WL – 22. 02. 14 Action Sports Stadium (ASS),
by Kris Bayne and Scott Musgrave
The weather finally gave us a chance to actually get to Kashiwa the Sharks teams showed the wait had not dulled their desire for winning and competing. The Bulls had two games while the Hammerheads had another crack at GoGo Ken! since the Senshu University boys came up very short.
Bull Sharks vs My-Ys
Bulls 72 – My-Ys -6
This might sound strange if you just look at the eventual score, but My-Ys were far from disgraced in this game. They are a team of high school kids, girls and boys, still finding their way in the game of cricket playing against a team of seasoned cricketers. I think it is safe to say all these My-Ys will play for their country, which something most of us will never do. Tonight, though, they got a hiding. Bull Sharks lost the toss and we were sent into bat.
Kris (as sub) and Mairaj – combined age greater than the combined age of the entire My-Ys team – opened up and rollicked along quite nicely against the bowling. They worked the nets nicely with one 7 from Kris to be 33 come the last over. Both then surrendered a catch behind to identical balls off Madoka to finish on 28. Pave and Aayush then stepped up the run-rate with some aggressive batting and opportunist running (they had an 8). The multiple scoring shots started to rack up and despite losing a few wickets (one a last-ball stumping to the ever-improving leg spin of Hinata, who saw Aayush coming and dropped it short) the boys added 35 runs to take us to 63. The final pair were the premium Sharks batting pair of Dave and Vicky. The My-Ys had held back some overs of their key bowlers as well so it would be interesting. But it was more than just that. The first brace of overs saw they push steady up to the mid-80s and another three figures seemed on the cards. Then all hell broke loose. The penultimate over saw Rui clean up a probing Vicky’s off stump, he then kept one out for one. Dave got an inside edge to another beautiful in-swinger to be bowled, he could not do anything with next and then got off strike. Vicky then delivered a juggling catch to Zain at the back. A delightful over to watch. Not to be outdone Takuma induced a catch in the last over. We ended on 72 and we could not help but applaud the fight back by the My-Ys. They kept the Bulls to by far their lowest score of the competition to date and showed a very positive glimpse of the future of Japan cricket.
With 73 to get and two girls in the team we would have to be on our game. The boys were no slouches with the bat. My-Ys opened with their stronger batters in Rui and Minami and we opened with Mairaj and Pave. We defended the nets well and a tight line from both saw only singles. A double bowled strike in Pave’s last over had the My-Ys at just 6 runs and in trouble. Kris and Aayush then took on the girls, Madoka and Hinata. While not a particular fair fight we needed to ensure a good line and minimal chance of runs from bat on ball. They did just that. Two wickets from Kris, a rare wicket-maiden from Aayush, then a couple more from both and My-Ys were back to 2. Zain and Takuma had the happy challenge of facing Vicky and Dave. They won the battle of the first two overs by a handful of runs. Dave and Vicky then sent them into reverse. Three wickets by Dave including a ripper slower ball stumping by Pave and then a pair for Vicky for minimal runs had both boys end up in the negative and My-Ys on -6 overall. We gave very little, got six runouts but the My-Ys should take heart with their performance. To keep us to 72 was awesome.
Kris 22/3-0 Mairaj 6/0-13 Pavethy 29/3-minus 7 MOM
Aayush 6/2-minus 4 Vicky 9/3-minus 3 Dave 0/3-minus 3
Bull Sharks vs Boso 3rd Team
Bulls 134 – Boso 67
Bolstered by three subs, the Boso 3rd Team were no match for the Bulls. In case you are wondering (if you aren’t then skip ahead) why they are called Boso 3rd Team, well, I’ll tell you. ‘Boso’ is the name of the peninsula that makes up much of Chiba Prefecture. The members are connected to junior teams in the area as administrators, parents and helpers. But why ‘3rd’ team, you ask? Well, in this competition we have three teams, well, actually four, from Chiba – Chiba Sharks (the 1st team x 2), My-Ys (the 2nd team) and, you guessed it, Boso 3rd Team! So, now you know and it would be a killer question in any sports trivia night.
The Bulls kept Boso to a tad under a run-a-ball 67. They only claimed 6 wickets over the innings but were very stingy in the field and bowled tight lines. No 4/6 were hit at all and there were many 1s or dots. Dave and Vicky kept the final pair to just 9 runs.
A steady run push would see you past the total, but in the Bull Indoor Cricket Dictionary under ‘steady’ we read ‘a constant pounding’. First time indoor player Sankar and Aayush started cautiously and a runout at the start of Over 3 was their and the Bulls only ‘out’. Rumour has it that the opening song of The Rolling Stones concerts starting next week is “Start Me Up” (I will let you know), and it might be the Bulls theme song. The runout uncorked a barrage that did let up until the last ball. Aayush and Sankar whacked on a further 19 to end on 29. Next up Mairaj and Pave did not let a ball go unpunished, working the side nets and included an 8 to Pave. The added 44 to take us past the required total. One would expect Dave and Vicky to work the nets but the Shark dictionary was still open. After a bit of a look at the bowling over the final three overs they mochi-ed a lazy 54 runs. Bull Sharks 134 to 67.
Mairaj 1-9/20 Sankar 1/1-15/23 Aayush 0-21/6
Pavethy 1-10/24 Vicky 1-12/30 Dave 2-0/31 MOM
So the Bulls, on the back of some ball & bat ‘Dave-astation’ and ‘Vicky-timization’ (see Shark dictionary) rumble through to the finals undefeated.
Hammerheads Edged at the Death
Hammerheads 132 – GoGo Ken 137
In an evening where seemingly nothing could go efficiently, the last game of the evening didn’t either. Not only was the game about an hour later than it was scheduled, but due to some crossed wires and some unavoidable commitments, the Hammerheads were brought down to a mere three members of the originally selected squad. Up stepped Dave, Ryotaro Sakamoto of the Wyverns, Pave and Kishan (a new addition). With Kris having to leave early and Sumon absent, the captaincy was lumped on Scott for the evening to take on the ever tricky Go!Go!Ken!!.
Ed. Note: Senshu University’s forfeit gave us the 3 match points. On the line was the bonus point if we could best GoGo! by 25 or more runs. Oh, and pride!
Having won the toss, the Sharks elected to bowl.
Scott decided to open with himself and after some consultation with fill-in Dave, whom was playing his third game of the night, aimed for the pads of the girls and kept a relatively tight over hitting the stumps with his second ball. With several unknowns in the side, the tried and tested Adit took the second to increase the pressure which he did with aplomb with two wickets falling in his over. Kishan then took a debut over with moderate success and Dave couldn’t quite make a breakthrough in his over Throughout the rest of the innings bowling simply wasn’t where it needed to be. With the girls getting a fair share of extra points, they racked up an impressive 137 to set the Sharks a very competitive target.
Scott was quick to throw his own name into the hat to open the batting, and despite having reservations over the depth of our team with those missing, the batsmen truly stepped up. Scott opened with another first-gamer, Kishan, and they were able to put on a very handy 40 run partnership. Only one stumping really marred the performance but the right technique was employed to combat the looping balls of the Go!Go!Ken!! bowlers. Pave and Ryotaro took the middle period and they too showed the right moves, hitting some wonderful straight drives and notching up a great partnership that eclipsed the opening partnership by making a healthy 45. Ryotaro in particular surprised with some perfect timing whilst Pave took the bowling apart with heavy hitting.
The skipper opted for experience with the final pair and it was the indomitable Adit that stepped up to the challenge. With 52 runs needed for the final bracket, it was the pernicious paceman that took up the gauntlet and smashed 34 runs to take the Hammerheads within a sniff of victory. Dave contributed a modest 13 runs despite cleaning up his foot in the previous game.
Down to the last three balls with 5 runs to get, Adit was unfortunately runout, all but ending the charge for the win, but with a five runs needed, one can hardly blame him. Regardless of the loss, Adit was presented with VAMFF! MOTM for his superb bowling figures of 3/9 and an unparalleled slaughter with the bat. A fantastic end to a fantastic game.
Scott 1-12/22 Adit 3-9/34 MOM Pave 2-20/30
Kishan 0-34/18 Dave 1-31/13 Ryotaro 0-31/15
Ed. Note: Great effort to almost chase down 137 – and they were so close – with a patched up team. Great try, guys!
Despite the result, the Hammerheads will still be in the semi-finals after finishing 2nd behind the Bull Sharks. The Bull go into the finals undefeated with maximum possible points (3+1 bonus) from their games. The Hammerheads’ only real defeat was at the hands of the Bulls, but tonight’s pick-up loss to GoGo will be a nice little high-heel in the HH butt.
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