Men in Blue Bash Boys in Grey

Japan Cup vs MIB at Sano 4
July 19, 2020 by Muneeb Siddique

It was the first Japan Cup match for Chiba Sharks after all the COVID-19 pandemic and most of the players in the squad were playing their first match after almost 6 to 7 months. Our squad for the day was our captain Marcus, Dhugal, Neel, Navin, Muneeb, Varun, Umar, Mairaj, Leon, Shahan, and Hasan.

We were playing against Men In Blue, at Sano River ground 4 which has a slow outfield and short boundaries. As the match started quite late at around 12pm, we were lucky to have the sun out especially in one of the worst rainy seasons Japan has ever experienced. MIB won the toss and elected to bowl first.

The sharks opened with Marcus and Dhugal and both of them started well by taking quick singles. The pitch looked difficult to bat on with the uneven bounce and taking doubles looked tough as well with the slow outfield. Dhugal was the first one to fall which brought in Neel. The MIB bowlers bowled good line and length while both the U-19 stars respected the good balls and put away the bad bowls for a boundary. The score after 10 overs was 68 and we aiming for a big score.

It was an important partnership between them until Marcus fell trying the up the run rate and then Neel and Navin fell soon afterwards. Quick wickets affected the run rate while Muneeb and Varun tried to score some boundaries in the last few overs. However, wickets kept falling with Muneeb stuck at one end. He also fell after hitting 2 sixes (and Vicky’s car) and Sharks ended with 112 all out in 20 overs.

The target was low but defendable so Sharks decided that the only way to win this game would be with taking wickets. We opened with Muneeb and Umar as we aimed to bowl at tight lines and lengths. The boundaries were short so our main aim was to stop as many boundaries as we can and had most of our players deep with only one slip if needed.

Muneeb took the first wicket in his second over but MIB blasted back with 75 in 10 overs. Our bowlers ended up struggling and their batters took advantage by scoring quickly at all the bad balls. We bowled too many extras as well for a small target. The MIB chased the target in 14 overs and won by 9 wickets in hand.

It was not the Sharks’ day and we look to perform better in our upcoming matches whether it is Japan Cup or JCL. Thank you to MIB players and the Tsukuba CC umpires.