JCL1 1st XI vs Tokyo Falcons, Aug 15 2020
at SICG by Marcus Thurgate
On a Saturday morning we all arrived with the same look on our faces at Sano International Cricket Ground for a JCL must win vs the Tokyo Falcons, and were all hoping the same thing, please win the toss Doogs. It was hot.
The coin went up and our focus turned straight to Falcons’ captain Kuldeep, knowing that there was more chance to find out what we were doing from him rather than waiting for Dhugal’s signal. They were bowling, which means we were batting. Thanks Doogs!
The 11 sharks in the tank were Bedingfield, Date, Takada, Deba, Asala, Siddique, Matsumura, Takahashi, Mystery and the Thurgate brothers.
We decided to save as much energy as possible so didn’t go too crazy with the warmups and soon it was game time.
M. Thurgate faced the first ball of the match with Bedingfield as non-striker. Their opening bowler Negi challenged the outside edges but didn’t get close enough as the openers both started to find the ropes and the way to cope with the heat.
The scoreboard was ticking and we were off to a perfect start. When M Thurgate got out of his designated 20s boys under the tent realised that it was a runs fest out there.
Both openers cruised their way to the 20 over mark. And just when everyone started to worry about not getting a hit, Thurgate found the guy at cow.
Dhugal was joined by Takady who got shifted up the order for some hitting but there was no need of that as the skipper did that himself by hitting back to back to back boundaries. He got to 82 and was hitting them so well that a flick went all the way in to the hands of fine-leg fielder unfortunately.
Neel came in with plenty of enthusiasm as usual and from ball one, he was on! He hustled Takady to run harder, called him for threes and helped him to get to a self described “no technique 46”.
Neel showed no signs of struggling in the heat and knew how to deal with it as he started to accelerate. When the ball went over the bowler’s head, it was 50 up for him but more importantly gained himself a Dr. Wheatgrass Play Of The Week!
Sharks got to 268, Solid batting by the top 4.
It was back to normal for the Sharks as we had Rui with the new rock with Muneeb coming on from the other end.
Rui had done his homework and got his radar back as he struck early with two important top order wickets.
Muneeb didn’t have to wait too long either to get his first one of the day as he found the outside edge of a Falcon.
Sharks bowling attack didn’t stop there. Ibby Takahashi came on and picked up two in as many balls. It was unfortunate that the hat trick ball was the worst ball he had chucked all day. It didn’t get much better for Ibby as Falcons sloggers favoured the off spin.
As we do every week, we had a boring period in the middle where Falcons showed some resilience and got themselves back in the contest. But some words of wisdom from the captain at drinks got us back on track as Deba took a good catch at mid-wicket with his 90% fixed hands.
After a little while it was all done as Takady hung on to one at cover off the mystery ball from Mahesh. All the bowlers took at least one each with Muneeb the pick of them for his 2-24.
Getting that first win of this year’s JCL was nothing but relief for the Sharks. Dhugal celebrated the win by taking off to the mountains for a holiday while the younger ones wasted no time diving into the river.
Thanks to Falcons for the game, it is always nice and peaceful playing them. Even bigger thanks goes to Sabaorish and Manoj from the Tigers for umpiring under the brutal sun.