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

Japan Cup vs Nippon Tigers & JCL1 vs MAX, August 2019

Well, if our Japan Cup overflowed it was not overflowing with the sweet ambrosia of victory. More likely rainwater.

Japan Cup Chiba Sharks vs Nippon Tigers

This was a ‘game’ that should not have been. It was wet. It was disorganised. Shambolic in many aspects. It was arbitrary and possibly against the rules. It was obvious to Chiba Sharks that it was unfit for play. It was under water. But we were almost forced to play.

Land ho!

Batting first only Shahan did not make it into double figures. One look at the field would tell you it was ridiculous (only 7 boundaries) and also a game for the indiscriminate sloggers. We are a bit ‘better’ than that. But you play to conditions, even if they call for flipper and snorkels. Takady managed to dig in (can you dig in to mud?) and find the rope more than once. Still, 107 on that field would need getting, and the tide was still in.

It is hard to see how we lost this game, anyway. Viv and Asala took three each. The messy scorecard does not tell us about FOW, but they must have been 6 down and in trouble. Amazingly we held four field catches! Two by Leon. Yugi surely must have been affected by the wet ball. The lower order went a run-a-ball and I guess that was that. All over bar the gargling.

The reports back to the Manager about this game were not good reading. What did we learn – we want Vivek in the Shark line up; Asala is an all-rounder (well, we knew); we must focus on winning, not how we feel about circumstances; we should not accept procedural decisions without justification.

Finally, we can almost hardly blame Div. 1 for wanting to forget this game.

Div. 1 Chiba Sharks vs MAX

We just cannot seem to beat these guys. Not even close in recent outings. It is always interesting to compare the make-up of the teams. Both bat and bowl deeply. MAX has the edge on experience across the team. We have the future. Polished unit against ours with some rough edges. But we should do better. Will have to. Now.

We won the toss and we got 50-odd for none, then all out 132… Two words – Iyer and Taniyama. Luther knows it.

Doc Martin knows it. We do it ourselves quite well, in fact.

It is called ‘spin’. We have to know what we will do before we get out there with our bats. Doogs and Neel again got us going, but the highlight may be Ishaan’s defiance down the order with Rui.

With the ball. Two words – same words – Taniyama and Iyer. They had a good day. Trouble is they often have a good day against us. Stop them.

I will let Charlize Theron suggest what awaits those who forget to do their reports in the future. Please form an orderly line.