Hot August Nights and Daze: The Matches That Time Forgot (PART ONE)

2nd XI vs Paddy Foley’s & 2nd XI vs Rising Stars, August 2019, by KB

In 1916 Edgar Rice Burroughs (creator of ‘Tarzan’) wrote his fantasy-adventure, ‘The Land That Time Forgot’. That ‘Edgar’ is not to be confused with Alfred Edgar, author of a book that cricket (and everyone else) forgot. Nor with N.Z. opener, Bruce Edgar, who cricket will never forget because he was 100 n.o. and was standing at the bowler’s end when Trevor Chappell bowled his dastardly underarm in 1981, the so-called ‘Underarm-gate’, which will be written about for-everrrrrrr, exclusively by Kiwis. (I believe it is covered in school curricula in NZ.)

Anyway, the 1975 movie of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book begins with a bottle with a mysterious written manuscript inside it being thrown into the sea, hoping for it to be discovered later. Now, I don’t have time to sit on a beach in Chiba waiting for the bottles with Chiba Sharks match reports so here are some high- and low-lights of August, 2019.

August is generally a tough ride – hot and with members missing for various reasons. We also faced arguable the two strongest teams in Div. 2, Paddy Foley’s and Rising Stars. We also had some Japan Cup to deal with. And we faced our nemesis, MAX, in Div. 1.

­­Div. 2 Sharks vs Paddy Foley’s

Paddy Foley’s fall from grace with the JCL saw them booted from Div. 1 in 2019 with the result that the club became a one-team unit, of good players, in Div. 2, with a mountain of penalty points (-14 points at the season start, I think) and a point to prove against, well, everyone. And they did by racking up the wins with ease.

Our Div. 2, on the other hand, was having a tough year and for this game we had to dig as deep as ever to get a team out – we got 10. Thank goodness for Thurgates because there were three of them: CT, Ashley and Uncle Stuart. We welcomed two new junior debutants, Vinamra Sethi and Mohsin Jan. A handful of U19s and some fairly new Sharks arrivals made up a team of keenness and promise, but one probably short of experience and batting firepower.

Leon bends his back

Unfortunately PF won the toss and batted. Ashley was a standout with the ball, grabbing a catch to go with his 3 wickets for 29 off 6 overs. Vinarma got two, combining with Mohsin to remove Kamran. Hasan also got his magic fingers spinning and singing for two top order scalps. Deba got a DIY runout. In fact, they a fantastic job if not for the fact they gave up 74 extra runs and seven additional overs of batting…

The guys must have been exhausted chasing leather and I guess the wheels just fell off. Leon supported Mohsin in a face-saving 29-run partnership. Mohsin batted 31 balls for his top-scoring 10. PF gave us back our wide extras and seven overs, so thanks for that.

Yeah. Actually I did get the bottle with the report in it but I threw it back in the sea. Not really.

What did we learn – Ash was finding his game; we found a couple of youngsters; Hasan got a bowl; we need to give up less freebies. We (most teams in Div. 2) are not in PF’s league (actually, THEY are in the wrong division for a while, anyway), so we move on to…

­­Div. 2 Sharks vs Rising Stars

RS powered into Div. 2 from Div. 3 in 2019. They are a one-team club that is organised, well-led, skilled and they have a deep list. Our previous game against the team founded by many of our former teammates ended sadly and prematurely. We faced a team destined for higher levels.


We had a more ‘recognizable’ and definitely competitive 2s team. We welcomed Dave Lollback and Arjun back into the team, lots of Thurgates again, lots of sass, lots of years experience… But we were again short, too soon to be a bit shorter. CT won the toss – headline news in itself – and we batted.

After Stu and Ash’s 35 opening stand it was down hill. Ash got his most mature and highest Sharks score (see second Adore report) of 43 off 88 balls. He was the last wicket to fall. Devastatingly Dave snapped his Achilles and we can only hope to see him back, fit, firing and foul-mouthed in 2020. Only Terry, the Mancurian Wall, lasted into double digits of balls faced. All out in 27 overs for 101.

RS made quick work of the required runs in 14 overs for 5 wickets down. But the bowling scoresheet (below) sort of makes you think you are seeing double or triple. Thurgates everywhere (but where’s Marcus?) and doing everything in the field! The family-themed warm-up in the alternative kit really paid off! Then there was Arjun who shone bright with 4-22 off seven and a bit. Hasa took home another.

We were outclassed by a very good Rising Stars unit. What did we learn – Ashley is developing wonderfully as an all-rounder; Thurgates are the Royal Family of Cricket in Japan; we’d do really well in Div. 3… but how about the Japan Cup and Div. 1? (See PART TWO)