WL – Sharks vs Wyverns 15.12.12
by Anton Lloyd-Williams
Winter’s here. Minus 7 in Kashiwa on Saturday? Brrrr… Well, things can get a bit parky in the evening but was it really that cold? Surely some mistake. -7? That’s Hokkaido cold! No mistake here my friends. However, the figure referred to above was not registered on a thermometer. It was registered on a scoreboard. No, not a golf scoreboard. A cricket scoreboard. “How can you get a minus score in cricket?” you ask. Well it was tough and took some perseverance, but we managed it. A score of -7 runs during the 3rd over was the lowest ebb that we reached on an evening of clueless batting and running courtesy of your own Sharks and some truly breathtaking fielding from the Wyverns.
The Sharks traveling circus rolled into town with an abundance of players – From the Sharks; Kris B, Aditya Ryan, Mairaj, Anton, Imran, Sagar, Moto, Rajesh and Eiro and from the My-Ys, Rui, Takuma and Kentaro. Add to them an assortment of parents, spouses, overseers and offspring and you have the beginnings of a village and some of the cricket would prove to be very “village” later on.
Things started well enough though. We opened the evening’s show with a keenly contested practice bout between the Sharks A and Sharks B (The A was for Anton and the B for Bayne, respective captains) Bayne’s beauties won that clash in the end but there were lots of promising moments from both sides – Eiro continued to flourish with the bat and Moto bowled with genuine menace, swinging the ball on a good length and making the batsman play at everything. Rajesh looked handy and Imran’s spinners also outfoxed a fair few. Meanwhile, Rui and Kentaro showed their nimbleness and Takuma found where the middle of his bat was..
With sweat still on our brows, Captain Bayne called forth the side that would take on the Wyverns – Kris B (C), Moto, Adit, Anton, Ryan and Sagar. Wyverns skipper Chino sat on the sidelines and sent in a few fresh faces, including a lady, to represent the Wyverns. Kris won the toss and the Sharks elected to bowl.
Anton and Ryan shared the first two overs which were reasonably uneventful apart from a couple of well struck shots that reached the back nets. Neither bowler looked particularly threatening though and as the batsmen moved through the gears it became clear we’d need an early wicket and right on cue, Ryan deceived Masubuchi with a wobbler that accounted for leg stump. Sagar then came in with a tidy over of pace during which we suffered the great loss of seeing Moto exit the field with a popped calf muscle. There was no way he could have continued and had to be helped off of the pitch. A great shame, not just because he was ruling the infield where he was stationed but was in pretty ominous form with the ball during the practice game before. Get well soon Moto! Chino gamely allowed us a full sub (batting and bowling OK) and Mairaj came into the fray to get first-hand experience of seeing his averages plundered by safe shot selection and adept running between the wickets from Otori and Masubuchi. Despite an out, some deft fielding and some not untidy bowling, the Wyverns first pair somehow managed to get themselves to 44. Honestly, the mysteries of indoor cricket sometimes don’t make sense even when the scoresheet is in front of you. 44! It shouldn’t be possible.
Adit and Kris B welcomed the second pair in. Adit took a little time to find his line while the batsmen could do little with Kris’ military mediums other than tweak them into the side netting. Still, they were all runs on the board. Ryan and Mairaj closed the middle session out with some stingy lines that saw the ball coming straight back to the bowler. However, even on these occasions, more often than not, a cheeky run was grabbed. With no outs, Uehara and Okawa added another 34 to the Wyverns total putting them on 78 with the last pair to come – a pretty healthy position for them.
The last pair in featured the triple scoring (as the ladies do) Yamagata and slogmeister Ueda. Anton struck lucky immediately as Yamagata lost her balance chasing a pie and was expertly stumped by Kris B. Kris took a bit of a pasting next over though, as he was milked for triples off lucky glances and knocked for a 7. Even Sagar couldn’t escape the swinging blows of Ueda’s willow and only a run out in the final over from Adit kept the scoreboard from boiling over. 109 the final score. A pretty decent total but not in any way unreachable if we got our heads down, played sensibly and punished the bad ball. Mmmmm. Yes….Indeed….
Sharks bowling figures; Anton 1/16, Ryan 1/15, Sagar, 0/17, Mairaj 0/24, Adit 1/11, Kris B 0/26.
Anton and Ryan were chosen to lead the Sharks reply. (Feel free to take a drinks break here – I am.) Uehara sent down some very unorthodox loopers that took an age to arrive and befuddled the batsmen. What was needed was invention and adjustment. What we got was flat bats swatting away at shoulder height and some comic ineptitude. Although Anton and Ryan managed to somehow navigate their way through the first over without loss for 11, mainly off edges, things started to go wrong in the second. Otori’s medium pacers looked tasty enough but Ryan missed one and was stumped. Anton was next on the menu getting himself caught at the back wall, in what was just the opening salvo in a display of expert fielding that left us shaking our heads in disbelief.
Looking to get the scoreboard moving again, the batsmen threw everything at the returning Uehara’s loopy loopers, including their wickets. Shaping up for a monster swat, Anton hit his own wicket instead and then Ryan was plucked off the net behind by an excellent piece of keeping. An expertly executed run out (direct hit from half way down the pitch) then saw the hapless pair on -7. A decent looking 3 from Anton last ball of the third over stopped the rot but it was where-are-they-now?-blues-rock time. Yes, we were in in Dire Straits.
Wyverns were fielding deep, so the bewildered batsmen tried the leg glance and run option for their final over and got good value getting north of zero to finish the opening session with 4 runs in the account. “Well at least things couldn’t get much worse,” you say. ( …..let’s take another drinks break here shall we?)
Where were we? Oh yes…things. Kris B and Mairaj were given the task of rescuing our innings and things got off to an unfortunate start when Kris was run out off a comfortable single by a direct hit from two thirds of the pitch away. A phenomenal piece of vision that had us back in the red. Mairaj was keen to make amends though and belted a straight bat cracker for 7. This was the last cheer we had for a while though. The Wyverns fielders got to anything loose with enviable speed making even singles a delicacy. Mairaj’s luck ran out soon after as he was caught expertly by Okawa sending us back to 8 on the board after 6 overs.
What came next was a masterclass in lethal fielding. Kris was stumped reaching for one and then caught stunningly on the side net. The back wall fielders then juggled a Mairaj swipe among themselves for another catch before a direct hit run-out from almost the entire length of the pitch took another 5 out of the kitty. A torrid, torrid session mercifully came to end with the Sharks on -2 after 8 overs.
It’s probably not an overstatement to say the last pair in, Sagar and Adit, had it all to do. In fact they first had to annul our deficit and then they would have it all to do after that. Adit soaked up a few wides and shared some well spanked doubles with Sagar to get us back in the black. Sagar’s bat then started making wonderful noises as the ball flew through the air to the back wall. Adit was more canny in driving into the nets but still the quality of the fielding meant that little more than singles were on offer.
Opportunist running and sensible shots saw the scoreboard tick along at a steady pace until Sagar found the back wall again with a mighty smack. The Wyverns weren’t finished though and Adit was well caught low down on the back wall, penultimate ball, to take a little of the gloss off. Adit and Sagar saved us from total humiliation with a well-crafted 42 for the final pair.
Sharks finished on 40. Batting figures; Anton 2 (3 outs), Ryan 2 (2 outs), Kris B -17 (5 outs), Mairaj 11 (1 out), Sagar 22 (0 outs), Adit 20 (1 out).
One of those days? Yes, but it was also a lesson in the benefits of a long term intensive fielding regime. Whenever we encounter the Wyverns they are always going through their catching and fielding drills and Saturday night was no different. It showed very quickly as they picked us off in the field with ease. No doubt this form will be taken outdoors come the Spring too, we need to take a leaf out of their book and add it to our own.
Time for a break as our next game will not take place until mid January. Sorry that we couldn’t end the year with a victory but when do you ever get what you want for Christmas? Festive greetings, love and peace to all.сайтпродвижениеaracerскачать программу для взлома паролейна айфон 5 чехлыденьги в долг под проценты петрозаводскjogos de bingo gratis turboescortgirne merithttp://beste-onlinecasinos.comпешие походы в горыфитнес клуб зебра метро братиславская