Sharks vs Sano at Sano1, July 25th, 2010
By Anton Lloyd-Williams
Tochigi, 10:30 a.m. Pale blue skies, washed with haze and the odd, lost, wispy cloud, provided the perfect surround for the searing white sun that beat down mercilessly on a hard baked Sano pitch. The recent rains, which had encouraged the boundaries to spurt into verdant jungle, had made Sano 2 unplayable and thus Sano 1 was chosen as the venue for this nervously awaited encounter. Sano 2, a good pitch for the Sharks, having claimed the scalp of Paddy Foley’s there, is an amenable enough place, with parking, Portaloos, running water and seated shelters. Sano 1 has a tree. It was to this tree, through the stifling heat, that 12 Sharks made their way and set up Base Camp.
Captain Thurgate braved the temperatures, already well above 30°C, to march out to the middle for the toss. He correctly called Tails for the second match in a row and elected to bat. Sano were sporting an interesting line up of experienced sub-continent players overseeing some of the better younger Japanese players. However, the body language of the Sano players, as they prepared to take the field, showed that they wished they’d won the toss. The heat was now intense and to make matters worse, two of their number were still in transit to the ground.
Sano had wisely brought a canopy style tent with them under which scorers Jinasena, Sancheti and Bahl, reporters Lloyd-Williams and Saggu and raconteur Thurgate ensconced themselves to watch the game unfold.
Umpires Shearer and Ladler started the game promptly at 11:00 a.m. in scorching conditions just as the 2 missing Sanoites thankfully arrived. Captain Thurgate, known throughout world cricket as one of the more innovative captains, decided to mix-up the opening batsmen, but not as right hander and left hander. Oh no, nothing so conventional. Thurgate sent out Lollback and Hussein as tall and short. Hussein, took the strike, pads covering the tops of his thighs, to face Rizwan coming in from the River End, who delivered a good first over, finding a good line and giving up only 1 bye. Hanif took the next from the Embankment End and was guided over the slips by Lollback for 4 in an otherwise tidy over. Rizwan then generated some tricky bouncers towards Hussein for a maiden over before Lollback sent Hanif for 4 more with a flashing drive to extra cover. Hussein, perhaps fishing outside off a little, grabbed a single from a ball over the slips to see out the 5th over. Sharks 14 without loss.
Hussein fell in the next over, attempting to sweep over fly slip, but instead, finding the aforementioned, Shabir, with hands up to the task. New batsman, Giles-Jones came to the crease to watch Lollback execute a meticulous flick for a fine leg boundary before adding to the scoreboard himself with runs to mid off and fine leg.
The spinner, Shibata, then took the 10th over from the Embankment End drawing a boundary towards fine leg from Giles-Jones and giving the wicket keeper, who has having a pretty torrid time of it, more to worry about with 4 byes. The last ball of the over saw Lollback heave one out to deep mid-wicket where the fielder waited, positioned himself, caught and then dropped the ball. Everyone who has taken this fielding position has done the same at some point. Lollback, luckily for the Sharks, ensured that this tradition would continue. Considered batting and errors in the field, due in no small part to the relentless heat, gave the Sharks 39 for 1 off 10 overs.
From the River End, new bowler Shabir was unlucky not have Lollback caught behind off an edge that stayed very low. Lollback, appreciating his good fortune, flicked a 4 off his pads and then drove flawlessly for 4 more next ball.
The batsmen continued to apply their art to the bowlers until drinks, Lollback effortlessly pulling a 4 to deep square leg and Giles-Jones following a boundary to the same spot with an assured leg glance to fine leg for 4 more. Shabir then tightened things up, with some testing flight into the area of uncertainty, for a maiden. Drinks were gratefully taken at 72 for 1 off 15; a total that included 22 extras gifted by both bowlers and fielders. During the break the batsmen recognized the need to start moving the scoreboard on at a swifter pace in order to reach a perceived minimum of 250 runs.
With a thick, white thunderhead cloud mutating from the haze out to the South East and temperatures still scorching, Butt reopened proceedings from the Embankment End, quickly finding good pace and bounce. Shabir continued from the River End and was lofted for the first 6 of the day by Lollback towards mid on. More aggressive play and an enormous Lollback pull for 6 saw the Sharks move past 100 in the 20th over. Munir and Kano took over bowling duties and were steadily milked for well-timed singles and doubles around the field, the batsmen sharing a good understanding between the wickets. Another 4 gave Lollback a well earned 50 on the way to 121 for 1 off 25 overs. Not long after, a flurry of composed boundaries gave Giles-Jones his half ton and he duly celebrated by supplying the shot of day; An immaculately timed drive along the ground to long off that seemed to pick up speed as the field admired it, in silence. When a spectacular shot is made to look so simple, then it deserves to be called sublime. Some tighter bowling and more urgency in the field saw drinks taken with the Sharks at 153 for 1 off 30.
At this stage, both batsmen knew it was time to loosen their shoulders and start serving up big shots if a defendable total was to be reached. Rizwan returned after the break, looking quite pacy and Lollback nearly holed out to a scampering mid-on. Giles-Jones then steadied the ship with a dismissive pull over square leg for 6. Lollback ran out of lives in the 32nd over when a looping ball from the increasingly tricky Shibata hit him on the foot. Lollback out LBW for 67. The importance of Lollback’s innings cannot be underestimated – not only did it fire the team and provide the platform for the some of the incendiary batting that followed, it set the tone for the game; The Sharks were here to win and only win. The Lollback / Giles-Jones partnership added 149 to the board.
Enter into the arena, Prashant Kale. Poor Prashant had been fidgeting around the boundary for almost half an hour, grimacing when a short ball was not put away for 6 and going into contortions at every dot ball. He was itching to get to the crease and by the time he did, his shirt was stretched across his expanded shoulders and a look of malicious intent lined his brow. Scorer Jinasena, who had until then been entertaining the tent with a continual stream of mentally updated statistics (to 2 decimal places) declared that he was now ready to be entertained and shuffled forward to the edge of his chair. Prashant took strike, faced the bowler, smacked the crease noisily with the toe of his bat and then blocked out the rest of the over.
Rizwan took the 33rd over and found sufficient pace to account for Giles-Jones who missed a straight one that dislodged a stump. Another superb knock had come to an end at 69, just enough to keep his season’s average at over 100. The Colonel took his place and got off the mark immediately with a single, allowing Prashant to face the rest of the over. Clearly sensing Jinasena’s disappointment, he wound up for a 4 followed by a mighty pull shot for 6 that saw half the Sano team trying to recover the ball, in vain, from the deepest part of the boundary jungle.
Shibata took the 34th and winced as The Colonel was dropped and spilled over the boundary out at wide long on. Revenge was swift; next ball in fact, as The Colonel pulled to deepish square leg and found the hands of Sugiura, keen to restore Sano’s fielding acumen. Kamal gone for a quick fire 9 off 7 balls.
New batsman Sancheti came out and Prashant added a 2 and a 4 to his total. Rizwan took his final over from the River End and Sancheti used the pace of the ball well to launch an enormous drive, flush out of the middle of the bat, towards long off. A certain 6 all the way, it was only interrupted in its flight by an outstanding catch from a flying Shabir. No one on the field or in the scorers’ tent could believe such a catch could be made but Sancheti’s forlorn figure returning to base camp told a different story, gone for 2. There is no shame in being dismissed in such circumstances; one simply has to applaud the fielder’s skill.
With wickets falling like Fuji rain, the Sharks needed a presence at the crease to take away the impetus from the Sano bowlers. Who better than Cap’n Thurgate? After a couple of laborious looking singles, Prashant generously gave his captain a breather by belting Shibata to long, long, long on. The lengthy search for the ball allowed Thurgate to recover his breath and allowed Sonali, Prashant’s charming wife, to make her Sharks’ debut by bringing on drinks.
The ball was found and Prashant responded by sending it back out towards the boundary. Thurgate almost got himself run out by taking a leisurely trot down the pitch only to be sent back. A comedy of fielding errors, including hitting the wrong stumps and then throwing the ball out to square leg, allowed Thurgate to return to his crease at a pace that suggests he was built for comfort, not for speed. Prashant continued to move the scoreboard on with a showcase of attacking drives, pulls and cuts which had the scorers’ tent in fine voice. The entertainment continued until the 38th over when he missed a slightly slower ball from Raheel and was stumped by the keeper. So came to an end the most dynamic innings of the day; 46 runs off a mere 19 balls. New batsman Deshpande followed him back next ball, caught and bowled for a golden which gave Bahl a chance to walk out and wave his bat menacingly at the bowler. He got off the mark by working a single to leg.
Thurgate, in no mood or physical state for any more singles, latched onto a widish full toss and deposited it over the boundary at long off. In the penultimate over, Bahl, walked up the wicket towards Hanif, missed and continued his promenade in the direction of the scorers’ tent having been stumped by the keeper. Saggu came in to share the last over which Thurgate kicked of with a booming 6 to long off. The batsmen then shared singles before Thurgate, tired of running, returned to a tried and trusted approach; another enormous drive over the long on boundary for 6. The batsmen lent back on their bats to discuss the weather while the ball was eventually retrieved and Thurgate gratefully sent it back over the same boundary to close the innings. A stirring knock of 29 off 13 balls including four 6’s. Fortunately for the paying public, Lloyd-Williams was not required to bat. The Sharks innings closed at 257 for the loss of 8 wickets.
|A. Hussein||C. Shabir||B. Hanif||5||16||1||0|
|D. Lollback||LBW||B. Shibata||67||100||7||3|
|P. Giles-Jones||B. Rizwan||63||61||8||1|
|P. Kale||St. Nomura||B. Raheel||46||19||5||3|
|A. Kamal||C. Sugiura||B. Shibata||9||7||2||0|
|V. Sancheti||C. Shabir||B. Rizwan||2||2||0||0|
|C. Thurgate||Not Out||29||13||0||4|
|N. Deshpande||C & B||B. Raheel||0||1||0||0|
|A. Bahl||St. Nomura||B. Hanif||1||5||0||0|
|G. Saggu||Not Out||1||3||0||0|
|Total||For 8||257||40 Overs|
Play resumed at 14:52. The overhead haze had started to become more apparent, pushed in by the cloud masses congregating to the South. Sano sent out Munir and Fuji to open their reply and with an attacking field set, Giles-Jones took the first over from the River End. He found a good line and length from the first ball and, with steadily increasing pace, was clearly causing Munir some anxiety. A nervous flick off his pads brought him 2 runs but he will wish that he had kept it to a single as the very next ball left his stumps bent at an unhealthy angle from an off stump yorker. The Sharks had made a crucial early breakthrough, Munir gone for just 2.
He was replaced by the big hitting Hanif, bedecked in his weathered orange cap, who edged the last ball down to third man for 2.
The Colonel took the next over from the Embankment End and his first ball was sent for 4 to square leg by Fuji. (From this point on, your reporter will have to rely on the scorecard and his vague memories of the game, as the play-by-play notebook was not taken into the field but was instead, entrusted to a certain statistics fanatic on the sidelines, who found the task of adding to it too exhausting.) Pat continued to bowl beautifully from his end, finding a good length, while the Colonel perhaps bowled a little too short from his. The Sano1 pitch was playing true, and was suited to good length deliveries. Anything bowled short tended to sit up and give the batsmen too much time to swat the ball away.
The Colonel should have had Fuji caught at point, but Sancheti, much to his own dismay, let the ball slip from his hands as he was preparing to throw it skyward in celebration. Fuji wasn’t to last much longer though. Sancheti took over from Giles-Jones and after several unplayable deliveries, found Fuji muddled in his footwork and given out plum LBW. Long overdue, this was Sancheti’s first wicket of the season. Fuji gone for a useful 19 off 21.
Sugiura was the next man in and looked nervous as he was cleverly kept on strike. He found himself unable to deal with the pace of Sancheti or the testing line of The Colonel. Known more as a back foot player, Sugiura was forced onto the front foot by some thoughtful bowling and, as good a batsman as he is, this area still requires work. As a result, the Sano scoreboard shuddered to a virtual halt, only showing signs of life when Hanif stepped in to launch anything short to the boundary.
Drinks were taken at the end of the 15th over with Sano just short of 100. Considering the blistering run rate earlier on, the Sharks had done well to stifle the batsmen and wrest back a slim advantage. Play resumed, following a similar pattern; Hanif powering towards a half century while Sugiura was content to protect his wicket and wait for the bad ball, few of which ever came to him. His innings came to an end in slightly controversial circumstances as he was run out, having been called through for a suicidal single and then sent back. A swift throw from Giles-Jones found Deshpande who was quick to remove the bales at the marooned batsman’s end. Sugiura didn’t look best pleased as he trudged away with a hard earned 10 off 40 to his name.
Rizwan joined Hanif and the two made every effort to reignite the scoreboard with a flurry of boundaries and brisk running between the wickets. It soon became clear that these two batsmen offered the greatest threat to the Sharks’ chances of victory and their dismissal became an urgent priority as neither could really be contained. Both were intent on playing shots and subsequently giving chances. Hanif sent two very high top edges out towards deep square leg but they fell just short of the incoming fielder. As the boundaries continued to come the Sharks needed something special. Or someone. Giles-Jones took the hint and caught Rizwan off his own bowling with a full length delivery that turned the batsman inside out. Rizwan gone for 21.
This brought in the youthful Sano tail which put the onus on Hanif to open up even more in search of runs. Hanif’s intentions were quickly spotted by Giles-Jones who sent through a cracking full length delivery which Hanif could do no more than play on to his own stumps. The danger man was finally gone after an innings of muscle, malice and no small amount of skill, accumulating 84 off 56 balls, including eight 4s and six 6s.
Sano’s hopes of victory now seemed to be fading as fast as the early evening light so it became imperative for the Sharks to whistle through the final 10 overs, forgoing the drinks break, in order to get a valid result. The Sano tail offered minimal resistance with the exception of the promising youngster Kano, who visibly enjoyed belting his 20 not out off 23 balls.
Putting his recent wicket keeping woes behind him 😉 a resurgent Thurgate stumped Shabir to give Giles-Jones a memorable 5 wicket haul in the 36th over. With thunder booming around the ground and the clouds ready to fall in, the final Sano wicket fell in the 40th over, Sancheti catching Shibata at point, off the improving bowling of Bahl. Sharks won by 44 runs. Play ended at about 17:30.
|Rizwan||C & B||B. Giles-Jones||21||21||2||0|
|Butt||C & B||B. Sancheti||4||6||0||0|
|Terayama||C. Hussein||B. Deshpande||4||17||0||0|
|Nomura||St. Thurgate||B. Giles-Jones||3||8||0||0|
|Shabir||St. Thurgate||B. Giles-Jones||0||6||0||0|
|Shibata||C. Sancheti||B. Bahl||7||14||1||0|
|Total||All Out||212||(39.2 overs)|
It was a well-earned and hard-fought win for the Sharks that should see them claim a semi-final place. Thanks and commiserations to Sano for a good, close game and respect also for their decision to give some of the younger Japanese players a chance to experience the intensity of this type of match. Appreciation also to umpires Shearer and Laidler from the Wombats, who were immaculately turned out, consistent and ever willing to explain any decision that met with mumblings from the players. Good job gentlemen.
Just as the game ended, the first fat drops of rain began to fall, hinting at the massive storm about to unleash itself. Having hurriedly packed up their gear, 12 tired but happy Sharks left the twilight field with the perfume of hot, wet grass in their nostrils. It smelt like summer, it smelt like cricket, it smelt like……Victory.продвижениеспособ раскрутки сайтаtopodкак взломать страницу одноклассников зная логинчехол для apple ipad 2микрозайм на киви кошелек срочноcasino online forum srbijaworlds best escortsmerit lefkosa hotel & casinoGenting gamesв танзании в ноябреайкидо для детей красногвардейская