Japan Cup South Kanto Final
Sharks vs YCAC, 17/08/2014
Yokohama Country & Athletic Club, by Kris Bayne
Japan sees its share of different kinds of forces of nature. Most we could do without but some are both irresistible and at times a joy to behold, depending on your perspective, of course… Chiba Sharks entered today’s Japan Cup South Kanto Final against YC&AC with a renewed respect for our opponent, who dispatched the feisty Wombats to get there, but also with a more than quiet confidence in our form of late.
While we were missing a couple of star players who were back in India, we still fielded a very strong Sharks contingent. The team was:
Dave L (c), Karthik, Dhugal, Nick, Chris T (wk), Vicky, Sumon, Anton, Rui, Kris and Sankar. And if ever a Sharks team spanned the international and generational (and talent level) aspects of our fine club it was this one. The game also promised to be a hot one as the rising mercury dragged up moisture through the variety of chemicals that constitute the astro-turf of YC&AC. It fairly shimmered like a Dubai tarmac.
We were assembled and ready to go as we always are: uniformed, stretched, practiced and chomping at the bit. Unfortunately YCAC take a bit more time. We lost the toss – why we bother I don’t know – but we asked to bowl. A massive pump up by Dave, then into positions with Sancheti pawing the… chemicals. We waited a bit more.
When we finally got going things did not go according to our plan. YCAnton still had his eye in from his Wombat-slaying effort and although he flashed at many from Vicky and Rui, our openers, he also connected. While Vicky held his end, even changes with Dhugal, Sankar and Dave did not slow things down. As our vocals died with the onslaught the YCAC lads found theirs. It was on! YCAC waded in to 0-56 off 5 or 6 overs.
Dave’s first five balls went dot then 16 runs but the last one took the edge to be very well caught by Chris down forward and down. Prize wicket and we had a crack but needed to prise it open more. We held steady then the introduction of Sumon swung things our way. A great catch by Karthik behind the keeper removed their No. 3. Dhugal then got the ball to leap viciously at the remaining opener who instinctively fended off. Up at the stumps Chris swung up a big mitt and there the ball stayed. A brilliant catch confirmed by square-leg eventually! To really put things our way Dhugal then nailed the new batsman LBW.
That Shark fin was wagging again! YCAC not only lost wickets but the runs also dried up. Boundaries became rare and I cannot recall anything given away with shoddy fielding. Anton was flinging himself about and everyone was sharp and workman-like both in close and in the deep. The experienced Gulzar, perhaps our only danger, was subdued and Rui was unlucky not to claim him at slip, with Anton just failing to hang on. Rui got his man very next ball as the crafty batsman neatly reverse sweep-paddled it straight to Sankar at point.
Curtis gamely hung around but wickets fell with regularity around the 100 mark with Sankar and Nick holding more chances. And the bowlers and field gave up very little. While we would have liked to finish them off we could be happy with them finishing 8-126 considering how we started.
On paper we had a top five that looked like a who’s who of Shark centurians. But paper doesn’t win you a game of cricket. 123 was still 123 and had to be got. Karthik and Dave sauntered out to start wiping that off. After some cautious leaves and a bat change by Karthik, all bloodyhell broke loose from Over 2! Once the bowler found the pitch he probably wished he hadn’t because there waited Dave Lollback. His first ten balls include four dots. They also included four 4s and a 6. He was sweet and deft square off his pads or he smashed it a bit finer. If that area was not to his liking he belted it straight over or at the bowler and down the ground.
Then Karthik got into his stride. After his ‘maiden’ opening over and not to be outdone, he reeled of four 4s and some change in ten balls. YCAC didn’t know where to bowl or even look (though the bar looked enticing)! The pair raced to 0-50 in five overs – Over 1 went for 1 run, mind – and almost nothing went through to the ‘keeper. And it didn’t stop there! The next five overs went for 43 as the boys slowed the boundary barrage slightly but still found the gaps for runs. Dave reached a whirlwind half-century, but Karthik finally found a fielder. But the damage had been done with a fine 28 in a 97-run opening stand.
It only brought Dhugal to the crease. He was unfortunately undone by a fairly ordinary piece of adjudication, given LBW for all sorts of wrong reasons. Dave was visibly tiring in the heat but was not cooked yet. His final five balls yielded another 4432., but this probably did him in and he played tiredly all over one to unfortunately go bowled for 69.
With just a handful to get, the old firm of Thurgate & Creece tapped us toward the target of 127, with Chris making the final point by smacking the ball to the playground boundary. It took us 15 overs and it was an emphatic pounding led by the Ginger Typhoon. He is having a good season but his hitting today, particularly off his legs was supurb. A great captain’s knock.
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The win secured us our consecutive South Kanto Japan Cup title and guaranteed our place in the National Finals in Sano later in the year. We have another chance to further our standing next week against Sano in a JCL T20. It would be lovely to take that scalp. It was a great win today. We looked in a lot of trouble at the start but the bowlers fought back and the field supported. A couple of hard chances went down but more were taken and good ones, too.
With the willow it was a no-contest once Dave and Karthik kicked into gear. The National Finals last year were a blast. We fell in a great final but with the quality in our club we are well-placed to go one better in 2014. We need as many players as we can get so once we know the schedule, clear your calendar Sharks. It is as much about off-field as on-field!раскруткаaracer.mobiраскрутка сайтакак прочитать чужие сообщение в вкчехол на macbook proкредиты для малого бизнеса пермьonline casino reviews for us playersdubai chinese escortscasino slot bedava oynaWilliam hill club casinoафрика сафари турбокс на красногвардейской