Jan, 2010 – Battle Lost to Wyverns (but Sharks win the war?)

Our first up opponent in 2010 was Wyvern. After a good start at the tail-end of 2009 a Sharks team of, in alphabetical order, Anton, Dave, Gurjinder, Kazu, Kris (c) and Nikhil hoped to make it three on the trot. The warm-ups suggested we would in for a battle as the large Wyverns contingent fairly bristled with national team players of both genders. While the national wicketkeeper Chino sat out we still faced a skilled group, with two female players. Kris as captain for the night lost the toss and Wyverns had no hesitation in putting us in on a permanently green tinged, if slight tatty in places, wicket. Our opening pair of Kris and Dave did well in the opening game and looked for a reprise. Although they started cautiously the pair found it hard to get the accurate Wyverns bowlers away. Needing to force the score along, arms and legs were chanced for disastrous results. An unlucky back net catch and two un-necessary run-outs saw us in trouble: 17 runs after the opening four overs. Not being used to going in with such a low score, the next pair of Kazu and Anton manfully knuckled down to maintain their wickets and chip it around. That they did extremely well for fairly novice indoorers. And it wasn’t easy against a very crafty and accurate female bowler. With a carefully placed bat and circumspect but sensible running they managed to move us into the high 20s. It was left to our last pair of Nikhil and Gurjinder to try and get us up to some semblance of a defendable score. It was an inspired pairing. If Kris and Dave had run smack headlong into a brick wall, and Kazu and Anton had weathered the storm and placed a ladder up against ‘fortress Wyvern’, then Nikhil and Gurjinder fairly sprinted up it and ripped the battlements asunder. The two obviously ‘clicked’ and they set off immediately with quick and experienced running, keeping an eye on the ball and picking up extra runs. They put the ball up in the V for net runs, but the highlight had to be Nikhil’s hitting. He must have belted three or four sixes. It was a tremendous fightback and the Wyverns did not know what hit ‘em. By the end of their four overs they had added 50-odd and our score stood at a very respectable 76. Magnificent effort!

It was a bit of ‘cat and mouse’ at the start of the Wyvern innings. Wyverns sent out a very experienced pair and, to be honest, our bowling line-up lacked a bit of bite. Kris threw the bowlers around to try to get the best match-up on batters. It worked pretty well as we all knew we had to keep a good line and the fielders had to limit the runs. Wyverns were denied the flying start they obviously wanted but they made steady progress in the middle overs toward our score. The female players were steady and it was clear that we were in need of another ‘quick’ to complement Dave. But Gurjinder was sharp and took some good wickets. Anton gets better with each game and Nikhil and Kris’ tweakers made some inroads. Even down to the last pair we had a chance but they defended well. In the end we paid for our bad start and probably the struggle to nullify the female Wyverns counted. All the bowlers put in and we went down swinging. Still, all things considered we did a great job to run them so close.

Final score Sharks 67-Wyverns 76. A cracking game. Although the Man of the Match goes to the winning side Nikhil was simply awesome with 34 runs and 2/10.

The night was still young and so the Wyverns offered us a chance at redemption, somewhat, in a full game ‘friendly’. It was another good, tight game, with national ‘keeper, Chino, joining the Wyverns. Kris opened with Kazu and we did better this time around. Dave partnered Anton, and how can we ever separate the dynamic duo of Nikhil and Gurjinder? The actual score is lost to history, but it was about 80. We again bowled tightly but coming into the last over it was anyone’s game. Enter The Ginger Typhoon. The last two balls of the innings were a delight as Dave uncorked the now legendary ‘Prashant Ball’. The first one had the batter going forward about a minute early and it pegged back the top of off. The second and last spat off the pitch like a tomcat chucked into a kennel of Dobermans, catching the edge, which Kris gloved on into the net and gobbled up on the rebound. The last two wickets saw us put the Wyverns down by about the same margin.

So 1-1 at the end of the night and we shook them up, but they get a cigar and we don’t.

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