Chiba Cup – Sharks vs University XI
2.11.13 By Kris Bayne
Roughly one year ago we started our Chiba Cup under blue skies reflected in huge puddles. This year we started with a dry field, and a good forecast that developed into, you guessed it, water. We did manage to get a game in, but it is one we would rather forget. After some fancy footwork University XI managed to field that number and the Sharks were represented by Chris T (C/W), Mairaj, Vicky, Murad, Anton, Rockey, Moto, Adit, Takady, Sumon & Kris B. Dave L took to sharing umpires duties with Haruo Matsumura (Rui’s Dad).
The pitch was rolled out and stomped out to some sort of flatness. The newly minted green designer stumps were arranged. Umpires Matsumura (debut) and Lollback (De Man) were ready to go. The coin was flung, spinning on its shiny axis, into the gray sky. Sharks won and University were invited to take guard.
A few trial balls had shown that the pitch was two-paced, perhaps we should say Jekyll & Hyde. Shooters and Lifters is not the name some traditional English undergarment manufacturer! With some ‘quicks’ in the form of Adit, Vicky and Takady it was going to be tough, we thought, and so it was for the Uni XI opener, Nakajima, who poked the first ball straight to a rather surprised but safe-handed Rockey at square leg!
The ball continued its schizophrenic bent, troubling Chris behind the stumps as much as the batsmen. Mairaj at deep fine leg was in the play early and often and did a great job considering the rough outfield and the short boundaries. Wickets came fairly regularly. Adit castled another but Vicky was just too good and found airspace just outside the batsmen’s blades.
At first change Chris tossed the ball to Kris, the early season shoulder injury seemingly doing wonders for his bowling. His first two overs were almost identical, with the ball finding the stumps about 10 cms up and the boundary at the end. Next up Takady further put the green paintwork to the test. By the 7th Over Uni Xi were 5-25 and in a spot of trouble, although it was a bit ominous that any shot through the field was a 4.
Chris handled pairs of bowlers in pairs of overs. Anton and Moto were next up. Moto’s first was tidy but lost direction in the next for some runs. Anton’s gentle wobblers induced some bat-flinging resulting in Murad ‘Guns’ Kazi to take a well-judged catch in the deep, much to Anton’s wanton delight. But the latter order Uni boys were starting to string together some partnerships and we started to get a little concerned considering neither the pitch nor the light was going to get any better. Anton’s LBW ended a dogged stay by Shiratori and Murad snapped up a chance off his own bowling to get into the wicket reaction.
At 8-89 we did not want this to go any further so Chris again called on Kris’ ‘Pop spin’ to take us to lunch. After some tooling around in the field, he delivered, nailing the final two bats with consecutive balls to claim an all-bowled-10-cm-up career PB of 4-12. Uni Xi all-out for 93.
|Murad||Ran in under a high-hit ball to deepish mid-on to take a well-judged catch||Anton|
|Murad||Made no mistake with a return catch.||Murad|
At lunch we hit the curry-wallah with various success. Samosar proved the most stable of his fare (and more stable than our top order today). While the curries did not produce the runs our top six followed suit. Ishimoto-san did a roaring trade in bat handles and hot beverages. These soon turned into bat tangles and cold averages. Perhaps as a potent, the cloud cover lowered and the now-traditional Chiba Cup damp arrived during the Boso League presentation of awards. As the sky went to water, so did the Sharks.
Today (Nov 2) was the Chiba Cup – our Festival of Cricket – in Chiba Port Park. As I write these lines deep in the night, it is Diwali – Festival of Light – in India. There, India & Australia are playing the final game of 7 one-dayers. Watson does a bloody hammie, Dhoni does a massive heli. Meanwhile, 16 times Rohit Sharma hit from one ball the same number of runs (6) the Sharks made for the loss of our first… 5… wickets… In total 38 were hit in that amazing, ridiculous game. The Chiba Cup was also amazing and ridiculous. No hammies were pulled, but a lot of hair was, and it was a hell of Shark innings.
The added element of H2O had a number of effects. For the fielding side all chance of swing was gone along with the shine, and the popping crease became a tad dangerous. For us, the already low, unpredictable bounce now added slippery to the adjective count. And, as the ball became waterlogged it slowed, (i) in the air (ii) as it hit the pitch and (iii) as it left the bat. Just ask all the worms that came to the surface to see what all the banging on their roof was about! They might as well have been bowling samosas. This does not account for all of our woes. Let’s work backwards, sort of…
By the 3rd over we were 5 for 6. Sumon played all over a couple of balls before going LBW. Murad scampered up the pitch only to be short on the scamper back. Anton was undone by a beauty yet again. Rockey needs running awareness practice. Mairaj would have been better playing straight (instead of a top edge). Uni must have thought this was a lark. Meanwhile the Shark tank was in a tizz of padding and unpadding batsmen and frantic scorers.
Takady and Vicky now came together to restore some sanity, though Vicky’s running did cause some madness off field as much as on and he was lucky to survive one decision. But the pair looked reasonably comfortable and added 40, Vicky getting ones and the occasional boundary and Takady going aerial. But a Shark collapse is about as likely as rain on Chiba Cup Day. Takady went 9-pin-bowled, followed by Adit, who should have left a high leg-side full toss well alone.
Moto stuck it out gamely for several balls but this was not now a pitch for playing cricket shots – it was pitch for playing a shot of a different kind, namely Russian Roulette. At 8-66 Kris joined Vicky. They passionately vowed to reprise their recent bloody-minded Kashiwa practice session and not lose a wicket… Next ball Chris joined Kris and it was up to the oyaji pair to take us to the Cup.
For a while it looked as though the bowlers would oblige as the score ticked over nicely with the batsman as mere spectators. Two balls on a length entered the ‘Thurgate Zone’ but took the stretching Chris high on the pad. A third, landing (couldn’t call it bouncing, more like pan-caking) in the identical place went smack into the base of the stumps. Kris, again, ‘not out’. Sharks all-out for 78.
|Kris B||Not Out||–||3||0|
The scorecard taint pretty. An after-match postmortem identified some things from this game that have plagued us all year: running, playing straight, taking our time to settle, taking singles. We bowled okay but it is hard to recover from 5-6. We did play with our batting order, but the Chiba Cup is as much about getting some cricket as anything. You couldn’t say it wasn’t exciting! But, congratulations to the University XI. They also had a bad start but toughed it out, with Takahashi holding it together with 26 n.o.. They bowled sensibly on the stumps and let the ball do the work. They got two runouts. They beat us fair and square. They took home the Kyodai Chiba Cup.
A big thanks to Miho Amada for her organization of the Uni XI team, again under pressure. Thank you to Ishimoto-san for organizing off-field stalls. Thanks to Matsumura-san and Dave for umpiring. Thanks to Kyodai for their sponsorship of the event.
We have lost our magnificent trophy! But we will get it back! In the meantime Anton can build an Ark for preparation for Chiba Cup 2014.продвижениепродвижение в москвепродвижение сайтов москва рекламакак взломать пароль в контактеаквалоо новостивсе микрозаймы в екатеринбургеonline casino accepts paypal australiauk escort reviewbetway online casinoBlackjack card valuesснаряжение для килиманджарозанятия карате марьино братиславская