne and Anton Lloyd-Williams
The start of our quest to ‘three-peat’ at the Indoor Winter League at Kashiwa got off to a flier! This year, such was the popularity of the competition and interest from new players that we entered two teams; the Bull Sharks and the Hammerhead Sharks, and both had decisive – let’s call it brutal – wins in the opening double-header.
The two teams were divided based on availability and talent-balance, and, as far as the latter goes, we have plenty! It is quite frightening to imagine just ONE Shark team this year! Even selection would give me the shivers! For the public record and in alphabetical order, here are the two current squads (besides Koji, additional internationals may apply when Ricky and Sachin get wind of this – we’ll have to see if we can fit them in!).
Bull Sharks are:
Aayush, Anton, Awal, Chris Molloy, Dave Lollback, Koji, Mairaj, Nick, Pave, Ryan, Vicky.
Hammerhead Sharks are:
Aditya, Alwin, Chris Thurgate, Karthik, Kris Bayne, Mahesh, Moto, Sagar, Scott, Sumon, Takady.
We welcomed, warmly and openly as usual, no less than four new players, all who have waited patiently for a chance to play – Aayush, Pave, Karthik and Mahesh. Indoor cricket was a new experience and for a couple the first game in a while.
(NOTE: A computer glitch, caused by one who shall remain nameless, resulted in a lack of game stats so we are going by aging powers of recall and generous imagination.)
Match 1 – Hammerhead Sharks vs My-Ys
Our little brothers and sisters of My-Ys – the future of Japanese men’s and women’s cricket – had the daunting task of taking on the Hammerheads. But we knew better than to underestimate them, as they fielded four members who had played in the Shark 2nd XI and a national women’s squad member, Madoka. They far from disgraced themselves. We lost the toss and Kris (captaining) and Mahesh opened up. A deft, first-ball glide through would-be point by KB opening our winter account! The pair went a step back with an unnecessary run-out but it was smooth sailing after that as Mahesh quickly picked up the idea of indoor, a highlight being some ‘bonus’ runs against the inexperienced field.
Karthik and sub Aayushi were next and burst out of the blocks. Rarely a ball made it past bat as they sought runs. At times this resulted in some mix ups and run-outs. The introduction of Rui was bitter-sweet. He fairly bent it ‘like Beckham’ at times and a couple cleaned up the over-eager and surprised bats, but still the pair left us in a very healthy position. The final pair were the experienced Aditya and Takady. As we would expect they both played the percentages and the deeper areas of the nets to further crank up the score. It was never an assault, rather an irresistible force. Sharks ended up their 12 overs on 90-odd.
With ball in hand we were half known and half unknown. We decided to run through the bowlers one over each, with Takady and Adit our final aces. Each bowler acquitted himself well and wickets went down with good regularity and big runs hard to get. With Madoka going at 3 for 1 we needed to be on the ball because she handled both Takady and Adit with aplomb, driving off the front foot! Kris behind the stumps was having a merry ol’ time with both those bowlers not holding back on pace but managed a few good stumpings. The young’uns did well to find the nets but the yellow ball found the stumps with frequency.
We caught well when they came, maximized our run-out opportunities and the newbies definitely had a better appreciation of the indoor game! We managed to keep My-Ys to a still respectable 60-odd. We gained a bonus point in the process. Hammerheads off to a good start! Aditya was acclaimed Man of the Match for his very sensible batting and devastation with the ball. The prize of a bottle of VAMM! will find a spot well back behind all his 2013 Shark awards!
Match 2 – Bull Sharks vs Go! Go! Ken!
The second match of the evening saw the Bull Sharks pitched against the ever tricky Go!Go!Ken! – A team of 6 young ladies who play the ball into the nets for 3 runs a time, regularly racking up 120+. For the Bull Sharks, Anton was given the skippers role while Vicky, Dave L, Molloy, Pave and Mairaj made up the set. Sharks won the toss and elected to bowl.
Anton and Mairaj took the first 4 overs and sent down a good spray of military mediums that either beat the batswomen for length or hit the pads. The fielding was calm and collected and with none of the usual overthrows on offer, the ladies were obliged to take a few risks. Risks mean run outs and with Vicky alert behind the stumps, these started to come. The first pair managed to squeeze out 25 odd runs largely thanks to the Mairaj / Vicky combo spanning the track.
Pave and Dave took care of the middle order and continued the frugal vein that had been established. Pave got a bit of swing to beat the bat on a number of occasions while Dave sent down his usual array of pacy, heavy good length balls that were nervously prodded at. With a couple of catches nicely pouched, only another 20 odd was tacked on the score before Vicky and Molloy finished us off with some more sterling bowling.
Vicky, in particular, took the speedometer down a notch or two and with the reduced pace found some quite dramatic swing that the batswomen could not properly negotiate. Molloy too got the ball to swing through the gate and the score staggered on to a very modest 60 after 12 overs. For Go!Go!Ken! that is a very low figure indeed.
This cake was only half baked though as we still had to bat. Given the target, Anton and Mairaj played conservatively for the first couple of overs intent on avoiding outs. Mairaj soon had other ideas though and teed off a couple of 7s to help the Bull Sharks onto 42 for the first pair.
Vicky and Pave also started slowly but the Sharks Best Batsman soon started sending the ball around the court like a pinball. The fielders took a bit of punishment as in the dim lights, the yellow moving at speed was tricky to pickup. Pave showed his quality as a batsman and confidently middled everything that came near him to take the score to about the 110 mark.
Dave L and Molloy brought up the rear with some more sensible opening salvos and good calling that had the scoreboard blinking like a Christmas tree. It didn’t take long for the Lollback Launcher to warm up though and the back wall took a pasting. Molloy, not to be outdone, edged into the nets when necessary but also drove numerous fours along the deck to help the Bull Sharks to 162. Bull Sharks won by over 100 runs and were impressive from start to finish, effectively controlling the game from the first over.
Man of the Match was Mairaj, with 4 wickets and 30+ runs he provided a solid base for both our bowling and batting and fully deserved his bottle of lukewarm VAAM!
Match 3 – Hammerhead Sharks vs Wyverns
Next up was our nemesis, the Wyverns. They escaped a vicious and potentially fatal Shark attack last year by desperate means, requiring one of them to get married and invite the whole club to the wedding – HA! What some teams will do to avoid us! What they sent to face us this year was a selection of their 2nd XI. As the only good Wyvern is a thrashed Wyvern, we obliged. Adit captained and in true Shark fashion lost the toss. The team was bolstered by veteran Sumon and late-working and experienced Aussie indoorer, Scott.
The Wyverns were never in it. With KB cheering on the side-lines and Aayushi back joining his Bull teammates, Adit, Takady, Mahesh, Karthik, Sumon and Scott posed an attack from their nightmares. Where the field squeezed them from every angle, cutting off net-bound shots, taking catches, executing run-outs, and Scott scaring the lunch out of them close in with his physicality and well-drilled back-handed returns – a staple of Aussie indoor – the bowlers terrorized them! They all got in the act and many a Wyverns was left looking back over his shoulder at his (probably sympathetic but relieved) teammates or just shaking his bewildered head as another swinging or spitting ball slammed into his stumps.
Scott, coming down from a great height might as well have been Jabberwocky, legendary opening bowler for the Pythons! Still, some scoring happened and they crept into the sixties, tie-die and all. Adit took great exception to this and his and the last over saw us get a team hat-trick of wickets to leave Wyverns in the 50s (aka the ‘Stone Age’).
Once the willow was in hand there was no respite for the Wyverns. Sumon opened up with Karthik. We all know Sumon as the classical, quintessential along-the-turf-ground-stroke maker, who is so often thwarted by the long-grasses of Sano (or their clippings). To solidify our start he was urged to play his game… so he smacked the first two or three balls into the top right corner of the net for 7s!! We were off! Having calmed down the pair knocked around at will with good, sensible running and finding the V nets!
Scott then teamed up with Mahesh. Scott’s considerable indoor experience came to the for and as a self-confessed opener, Mahesh supported to see the now frantic Wyverns cough up more extras as well as hit-earned nudged and noodled runs. Good awareness and calling had Wyverns chased their own tails at times. And just when Wyverns thought they had seen enough, Adit and Takady reprised as final pair. Already securely past the Wyverns told they opened up their considerable shoulders to belt us well beyond the bonus point stage. Wyverns vanquished by… a lot.
Scott was awarded VAMM! MOM for his general all-round excellence and scariness, including a willingness to take the ‘keeper gloves. (That can often lead to type-casting, mate!)
Match 4 – Bull Sharks vs Senshu University
Our final game in this evening’s quartet saw the Bull Sharks taking on the very youthful and sprightly looking Senshu University side who put the Chiba faithful in to bat. As with the majority of young Japanese sides, what they lack in raw batting power they more than make up for with dexterity and skill in the field so this would need to be another patient knock. Takady was drafted in as their sub and donned the keepers gloves so there would be very few freebies behind the timbers.
Anton and Mairaj, working well together again, picked off the straight ones that lay hidden in a bevy of wides and negotiated a steady, but sometimes lucky, path through to just shy of 30 for the first change over.
Skipper Vicky and Pave initially had a bit of difficulty picking up the ball as it looped in from on high but soon adjusted. Vicky got some lovely sounds from the meat of his bat and kept out a couple of jaffers while Pave showed again what a good eye he has. Both batsmen showed a great understanding and the calm, almost telepathic running allowed runs to flow from nearly every ball. Senshu’s heads dropped a little during this pounding and a further 40 were added to the Bull Sharks total.
Dave and Aayush (replacing Molloy) picked up where they left off and plundered the bowling, showing their experience in this form of the game. Anything decent was nudged into the nets while anything loose went for the maximum. Overthrows were also punished without mercy. 112 all done – a pleasing total given that all batsmen played genuine cricket shots with a confidence that was palpable.
Anton’s first ball in defence of this total went sailing back over his head, eluded the outstretched arms of Dave L and clocked 7 runs. So it was game on! A change of tactics and a straighter line dried up any more of that nonsense and a run out returned the score to some modesty. This opening pair were clearly the Senshu hot shots though so Il Capitano brought his big guns to bear on them.
Dave and Vicky harried and hustled the batsmen with pace, swing and the odd the wide, bringing out nervous prods that Pave dutifully plucked out the air. Aayush proved difficult to get away and Anton pouched a sharp catch behind as well but the Senshu bats still managed to put on just over 20 before they handed over to their less experienced colleagues.
As they were two men short these two would have to bat out 8 overs and gave a pretty good account of themselves. Forsaking the classical drive for the Steinhardt Uberswipe ©, they missed a lot but anything they hit travelled at pace towards the back wall. There was more sharp work in the field from Pave in close and some good line and length bowling from Mairaj and Aayush.
Along with a tidy effort from the rest of the side, Senshu were contained to 58 runs from their knock and the Bull Sharks notched up another impressive win. Il Capitano got his tactics just right but Man of the Match went to Dave Lollback for his all round performance.сео оптимизация сайта в поисковых системахпродвижениераскрутка сайтакак взломать wifi парольчехлы на айфонвзять займ на карту через интернетcasino spiele online kostenlos ohne anmeldungjapan escorts dubaimerit crystal cove & casinobeste-onlinecasinos.comкупить тур в танзаниюзанятия кундалини йога