Japan Cup – Chibas Sharks v Tokyo Falcons
Aug 30th at Sano 3. By Debashish Sahoo
Another day of cricket, another afternoon T20— a must-win game for the Sharks to hopefully break into the Japan Cup semis. Our opponent: the Tokyo Falcons. After a fun little team warm-up with the ol’ rugby ball, captain Marcus Thurgate headed for the toss. Batting first, today’s XI featured Dhugal, Marcus (C) (WK), Neel, Deba, Ajeet, Ibrahim, Muneeb, Ashley, Rui, Hamdan & KB.
Doogs and Marcus opened the bat, with Falcons pacer Navin Negi firing in from the Road End. The opening partnership, unfortunately, did not last very long as Marcus Stoinis mistimed one straight to mid-on. Neel Date walked out to the middle, looking pretty solid throughout, until he chopped one up in the air. A little while after Deba made it to the middle, Doogs was adjudged leg-before on an attempted sweep shot. He went out for a solid-looking 26, striking over a hundred. Just as the pressure was building on us, Deba was cheaply run out, followed quickly by Ajeet’s dismissal.
Ibby, confident from his previous Japan Cup outing, knocked a few around the ground, while Rui Matsumura played some good shots, bagging out an important 20 off 18. Muneeb, Ashley, Hamdan, and KB added a few more runs to the scoreboard before the Sharks were bowled out for 99.
The target was set. The Falcons needed 100 off their 20 overs. Not a huge total to defend. We had to stick to our plans and fight hard to keep our Japan Cup hopes alive. Muneeb “Disco” Siddique & Rui “Jimmy” Matsumura opened the bowling, looking to send their openers back to the tent. In search of a wicket, Dhugal put his hand up to bowl his off-spin— and not much later, Doogs managed to hold on to a very low and impressive caught-and-bowled that was smashed at him pretty hard.
Soon after, Ibby trapped his prey leg-before, giving us our second wicket. The Falcons, though, kept getting their runs here and there, despite good Sharks efforts in the field. Ashley Thurgate bowled a man out, while a good catch by Rui at cow corner off Ibby’s bowling brought the Falcons 4-down. However, this wasn’t quite enough, as our opponents chased the target down in 18th over.
Well played to the Falcons, who won the game by 6 wickets. Unfortunately, that’s the end of our Japan Cup campaign this season; tough luck, boys. A good fighting effort by us, nonetheless. Up, Up, Sharkies 🐬🐬🐬