Dr. Wheatgrass ‘Play of the Day’: Half Centuries by Arata and Clampa!
Looking at the sky, it was a beautiful day for cricket. But considering the temperature, things weren’t as nice. Already past 30 degrees Celsius when we met at Tatebayashi station, we took on Max to keep our position secured for the semi-finals.
Max, as we all know, has plenty of talent in their line-up. In terms of weather and the opponent, it seemed to be a very tough day. Skipper Dhugal won the toss and as usual he selected to have a swing of a bat.
Max could only gather nine players for the match, and our openers Clampa and Doogs both stuck the ball nicely into the gaps. They kept a healthy run rate by combining boundaries and good running between the wickets. After a partnership of 69, which set us a great tone, Dhugal fell caught behind. Clampa continued his aggression and went on to make a rapid half century, containing four 4’s and five 6’s. He went on to make 60, and at that point we were 92-2.
Then came Max’s premier bowler Taniyama. With his famous leg spin, Pave, Takady and Asala all went out cheaply. However, Arata, whom I call “next generation Higapon”, settled the ship. He and Marcus scored 46 runs between them, most by hitting in the gaps and running twos. The heat looked very violent, as Max’s fielders struggled chasing every ball Arata smacked. Marcus was unfortunate to be caught beautifully at the deep, but Arata kept going as he also made a 50 that took us to make a defendable 199.
Although Sharks provided two half centurions, we were yet again unable to bat 40 overs. We are capable to make good starts and continue the momentum throughout the batting line up. Our next challenge would be to bat through our innings.
We had to be careful bowling against Max. If we miss our lines or lengths, they will punish you heavily. Well, Muneeb had no problem bowing against their opening batsmen, first bowling straight through his defense, and then taking the edge. Clampa took a good slip catch at second slip. However, it was Supun who made us headache. He hit two consecutive sixes off short balls, and the run rate was way above what was required.
Clampa, Mahesh, and Takady were the men who rescued us. You might say it was boring, but they kept the pressure on the batsmen, bowling consistently around the corridor region. The batsmen were now unable to score freely, and at the end they got themselves out being frustrated with our three bowler’s patient bowling. Clampa took three wickets, and Takady got one.
This brought Taniyama to the crease. Already exhausted while fielding, he looked as if he had no petrol in his body. However, this guy always makes us struggle. He batted quiet sensibly, as he survived for 50 odd balls. We were starting to be a bit sloppy in the field under the sun and Taniyama’s resistance frustrated us. At the end Tommy finished off the tail as we restricted Max to 157.
It was a very hard day of cricket, but after all we won as a team. Every member did their job. If someone had trouble, another one stood up to help the team. As a Shark I am very proud to be in this team, a real “team”.