WL – Sharks vs YFK, Kashiwa, 16.02.13
By Kris Bayne
Despite the freezing weather, the Travelling Chiba Shark Bandwagon just gets bigger, with Action Sports Stadium positively bursting with Chiba Sharks of all shapes and sizes, their friends, families and first-time visitors. Good to see and it really makes us feel like we are a happy, progressive club and that all our hard work to build it is paying off. As we had our usual two full teams plus some show up we again were able to get three 12-over games in:
Game One was our last scheduled points game against YFK.
Game Two was ‘Old’ vs ‘New’ Sharks.
Game Three was a real all-Shark Family affair but that did not mean it did not have it’s drama.
Chiba Sharks vs YFK
As seems to be always the case, YFK patched together a team that included three women, one being Ishimoto-san, and Shark Ruman, soon to take leave for Daddyhood. You have to say they were in for a tough time as some of the hardened vets and gun-guns of the Sharks were lined up against them in the shape of Chris T (C), Kris B, Awal, Sumon, Charles and Dave R.
Batting first we cruised to 127 runs with each pair piling on runs with wickets a rarity for YFK. We lost only four over the journey. Sumon (10) and Awal (19) ran up 29 without being spectacular. Enter Charles and Dave R. Just one over saw them smack an inexplicable 30 runs, which included Dave R (26) at the runner’s end dodging three Charles (35) meteoroids one of which exploded over the Urals while another sailed over Los Angeles. That pair had the rather comic task of also running extra runs on the nine very wide wides they were served up.
I suspect the damage would have been worse for YFK if the bowling had been straighter. Despite losing two wickets the boys added 61. Chris (18) and Kris (19) then more or less calmly reprised the first pair by knocking it around rather than out for a further 37. Probably a good formula for indoor batting: Foundation, Devastation, Consolidation.
Come time to bowl it did not get any easier for YFK. They were on the back foot immediately. In the first set, Dave R’s (3/9) first ball disappeared into safe Sumon’s hands at the back and a bowled soon followed. Awal’s (4/-10) dislike for cricket stumps was evident (in all he shot out 6 bats bowled over the two games) and Kris (1/12) added his own bit of misery, both to YFK and Chris (0/29) (dropping a sitter) as each bowler and the field strangled the scoring and took wickets.
Sumon (3/-1) continued the rout then Awal turned the second pair inside out with his pacey yorkers and you had to feel for one young lass batting, dealing with thunderbolts and close in fielders. Only some late dabs and nudges in the final overs and Charles’ (0/22) generosity with the ball saved them from utter catastrophe. But we knocked them over for 61 in the end and with those three points plus the bonus point we went to the top of the table at No. 1. Awal picked up the MVP for his 19 and 4/-10.
The easy win guarantees a semi final against the No. 4 Ohkawara, while GoGoKen gals (No. 2) do us a favour by taking on the fielding freaks of Wyverns (No. 3). With the Wyverns game based on gravity-defying catches and Exocet arms (basically they harpoon us), GGK’s canning nudge-n-runX3 game is their perfect foil. We still have to front up with our best game to get to that Final and defend the fantastic big plastic, though. I imagine a squad of 20-odd!
Old-ish Sharks vs New-ish Sharks
This promised to be the biggest battle of the evening, pitting the ‘Old Sharks’ against the ‘New Sharks’. Joining the ‘Olds’ were Justin (who qualified on age) and a not-so-old 17-year old Sean, playing his first cricket for a few years and in for a
rude welcome back!
Old-ish Sharks: Anton (C), Chris T, Justin, Dave R, Kris B, Sean
New-ish Sharks: Charles (C), Marcus T, Rajesh, Awal, Moto, Imran
Old Sharks batted first with Dave R (19) and Justin (27) who, in a wonderful display of skill, grace and understanding scored off EVERY ball. On the flipside Imran (0/18), Marcus (0/24), Rajesh (0/14) sent down only 1 wide between them in 24 balls, it being ball two! That must be some kind of Shark record in itself!
Kris B and youngster Sean stepped in with 46 up already. It was such a nice sounding number they left it there. Actually they were going swimmingly until Awal (3/1) came on. For poor Sean it was like Groundhog Day as his stumps were pegged back on the first three thunderballs. There was little anyone would have been able to do with them so he shouldn’t feel so bad (well, big crowd and Dad watching was a bit stiff) and he certainly was not the first to suffer that fate that night and I hope for the Sharks bowling stocks, it will not be the last time Awal does that. Kris (11) poked them around serenely, coughing a dolly back to Moto (2/10) (cost ya a beer, mate!) and Sean (0) finished off with a beautiful drive for 5 to round it off, binary – wise 0 11 0.
The last gnarly pair of Chris T and Anton – I’d imagine they would be played by Brian Brown and Michael Caine in the movie version – then calmly and expertly allowed only two dots on their way to adding 37, and up to a defendable score of 83.
For the New-ish’s reply, Imran and Moto followed by Awal and young Marcus then ran headlong into a combined sleeper-hold from the combined efforts of the Old Sharks. Tight bowling and wickets to Anton (4/-9, that is not a typo!) and Justin (3/-6) only allowed Imran (-3) and Moto (11) get to 8. Awal and Marcus (2) then went backwards as Sean (1/8), Dave R (2/15) and Kris (1/8 which involved a sharp, clean soccer-trap of an Awal (-7) tracer bullet drive, a full-horizontal stretch gather off the deck, pivot and diving throw for run-out – hey, if I don’t say it no-one else will! Michael Bevan! – it was an outstanding effort for a man of your age Kris – Ed.) knocked the New-ish down to 3.
You could almost feel Charles clawing to get into the nets to tackle this 81 needed to win, off 24 balls. But, sadly, it wasn’t to be as the Oldies didn’t let up on him and Rajesh (-2). Chris (2-3) chimed in with two wickets and the only scoring shots were ones or twos. Charles (18) even let four dots through, but he finally found his range in the final over, as he and Rajesh add 14 to take the score to…19. Bragging rights to the oldish bastards.
Thurgate Civil War
Game Three was another all-Shark pick-up match that featured the entire Thurgate clan in some kind of action counting in Chris as umpire and Marcus managing to playing two games simultaneous (subbing for YFK next door), and it ended up being the only close game of the night – real close!
The future of the Sharks and possibly Japan was on display as Ashley T and Cameron T showcased their developing bowling and batting prowess, and in the field Cameron showing very sensible evasive action at the back of the net.
Marcus’ leggies also undid a couple of the big boys and he also took up the gloves behind the stumps! Brave lads – not many kids would step into the nets with adults AND stay there when Charles decided he had a game to win (or was it a plane to catch?). Suffice to say we played to each player’s level when required but it was still game on when Charles was informed he had to get 48 to win.
After some typically heavy hitting and sensible running it came down to five off the last ball. Charles duly slammed it back up the pitch, catching the side net for a three and taking the one run. GAME TIED on 99 a piece!! A fitting end to the games and a splendid time was had by one and all, with the only injuries being to egos!
Big thanks to Dave Lollback who stuck around, dealing with admin and money and not getting a game until the end. Also to Mrs Thurgate for the use of her photos.
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