JC: Sharks vs Sano at Sano, June 4th 2011
By Richard Dixon and Anton Lloyd-Williams
It was the best of cricketing times, it was the worst of times, it was a day of wisdom, it was a day of foolishness, it was the hour of belief, it was the hour of incredulity, it was the season of the straight drive, it was the season of the dropped catch, it was the summer of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to score centuries, we were all going to get ducks. It was the perfect occasion for invoking the superlative prose of the great Mr. Dickens. Summer had finally arrived, our whites were shining in perfect unison and there was a quiet confidence exuding from the team. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
It was not just a day for playing cricket. The green pastures of Sano are marvelous inspiration for the imagination. Focus your eyes across its playing fields and you are back on the great railways of Europe, staring from windows, chatting with strangers, and enjoying surreal encounters as magnificent as any you would find in a collection of Kafka short stories. There is distinct romanticism about staring into a field of clovers in the middle of Japan. One can see them as an accursed pest that turn every potential boundary into a mediocre single or they can be seen as a metaphor for life, an intricate testament to the struggle for survival. The clover lives in perpetual threat of the man with the dreaded spray, or the careless step of some heavy footed fieldsman. The Sharks were facing their own demons in the form of 3 straight losses and as they stepped onto the field the mighty Sword of Damocles hung over them like some ghoulish spectre waiting to slice them into a starter worthy of the finest eateries in Yokohama. The question was, would shark fin soup be on the menu tonight?
With most players embalmed in a coating of Factor 50 and exotic deodorant, the air at Sano smelled like the inside of a Turkish bathhouse. It was going to be a warm day and before the game had even started a couple of players were beginning to turn pink under the hot June sun. The Sharks decided to lose the toss and fielded first with Dave R and Vicky trusted with the new ball. Dave quickly found his rhythm and line, and it was not long before a classic Rear delivery had the middle peg, of the dangerous Naeemuddin, cartwheeling back towards Rasib, making his first appearance as keeper. Rasib comes ready packed with boundless enthusiasm and motivation which was a real tonic for the Sharks. His catching and general agility were impressive and helped keep the team on its toes. Dave R bowled well all day and ended up with figures of 2 for 30, proving once again that he has the goods. Vicky bowled with his head and his heart and was very unlucky not to open his account in the Wickets column. They’ll come Vicky – they always do.
The Sharks usual keeper Chris T, taking a holiday from the frenetic action behind the stumps, took up what he thought might be a quieter spot in the covers but was soon left wishing he had the pads and gloves on again as he was called to field almost every other ball. He bravely bowled one over when Sano were trying to pile on the runs and unfortunately he took an almighty pasting. Revenge was sweet though when he executed a run out of such flawless grace that men were in tears. The ball was knocked out to him at cover, along the deck and at pace. Realizing he had no hope of getting down to it, he gamely stuck out a foot. The ball ricocheted of his toe and into his hand. In one glorious movement Chris then began a dignified fall backwards, a pot-pourri of grunts, sweat and grass, while tossing the ball gently towards the stumps, almost in the fashion of a basketball player taking free throws. The one stump he had to aim at bent towards its colleagues, Chris completed his slump to the turf and Rizwan was out by a yard and a half. Legendary stuff.
Anton too, hoping to add to his haul (of 2) last time out at Sano, failed to find any rhythm and suffered some punishment. He was not helped when Dixon – who looked like he was auditioning for the role of Mr. Bean, auditioning for the role of a wounded giraffe – dropped a catch on the boundary, helping it over the rope for a six. Well, we’ve all dropped those haven’t we. Haven’t we? A slew of wides added for good measure also did nothing to improve his figures or the hue of the scorebook. Koji and Charles did however manage some great fielding in the outfield chasing down some big shots. Well done on the Ozzie visa too Koji!
Sano boast a good batting lineup and it’s a credit to the Sharks that the wickets kept tumbling. Dave L – who should audition for the role of drill sergeant if they ever decide to do a sequel of Full Metal Jacket – bowled his best spell of the season steaming in with genuine menace. He got a plumb LBW decision and finished the day with the sterling figures of 2-15. He was ably assisted at the opposite end by Sumon, who picked up 2 scalps and bowled with real heart and tenacity. He could have had more but for some comically (for Sanoites) lame catching by Anton out on the deep boundary. For Sano, Suguira and Kano were the standouts scoring 31 and 30 respectively. When the final wicket fell Sano had amassed 175 and but it looked like the Sharks, with a bit of hard graft, were in with a chance. But chance is a funny thing n’est pas?
What followed was rather like watching the last scene from in Death in Venice – it was an excruciating spectacle. Simply put, the Sharks suffered a serious case of collective insanity, giving away wickets as though they were tissues advertising shady Internet cafes. Anshul and Rasib opened for the Sharks and within a few balls the former was back in the non-existent pavilion. Sumon entered the fray and witnessed, from the other end, a collapse so monumental that batters were having trouble getting padded up in time to face the onslaught. Rasib thrilled the crowd with some fabulous gay dabs through the gully but was next in the hutch caught swinging at one that that rose on him. Dixon and Steinhardt would benefit from time in front of a bowling machine but both deserved a spell in front of a firing squad for playing shots that would officially be sanctioned as ‘crimes against cricket’ if there were any justice in the world. Steinhardt holed out to square leg with an indoor swipe and Dixon politely jabbed the ball back to the bowler’s hands. Both gone for a Golden. In between them, Vicky applied his art to the bowlers, smacking some glorious fours back over their heads until he too sent one higher than it was long, Chris T made an uncharacteristically brief appearance, edging back behind, Dave swiftly followed suit to the same spot as did Anton, who managed to block his way in but followed his predecessors, dutifully keeping the slips in fine voice. It was the faintest of bottom edges and Umpire StatNav did well to pick it up. Shark hopes left the crease with Sumon out for 28, caught, you guessed, behind. One has to feel for the Sano slip men and keeper – their hands must have been raw by the end. Sharks pride was restored though with a stalwart display from Koji, batting in anger for the very first time, who showed he has the heart of a lion. He withstood 10 balls, made 3 runs but was caught in …..you know where. Dave Rear kept hold of his wicket for another more fruitful day. As the Sharks fell around him it was interesting to watch Rizwan bowl for Sano. He is an absolute ringer for the legendary West Indian bowler Andy Roberts. Sharks finished on a measly 63.
|R. Udinoorpedika||c. fielder||b. Alam||8||8||1||0|
|A. Bahl||lbw||b. Rizwan||1||4||0||0|
|S. Haque||c. keeper||b. Abeysinghe||28||39||4||0|
|C. Steinhardt||c. fielder||b. Alam||0||1||0||0|
|V. Sancheti||c. fielder||b. Alam||13||13||2||0|
|C. Thurgate||c. keeper||b. S. Miyaji||0||7||0||3|
|D. Lollback||c. keeper||b. S. Miyaji||1||3||0||0|
|A. Lloyd-Williams||c. fielder||b. S. Miyaji||2||9||0||0|
|R. Dixon||c&b||b. S. Miyaji||0||1||0||0|
|K.Watanabe||c. fielder||b. Abeysinghe||3||10||0||0|
|D. Rear||not out||nn||0||6||0||0|
|Extras||nn||nb 0 w5 b2 lb0||nn||nn||nn||nn|
|Total||63||all out||nn||nn||Overs 16|
Well, another disappointing display from a Sharks squad that looks like it is taking its time to get into a working gear. Nonetheless, positives could be found – The Double Dave bowling attack, Sumon finding some form with the bat and Koji’s first runs for the team. Surely good things must only be around the corner.
Many thanks to StatNav for coming along as 12th man and performing the role of Umpire. He did an outstanding job in the face of some ear melting appeals and kept a calm and orderly countenance throughout.оптимизация сайта под поисковые системысайтtopodвк анонимайзер зеркало бесплатнорюкзак для macbook pro 15займ по интернету на карту срочноfree casino bonus slots onlineoriental escorts in dubaicasino slot oyunlar?william hill live casinozanzibar сезон дождейвертикальные радиаторы