Sharks vs Sano. Sano3. 11.08.12
By Anton Lloyd-Williams
As the dust settles on the 2012 season, as amateur players, we inevitably look back at the way it unfurled and try to salvage as many positives from the wreckage as possible. For the Sharks this process won’t take long as about the only positive we can take from this term’s performance has been our consistency:
We have lost almost every match. We have batted poorly almost every match. But we have turned out 12 men almost every match, we have shown good spirit almost every match and we have given ourselves reasons to hope in almost every match. Our final regular round match against a 10 man Sano side in Tatebayashi had all of the above ingredients but a bigger dollop of hope for the future than normal.
12 Sharks bit the bullet to return to the scorched plains of Sano: Dave L, Kris B, the Shants (Pra and Su), Sumon, Anton, Charles, Molloy, Murad, Sayeed, and Sagar. Vicky very gamely turned out as 12th man.
Although there wasn’t much riding on the result, with both teams more or less guaranteed slots in the semis, both sets of players were looking to go out on a high and get some runs on a pitch that had been shaved to stubble and was sure to pay rich dividends on good ground shots. With cloud and later rain expected in the afternoon it was essential that we win the toss and bat first then field in the cooler overcast conditions……so….Dave lost the toss. Twice. The first coin came down against us but a little obliquely so Sano sportingly agreed to toss again and we lost it more definitively this time. The Sharks were sent into the field under clear skies, the ground heat already stewing up ominously, but in good cheer, looking to make early inroads into the established Sano line up.
Sagar got proceedings underway, bowling uphill from the river end with an over of deftish pace nipping off a good line and length that barely wavered all day. A couple of unconvincing cuts went for 4 but the bowler had the upper hand. Molloy had one to forget at the other end though. He struggled to control the swing of the new cherry and ended up sending down 16 balls to earn himself an immediate break. Neither batsman, both normally good shot players, could get into any rhythm against Sagar and nervously thick edged him toward gully on numerous occasions.
Prashant took over from the embankment end and tore in, looking to add to his tally of Sano 3 wickets from his last outing. A few squirmed 4’s punctuated the boundary flora as the batsmen continued to struggle to find the middle of the bat, but with the outfield like a billiard table, anything that came off the bat had a good chance of finding the rope. Some committed fielding from Charles behind the stumps and Anton scooping one back just before the boundary did some good but with runs leaking, Sagar then came to the rescue with two immaculately delivered maidens which reined the scoreboard back in. Sano at 60 for none after 10 overs.
Sushant replaced Sagar and found a stingy line and couple of edges for a maiden first over before unsettling the batsmen with a series of rising deliveries that came back into the body. It was in trying to fend off one of these that Sano opener Miyagi hooked one out to Kris B who made the catch look very easy at square leg. A long awaited breakthrough and well deserved too. Just the tonic we needed as the heat was getting rather uncomfortable and the volume in the field had just started showing signs of dimming.
The next batsman in was Nagano resident Mee. A tricky punter this fellow as he can make a century look easy or 10 impossibly difficult. We were hoping he was in the latter frame of mind today but his first duty was to applaud off Nayeem who had got a little too ambitious with a Lollback lifter and sent a gift out to Prashant at deepish extra cover who accepted it stoically. In full voice the Sharks returned to the fray. The batsmen had crossed so Mee was facing as Dave served up the very same medicine with the very same result – caught at extra cover by a now grinning Prashant. Drinks were gratefully taken at 15 overs with the scoreboard on 75 for 3 and the Sharks seemingly in the ascendancy.
It was imperative not to allow the new batsmen time to settle. They were happier seeing out dot balls than giving wickets away with attacking shots. Sugiura played diligently enough but there was nothing he could do to survive a Lollback pearler that pitched full and seared just past off, taking a fine edge on its way to the darkness of Charles’ clenched paws behind the stumps. One of the best balls of the season with no doubt.
Molloy came back into the attack from the river end and found greater control finding a couple of top edges that raced away into the outfield to be cut off by Sayeed and Murad. New man in, Matsuhisa, settled in well under the direction of Munir and our seam bowlers took a bit of a pasting during this session so time then for the King of Spin to make his entrance. Sumon sent through a couple of bewitching balls that had Matsuhisa foxed and he couldn’t get his bat on much. He got his shoe on one though, amidships, which brought forth the finger of death for a plum LBW.
Munir and Nomura then set about pushing the Sano scoreboard up with a series of late cuts and devilishly quick running between the stumps on almost anything. It was quite frustrating for the bowlers to see nothing being scored in front of the stumps while the twitching and waving of reeds and boundary shrubs at fine leg and third man told them that balls flying off multiple edges had found sanctuary there.
One last push before drinks at 30 overs got us the valuable wicket of Munir, again courtesy of Charles excellent stewardship of the timbers and Sushant’s persistent line just outside off. 169 for 6 at this stage. If we could keep the lid on the Sano tail and look to pick up a couple more wickets then there was no reason why we couldn’t finish things off for under 200, which on this pitch in such dry conditions would be more than gettable.
However……. new man in Ahmad obviously hadn’t had enough fireworks this summer and unleashed an incendiary blitz on our attack of 82 in just 34 balls. It was largely an innings of brute force, no gay dabs down to 3 man here, just vicious, booming hooks and drives to all corners of the park. In the middle of this one man thunderstorm, Nomura had his stumps ruined by a full straight one from Prashant and Araki was run out without facing a ball after a poor call from the other end. The shell-shocked and deep baked Sharks saw 100 runs added to the scoreboard during the last 10 overs. We’d perhaps bowled a little naively at Ahmad as we gave him too much to hit. Bowling at his feet would have caused less damage but hindsight wasn’t on the team sheet that day. Sano finished on 269 for 8 from 40 overs. We’d taken a beating at times but we had also shown some excellent bowling. Although he didn’t pick up any wickets Sagar was probably the pick of the bowlers and always looked dangerous. Hats off to Lollback who always seems to squeeze a wicket or two (or three) out of somewhere. The fielding was also sharp, despite the heat. Charles put in another top performance as ‘keeper and was always animated and looking to get men out.
The weather, as expected, turned cloudy at this point. The outfield let out a sigh of relief and started to cool off and a brisk breeze began to nibble at the edges of the tents. Before knuckling down to the job in hand, namely chasing down 270 runs, we took a leisurely lunch which was improved immeasurably by Mrs. Lumb’s homemade pakoras.
First up were Murad and Kris. Murad had clearly added some Piccalilli and lemons to his lunch as he set about the Sano openers with both relish and zest. In fact, he was required to be in Tokyo later in the afternoon for a business meeting so forewent his customary dozen dots and cut his fourth ball to the boundary. He then continued to cut, pull and drive with an abandon that was refreshing to see and had the Scorer’s tent in high spirits.
Kris took it upon himself to be the sensible one but overthought a decently pitched ball and nicked it into the gloves behind in just the second over.
Only the weather was gloomier than the departing batsman and talk turned to the possibility of chasing down the run rate should the game be abandoned after 20 overs due to rain. To work out this rate Charles calculated, cogitated and formulated that the Sano score represented as a whole number would need to be multiplied by the square root of 1 before being multiplied by twice one quarter of the same square root….(or 135 in 20).
The clouds were content to leave our little patch of earth unsodden for the time being but Prashant marched out knowing that runs were the order of the day. He opened his account with a sumptuous carpet drive through extra cover all the way to the boundary. He and Murad then put on a glorious show of bottom handed assault batting and the runs came thickly. Time and time again the ball followed a graceful arc from bat to bush and the Sano fielders spent an unhealthy amount of time in the undergrowth searching for lost balls. By the 10th over the batsmen had pushed us on to 72, which was more or less on target. A 20 over innings began to look more and more of a possibility when the wind picked up and took the tents with it. As these were being disassembled, ominous rumblings of thunder could be heard and shards of lightening seen. Although they were still some way off, nobody could really agree what a safe distance from 1 million volts was.
Murad, ignoring such trivialities, continued to knock the ball around with some style. A touch player a la Bell gives some idea of his approach. Well, Prashant wasn’t going to let any of that kind of talk get to him and continued with route 1; down the pitch, into the bush, thank you very much. Araki was bought into the attack for Sano, and I don’t think it is rude to say that he bowls absolute pies. However, his pies, time and time again, are the source of much discomfort to greedy eyed batsmen who invariably look to gorge themselves quickly rather than feed of the more delectable tidbits. Prashant was first to excuse himself with a bad case of caught behind. Another quality innings to his name sees his stock rise further and he’s already a bookies favourite for a rich haul come Awards Day.
Sumon came in and there were high hopes of a decent showing given that he is a genuine stroke player but has thus far got very poor value for some very nice shots on unmown surfaces.
Murad’s entertaining knock was brought to an unfortunate end not long after when he fell LBW to a Miyagi fast ball in the 13th over. Best innings yet from him and a glimpse into the quiet carnage he can cause with a piece of wood in the right conditions.
Sayeed to continue and there were a few nervous moments both for him and the Scorer’s tent as we edged towards our 20 over target in fits and starts. Great running with Sumon soon settled his nerves and the biggest 6 of the day came booming out of the middle of his bat shortly after. It cleared the car park, landing in the long grass skirting leading up the embankment. A crackerjack shot. However, as is often the case, such a shot can lead to a rush of blood and that’s just what happened as Sayeed swatted at one he should have left alone and edged it behind.
At 4 down in the 17th with 103 on the board it was decision time. The sky was getting darker, the lightening more spectacular but the wind was easing off a touch. Would it rain? 50/50. Anton came in next, in two minds as to whether to have a swing and push the scoreboard up to 135 before the end of the 20th or preserve his wicket as this was a ground for score building. He was caught between a rock and hard place. Actually he was caught at close cover, third ball faced, slicing another Araki pie to the outstretched hands of Sugiura. A bit of a waste there.
Charles took up position and began swinging his club with his usual bovine grace, clunking the ball low through the air but normally to fielders. More alert running with Sumon helped ease the scoreboard on but our 20 over target now looked out of reach. Thankfully, so did the clouds as it lightened up a bit and the rumbles stopped. There were still some healthy sounds from Charles bat though as he slog swiped a couple through the haze out to long off but was then left stunned when he was caught at mid off. I say ‘stunned’ because he couldn’t fathom how the ball got into the air. Simple physics old chap!
Now our aim was to overtake the Sano score of 269. Sumon was playing beautifully and unhurriedly. Dave went out to join him, much lower down than usual, but could this yet prove a masterstroke?
It didn’t take long for him to send a 4 back down the ground but with fifteen overs left and 145 on the board what was required was patience and graft. Runs would surely flow on this surface for the batsman who troubled himself to get in. Everything was looking pretty sweet until Sumon took a trundle down the wicket to get a better crack at a Munir teaser but missed it, leaving the keeper to snaffle the ball and upset the furniture.
Molloy into the fray! He hasn’t been given many chances with the bat so far but looked solid in defence from the get go. Although both Miyajis were bowling well, Molloycott was not in the mood to give them his wicket easily. This meant that the run rate slowed so the onus was on Dave to crack a few out of the middle to keep our target in view. Dave had just about got himself in when he mistimed a drive, sending it up and out to mid wicket where Nayeem made no mistake. That was a big blow as we were still 120 short with our big guns back in the tent.
Sushant came out intent on making a fight of it and did so with a lusty cut for 4. Molloy pushed the singles around to rotate the strike and another Sushant boundary looked on the cards with a booming hook that went soaring out to deep square leg. The fielder there looked to have no chance but remained composed and took an excellent catch right on the rope.
Last man in and out was Sagar who had a poke at a few spinners from Munir before edging one to the slips in the 29th over. All out for 163.
|M. Kazi||lbw||b. N. Miyaji||41||41||8||0|
|K. Bayne||c. Keeper||b. Nayeem||0||4||0||0|
|P. Kale||c. Keeper||b. Araki||34||29||5||1|
|S. Haque||st.||b. Munir||34||34||4||0|
|U. Sobhan||c. Keeper||b. S. Miyaji||11||11||0||1|
|A. Lloyd-Williams||c. Sugiura||b. Araki||0||3||0||0|
|C. Steinhardt||c. Nayeem||b. S. Miyaji||13||10||2||0|
|D. Lollback||c. Nayeem||b. Munir||11||11||1||0|
|C. Molloy||not out||…||4||12||0||0|
|S. Lumb||c. Araki||b. S. Miyaji||9||11||1||0|
|S. Waghunde||c. Araki||b. Munir||0||4||0||0|
|Extras||…||Nb0 w10 b0 lb0||…||…||…||…|
|Total||163||All Out||…||…||Overs 29|
Although a glance at the scores might look like the Sharks took a thrashing this was not really the case. But for a wicket here and a dropped catch there we would have been very much in the game right to the end. Some of the bowling was top class – Sagar in particular bowled beautifully all day. The fielding was sharp and we didn’t drop anything easy. Sumon and Murad also showed that they have enough shots and skill to make big scores against decent attacks. So despite the loss, plenty of positives.
We now need to gather up all of these positives that we have seen dotted about the games this season and package them into one tight red and green bundle as our next outing is a preliminary semi-final. If we can put all of the pieces into place at the same time then we are a difficult side to beat. Added to that the indomitable team spirit that we have shown throughout and you have the makings of a very useful side indeed.
Many thanks to Sano for a good game, to Ogawa of the Wyverns for his excellent umpiring, to Vicky for coming as 12th man and to Sumon who performed the role of Match Organiser with aplomb.продвижениесайтраскруткапрограммы для взлома паролей wi fi сетейчехол для apple macbook air 13заявление анкета на получение кредита сбербанк образецjuegos de casino gratis para jugar tragamonedasdubai escorts directoryslot oyunu oynaEmpire casinoalteza safarisшкола йоги зябликово