Sep, 2014 – Sano Sucker Punch Leaves Sharks Reeling

JCL1 Semi Final, Sharks vs Sano
Sano 3, 28.09.14. By Anton Lloyd-Williams

On BBC Radio 4 recently there was an interesting documentary debunking the myth of the Bermuda Triangle, stating that all of the unexplained disappearances of aircraft and ships in that area over the years can be put down to human error or treacherous weather conditions or both. There is no mystery as such.

Well, we have a new challenge for those researchers; to try to explain the disappearance, almost without trace, of an entire middle order and tail, despite perfect conditions, in an area known as the Sano Circle. Here’s what we know about the incident…

The Sharks Circus rolled into town 13 men strong: Vicky, Dave, Sumon, Prashant, Dhugal, Alwin, Karthik, Nav, Pave, Adit and Takady made up the Starting XI, Sagar gamely turned out as 12th and Anton turned up as an odd job man.

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREWe lost the toss and chose to field. Under scattered cloud and a fresh breeze, Takady and Adit took the new cherry and lead the Sharks attack. Brisk pace from one end and late inswing from the other kept the openers stuck in first gear. Adit bravely stuck out a paw in his first over to catch a fiercly struck Naeem drive, inches off the deck, but the ball hit the meat at the base of his thumb, ouch, and rolled away.

The cagey opening continued. Sharks were terrier-like in the field and the bowling was tight, giving the scoreboard the slightly unhealthy pallor of 40 after 10 overs. All wickets were intact though, giving the batsmen a little more room to open their shoulders.

A few 4s started to stain the bowlers’ figures and then the first of the dolly catches to go down was recorded, a habit that soon spread through the field like dysentery. Catches simply kept popping out of well-set hands and with the wickets taken column still showing 0, a little anxiety crept through the fielding side.

Pave soon made up for his dolly drop by running out Rana with a superb direct hit from the gully to the non-strikers end. Top notch stuff.
TExif_JPEG_PICTUREhis returned the Sharks to full voice and they were further bolstered as Vicky and Dhugal consistently beat the bat. However, Naeem was now set and eventually clobbered a few 6s while Miyaji played his trademark gay dab through the slips for good value time and time again. Lollback got the better of him though, caught at cover point, with some good off stump fast mediums. His replacement, Arvinda, got an immediate life as he feathered the ball out to mid-off where the catch was somehow dropped.

The batsmen pushed Sano on to 120ish after 25 overs despite some teasing flight from Pave and Lollback’s usual accuracy. It was difficult to see where the next wicket might come from though; certainly not from a catch, so Vicky, in the 27th over, bowled full and caught Arvinda plum on the pads. No complaint there.

Adit’s guile also eventually paid off next over as Naeem got turned inside out by an absolute beauty that swung in late. With the top order back under canvas the Sharks smelled blood and a new impetus returned to their attack. Young Kano hung around well and took his chances but his partners showed uncertainty between the stumps and gaps in defence to leave Sano all out in the 39th for 199. A pretty good total, all things considered. If the 5 simple dropped catches had stuck then you could have halved that.

Bowler O M W/NB R W
T. Takada 7 1 5/0 29 1
A. Tallapragada 8 0 6/0 38 2
V. Sancheti 6 1 7/0 23 1
D. Bedingfield 5 0 2/0 26 1
P. Velusamy 5 0 3/0 24 1
D. Lollback 6 0 1/0 32 1
N. Jinasena 2 0 1/0 24 0


Anyway, a 15 minute turnaround and 200 to chase down. Given the talent on display in the Sharks batting line up, that was a target that was well within reach.

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREKarthik and Dave lead the reply. The bowlers struggled with wides but Karthik somehow found himself bemused by a straight one, watching it interfere with his off stump. Not an ideal start but no need for panic as Dhugal was next in. Opportunist running between the pegs and some sumptuous Lollback pulls, including a cracker over his shoulder, kept the scorers busy and the mood in the tent light.

Dave had to change his bat after a bit of the bottom came adrift but didn’t get a chance to become aquainted with the new willow as he missed a late in swinger and was given the finger.

Prashant went out to join an increasingly dominant looking Dhugal on the rampart and it was soon clear that this would be the pivotal partnership. Prashant looked handy from the outset, carting Buddhika around the green for a hat-trick of 4s while still respecting the occasional good ball.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Dhugal chose to go down a gear and watch the fireworks go off at the other end. An enormous Kale swat cleared the boundary by some 15 feet and more sweetly timed ones and twos from both bats meant the 100 was reached in the 15th over.

The Sharks were in cruise control and Sano looked despondent in the field as the ball sped past them, skipping over the boundary ropes. 140 on the board in the 23rd over and time to start clearing up in the tent. Might even be back home by 5:00 ? There was talk of arranging schedules for next weekend’s final. Who’ll be driving? Oh Hubris….

What happened next is still difficult to comprehend, let alone explain. All I can give you are the facts. I’m not pointing fingers or criticizing. Anyone who has seen me bat will know why. You can come to your own conclusions.

8 wickets, of very competent batsmen, for 32 runs in 66 balls.

Answers on a postcard please.

B 4/6 R
K. Muthuswamy b. Arai 6 1
D. Lollback lbw b. Buddhika 28 4/0 26
D. Bedingfield r.o. Arai 62 3/0 41
P. Kale c. Anjad b. Prabath 45 7/2 59
N. Jinasena st. Aravinda b. Rashid 5 0
P. Velusamy b. Prabath 2 2
T. Takada c. Naeem b. Miyaji 10 6
A. Kansakar r.o. Kano 21 3
V. Sancheti c. Sugiura b.Buddhika 7 4
R. Haque b. Miyaji 6 1
A. Tallapragada Not Out 4 2/0 8


Well, as usual we’ll brush ourselves down, learn some lessons and forget some others. We now need to use the disappointment of this match to focus on a successful Japan Cup Finals campaign where hopefully, we will do our abilities more justice.

Many thanks to Sano CC, especially Mumtaz for helping out with the scoring, to Amigo Kobayashi for his solid umpiring and to Sagar for turning out as an oft used 12th man.