JCL1 Sharks vs Sano, Tanuma
By Anton Lloyd-Williams
The charming Tanuma ground, sunwashed in 50’s postcard light, greeted the return of the Chiba Sharks who, on their previous outing here, had dismantled the Wyverns batting in short order to claim victory in the opening game of the season. The first thing that would require dismantling today though was the gate blocking everyone from actually getting in to the place. It seemed no one from the powers that be had thought to unlock it. Eventually the key arrived though and Camp Shark was established on the fringes of the unusually extended boundaries.
Beneath the woolly wooded hills rolling away behind the playing field, Dave Lollback stood in as Captain for the roving Sancheti and gave the pep talk to a slightly unfamiliar looking 1st XI: Ashiq was welcomed back into the fold after a few years absence and Karthik appeared outdoors for the first time. Filling out the troupe were Sagar, Anton, Awal, Prashant, Sumon (Wkt), Molloy, Mairaj and Takady. Ashiq came accompanied by some relatives and friends who added to the chatter and hubbub of the scorers’ tent throughout the day.
Dave won the toss and chose to bat. Sano would have to start the day with just eight as three players were enjoying a leisurely amble up the motorway, behind the traffic chaos of two separate accidents outside Tatebayashi.
Ashiq and Molloy to open. Molloy’s proper shot playing style is familiar to most but for the uninitiated, Ashiq’s is equally entertaining. Two sighters are generally all that is required before the fireworks go off. Sometimes they are quickly extinguished but more often, they light up all corners of the ground to the exasperation of competent bowlers. Today was no different. Being unencumbered by any great height, his shot of choice tends to be the late square cut to anything outside the line. On a two paced pitch such as this, edges are inevitable. After swatting at a few, a thick edge was dropped by a diving third slip on the fifth ball of the day. Unflustered, Ashiq set about playing his game, chasing anything outside the off peg. A brace of sumptuous cuts raced out of the middle of the bat soon after and wides and numerous 1s and 2s through the sparsely populated outfield got the scoreboard purring along nicely.
Molloy was given a testing time by the impressive Buddhika, but saw him off with some conservative driving through the gaps for singles. His booming drive for 4 straight over the bowler’s head signaled a change of gear. The batsmen had to earn every run though. With the boundaries out very long and three fielders stationed deep out on the Tohoku expressway, it meant a lot running had to be done as the ball slowed up in the brushy outfield covering. Several 3’s were noted in the scorebook as the 50 was reached in the eighth over with all wickets intact.
The batsmen continued harassing the occasionally wayward bowling until a mix up of sorts found Molloy in no man’s land, looking for a single that probably wasn’t there. He tracked back to see the stumps come off just a whisker before his bat went down. A sorry end but it was good see Molloy’s bat find its rhythm and range again for an elegantly crafted 15.
Lollback marched into the fray and quickly drove a 3 while Ashiq had to soak up a few dots as the bowling straightened. The Captain’s timing wasn’t what it could be and he looked uncomfortable with the unpredictable bounce off a good length. Ashiq was living dangerously too and was dropped at mid-wicket. He finally ran out of lives in the thirteenth over, playing across a straight one. Back in the hutch for a hugely entertaining 34.
Prashant joined his skipper at the crease with the score at 67 for 2. As the bowling improved, particularly from the always tricky Munir, so the scoreboard made more sedate headway. Having just run a 4, a breathless Lollback looked to force the issue, getting down the pitch to Miyaji. However he swung at thin air and was smartly stumped for his trouble. A frustrating end to a patient vigil that looked as if it were just about to start bearing fruit.
With the score at 110 for 3, Takady got down to business straight away, cutting and driving for 1’s and 2’s. Prashant was also getting restless and pulled Munir for back to back 4s. Although the three missing fielders had by now arrived, it looked as though the game was starting to get away from Sano as both batsmen played more assuredly and fluidly. These two played their way through the next fourteen overs putting on another 60 or so. Takady was seldom troubled and worked the bad balls around while Prashant looked to keep the spinners at bay and flay the seamers through the gaps. Five overs to go and the tail enders padded up more for show than anything, with these two looking set to take us to a 200+ total.
“Hang on! Where’s my Sharks batting collapse!” you cry. Never fear dear reader. Would we let you down? It was only a mini one though; Prashant was caught, going for a great heave over mid-wicket and his replacement, Karthik, didn’t last for many, looking to attack Munir and getting sent home by the swift stumper. Takady went for broke and lost his woodwork to a Munir teaser before Sumon cut a juggler out to Arai in the covers. Anton and Mairaj saw HMS Shark into harbor with the dials at 193 for 5. We’d played out our 40 overs for the first time in a long time and everyone had contributed. Camp Shark was a good place to be at lunch.
|A. Hussain||…..||b. Prabath||39||2||0||34|
|C. Molloy||run out (Munir)||ggg||24||1||0||15|
|D. Lollback||st. Aravinda||b. Miyaji||31||0||0||16|
|P. Kale||c. Sugiura||b. Arai||68||5||0||49|
|T. Takada||ggg||b. Munir||54||1||0||39|
|K. Muthuswamy||st. Aravinda||b. Munir||5||0||0||2|
|M. Haque||c. Arai||b. Buddhika||7||0||0||4|
|A. Lloyd-Williams||not out||DNB||4||0||0||3|
|M. Qureshi||not out||ggg||1||0||0||1|
|A. Hosen||Not out||DNB||–||–||–||–|
|Extras||W28 N1 B0 L2||31|
|Total||193||For 7 wkts||40 0vers|
What followed was a little more difficult to digest, particularly for a club that shouts about the quality of its bowling attack. Rana and Naeem, two wily, veteran campaigners sauntered out to lead Sano’s reply. Takady was chosen to take them to task, bowling from his favourite School End. A few nipped past the bat before a couple of edges flew over the gully / third man area. No luck for Takady who wasn’t quite steaming in with his usual tank full of venom just yet.
From the other end Awal struggled with his line and was pilfered for 1s and 2s around the ground. The well-oiled Sharks bowling machine wasn’t firing on all cylinders and the batsmen drove and edged the run rate to about 6 an over during the opening flurry.
Molloy and Sagar took over the cherry and found better lines. However the experienced bats worked with the pace of the ball to time 4’s through the on side and straight back up the deck. Molloy looked dangerous though and drew a thin edge off Rana that was spilled at shoulder height behind the stumps.
Naeem then misread a fine Sagar inswinger, got all out of shape and squirted the ball out to point where the ball found hard hands and was spilled. Frustrating times indeed. We weren’t producing that many great balls and those that came were not being backed up by the field.
Naeem and Rana used their lives well and continued to milk the average ball for good value, despite the best efforts of Mairaj and Awal who were very busy in the field.
The Sharks bowling lacked its usual spark and there was little sense of an impending wicket when Dave bowled a snorter that got big on Naeem who edged it behind where it stuck in Sumon’s mitts. The relief was palpable. Sano’s first wicket taken with the score at 76 in the fourteenth over. In the context of the game the two sides were probably about even at this point. Another quick wicket or two and Sharks would be in the driving seat.
Next up was Munir. Lollback and Karthik kept the batsmen honest through some testing line and length bowling, with the odd Lollback slow ball making the batsmen look very unsure. Dot balls mounted, pressing Munir into playing across a straight ball that went up over square leg. Down it came, into the hands….and out again. More frustration.
Lollback continued pestering Rana with a line that clearly unsettled the well set batsman. Again, another good dose of dot balls found the batsman out of shape and middle and leg stumps were only saved by the batsman’s front pad. Umpire Lay raised the finger to a disbelieving Rana but it was the correct call. Two down now but both wickets had been harder to get out than wisdom teeth.
Karthik and Dave set about new bat N. Miyaji and Munir with some decent overs of line and length. This was not a pace pitch as the slower deliveries did more off the surface than the quicker ones which slid on. Karthik bowled well and troubled the batsmen with the variable bounce he managed to extract but each wayward edge and each drive through the diving field brought the target closer into view. The 100 was reached in the Twenty first over.
There were still a good number of runs to play with but Sano had kept their wickets and could now swing at lower percentage balls which they did to great effect. Awal came back and got knocked around while Takady switched to spin with little effect on the run rate. A tired looking Prashant over went for a hatful as 150 was passed in the twenty seventh over. There were precious few chances in the field during this spell as dodgy singles were refused and 2s shuffled into 1s. As the sun slipped behind the clouds so the Sharks hopes dimmed as Miyaji and Munir swung away reaching the boundary that had seemed so far away for Shark bats. Our 193 was breached in the thirty third over by a typically dismissive Miyaji boundary between mid-off and cover.
Well, what do you say? We thought we had batted reasonably well but given that we were batting against an eight man field for over half our innings we probably might have made a few more. Nonetheless, there were clear signs of improvement with the willow. With the ball? Difficult to say. It’s a bit of a mystery actually. We seemed toothless at times and great overs were truly memorable because of their rarity. It’s too easy to wave the “front line attack were missing” card, as we still took the field with 5 or 6 quality bowlers. Most likely, we didn’t bowl to our plans and we didn’t bowl to our fields. Simple stuff really in hindsight. Still, there are good signs everywhere. The batting is becoming more considered, the fielding is full of vigour, the catching is as woeful as ever and it’s still great to play with the Chiba Sharks.
Many thanks to Sano for a tough, well fought match and to Umpire Mick Lay from the Wombats who brought his joviality to the ground and did a more or less flawless job.раскруткапродвижениераскрутка сайтавзлом пароля wi fi с телефонааквалоокредиты на развитие малого бизнеса в краснодареfree online casino baccaratdubai tantracasino poker oynaLadbrokes paypalпутешествие в африкуженский фитнес клуб в марьино