Month: October 2001

KCL-Cricket at its best leaves the Engineers broken hearted

Rahul’s and Ashok’s vigil goes in vein

By Biju Paul

October 21 was a day for drumbeats and celebrations for the Millennium C.C. They beat the Indian Engineers by 1 run in what was the most thrilling match in the history of the Kanto Cricket League, if not the Japanese Cricket, thus qualifying for the Division I of KCL in 2002.

Whoever present at the Shizuoka oval on October 21 witnessed cricket at its best. A transfixing contest and a pulsating finish. An electrifying atmosphere, hair rising moments, early and mid-innings crisis with both the teams going “ooh!” and “aah!” at the end of every ball, the solid fight back by the Engineers from a no hope situation to come within 1 run of victory, it had all the ingredients required for a legendary match.

Chasing a target of 104 in 35 overs, The Engineers slumped into a perilous position of 5 down for 7 runs in the 3rd over and then fought back ball by ball, run by run, only to lose by 1 run ultimately. It was cricket at its best.

Millennium won the toss and elected to bat first on a damp pitch. They were all out for 104 in the 33rd over, with Jagan and Rahul claiming three wickets each and Dinesh and this correspondent accounting for the rest. There was no significant contribution from anybody in the 104 that the Millennium scored, except the usual suspect, the extras who, as usual, top scored with 42.

Having lost to the same opposition in a friendly tie two weeks before, the Engineers had brought the best available team for the match and the batting order looked formidable – on paper at least. The main discussion during the lunch was that how many overs the game would last and how many would get to bat – and as it turned out, everyone got to bat, under different circumstances, though.

At the end of the 3rd over the scoreboard looked like this: Target 105. Wickets 5. Runs 7. Overs 3. As wickets kept tumbling, it was Rahul who was giving hope to the Engineers of an entry into Division I without another play-off. In the company of hard-hitting Dinesh, Rahul raised the highest partnership of the innings, 36 for the 6th wicket, which ensured that the Engineers would cross 50. By the time the 9th wicket fell at the score of 78 in the 20th over, Millennium’s nostrils had filled with the scent of victory. Last man Ashok Sharma walked in and what a support role he played! At one point it looked as if a Test match was going on, not an ODI. Calm and composed, Ashok played out maiden overs, put a premium on his wicket and made sure that the well set Rahul got most of the strike. It was plain frustration for the Millennium as they did their best to dislodge the partnership while the two batsmen played sensible cricket. As the target became closer, the pressure was visible on the fielders, the batsmen and in the pavilion. In the electrifying atmosphere, every run was cheered by the Engineers while the fielders threw themselves in the field trying to save runs.

Once the score crossed 100 and as the pressure mounted, runs became a rare commodity and the batsmen seemed to have gone into their shell. With the score on 103 in the 31st over, Rahul uncharacteristically defended the last two balls of the over that were just short of length, which under normal circumstances would have seen the rope. It was evident that the pressure was getting on to the nerves. The two together had raised most crucial partnership of the innings, 25 runs, in 10 overs by this time with Ashok’s contribution being 2.

In the 32nd over, with the Engineers on the brink of an extraordinary victory – 1 to tie the match and 2 to win – off-spinner Andrew pitched one on the middle stump which bounced a bit more than the previous deliveries. Ashok tried to work it on to the on side, but the ball took the top edge went up in the air towards short fine leg. The fielder in the forward short leg ran for it and produced an outstanding running catch which gave the Millennium a well deserved victory and a place in the elite Division I in 2002. Both teams displayed a fighting quality and an understanding of the game.

Although it was a disappointing loss, I guess we played one of the best cricket matches ever played in the tournament. Recovering from 5 for 7 to come within 2 runs of victory is no mean task, thanks to the gritty innings of Rahul and Ashok. I’m sure Ashok’s grandchildren will get tired of their grandpa, listening to the same story every now and then!

With this, the Engineers have to face the British Embassy in the last play-off for Division I, which will be a do-or-die match for both the equally strong teams.

Well Done Millennium!!

Issue #15 KCL Final postponed


October 11, 2001                                                                                              Issue #15

Hello and welcome to this edition of the IECC Newsletter.

KCL Final postponed

The much awaited KCL final was washed away on October 8th. The match was to be played between the Tokyo Giants and Friends XI. The new date will be announced soon.

Tokyo Giants had defeated the Sri Lankans by 3 wickets in the first semi-final. Sri Lankan Lions 160, Tokyo Giants 162/7. Friends had qualified for the semi-final after trouncing the YC&AC. YC&AC 124, Friends XI 125/4.

In the first play-off for the Division I next year, Shizuoka Kytes(159/8, G. Parsons 6/16) bowled out the British Embassy for 99 (G. Parsons, 49, M. Sharpe, 6/19) thus keeping the jinx of the visiting teams not scoring more than 99 runs against the Kytes this year intact.

The second play-off which was between the Indian Engineers and the Millennium was converted to a 22 over friendly as the Engineers showed up at the ground only at 2 p.m. after getting stuck in a 4 hour traffic jam. The play off is likely be played towards the end of October. Read here the report of this match and an eventful journey.

The following teams have been qualified for the Division I for 2002:
Tokyo Giants, Friends, YC&AC and Sri Lankans (all semi-finalists) and
Shizuoka Kytes (winner of the first play-off)
Winner of the second play-off

The seventh member of the Division I will be winner of the third play-off between the losers of the first and second play-off.

The rest of the 8 teams who participated in KCL this year will form Division II next year, when the Kanto Cricket League will come under the auspices of Japan Cricket Association. In the following years, the top and bottom two teams of Division II and Division I will swap their positions.

Brief results of all matches are available here.


1. Steve Waugh christened Michael Atherton cockroach. Why?

2. Robert Peel, slow left-arm bowler, played 22 tests for England. His English County career with Yorkshire came to an abrupt end in 1899. What incident on the filed led to the sudden end? (Hint: This is a common phenomenon in Tokyo cricket!)

Answers at the end of this Newsletter…

How to select the correct bat for your game

At some point in your cricketing career you have to accept that a new bat has to be bought and the Old Faithful has to stand aside and play second fiddle to a new blade full of the joys of run making. Read this column which is aimed to make it easier for the individual to go out and confidently buy their own bat knowing that they have considered all the aspects of their game and physical attributes before buying a new one.

Read the details here.

11th Annual YCAC 6-a-side Tournament

By Tony Fordyce
The first game was due to start at 09.00, but it was raining very heavily until only 15 minutes prior to that hour. Suddenly, with the arrival of your correspondent and his optimistic sunglasses, the rain stopped, and some quick mopping-up operations allowed the tournament to start only 30 minutes late in bright sunshine. In the first round games Sri Lanka beat Japan, the Rest of the World beat the Anzacs, YCAC beat the British Embassy and Pakistan beat Anzacs, all fairly comfortably. The semi-finals were won by Sri Lanka and Pakistan (YCAC giving Pakistan their closest game all day) and the Plate semi-finals by Japan and India.

The Cup final was unfortunately rather a one-sided game. Pakistan batted first and reached a very competitive total of 74 in their 5 overs. In reply, despite hitting a ‘no-ball’ 6 off the first ball, Sri Lanka lost 3 wickets very quickly and were all out for 36. In the Plate final, excellent bowling from Ashok gave India a comfortable victory over Japan.

The individual prizes, kindly donated by Allied Pickfords, were awarded as follows:

Best batsman: Amjad (Pakistan)
Best bowler : Ashok (India)
Best player: Fuji (Japan)

YCAC Defeats Singapore Cricket Club

By Tony Fordyce
Excellent cricketing weather for our first ever game against the SCC in their 149th season. An excellent result also. We won the toss (to SCC’s evident dismay) and batted first. Fortunately, despite some excellent bowling from Prasad (1-22 in 7 overs) we got off to a very quick start, mainly thanks to a quick 32 from Kamran. A huge straight 6 from pinch-hitting Lovegrove also put us in a strong position psychologically (although this was somewhat weakened when he was clean-bowled next ball). Mark, as usual this season, timed the ball extremely well, this time without giving his usual early chance, and his excellent 51 helped us, with some later contributions all round, to a fairly comfortable 167 all out. In reply, SCC lost 2 early wickets, but an excellent partnership between the Singapore national team players Bala and Ravi (not looking like a man with only 3 hours sleep) took them to 85 with only 2 wickets down and plenty of overs left. The captain was reaching his wit’s end (which did not entail a long journey) and finally accepted James Lovegrove’s voiced and unvoiced appeals for a chance with the ball. This immediately proved successful when he trapped Bala leg before and then had Ravi well taken on the deep square leg boundary, in a spell of 2-8 in 3 overs. The later batsmen were unable to keep up the required rate of scoring, thanks mainly to some excellent bowling from Avinash. Scotty Erickson was given the ball for the last over with one wicket to fall. One ball was all he needed to wrap up what was, in the end, a comfortable victory by 45 runs.

Mark was chosen as Man of the Match from the YCAC side and Prasad from SCC

Readers Forum

Just to put the record straight, YCAC scored 1,209 runs in their KCL group matches (including innings of 358 and 345), and only played 5 games, compared with the 6 played by teams in Group A! I think this was comfortably the highest total of any team in the group matches.

Tony Fordyce

Editor: In our last issue we said that the Indian Engineers have scored the highest aggregate runs – 950 runs for the loss of 50 wickets – in the league matches. This is not true. The Indian Engineers have scored the highest aggregate runs in Group A, not in the entire league. The error is regretted.


The correct entry in the scorebook at YC&AC if a batsman hits the ball out of the ground(local rule)

I believe the correct scorebook entry for Sriram is ‘Retired’. That, of course, means innings terminated, unless you are injured.

Paul Blamire.

Answers to the questions given above

1. Because like a cockroach he keeps coming back and is hard to get rid of.

2. He took to the filed drunk!

That’s all in this edition!

(FG)History repeats itself, leaves the Engineers dumbfounded

Viswa Ghosh’s blitzkrieg goes in vein

By Biju Paul

On October 7th, the Engineers found themselves in the same situation at the same ground they had been in about three years ago. At that time they suffered defeat in an erstwhile Kanto Cup match at the hands of Tokyo Bay, thanks to 3 a wicket-haul and later an 80+ runs knock of Rob Mckenna, the only overseas player in that team.

On Saturday, the Engineers again suffered a defeat by Millennium at the same ground, in a supposed to be KCL match, which was converted to a friendly of 22 overs after the Engineers showed up at the ground at 2 p.m., thanks to a 4 hour traffic jam. The men who took the match away from the Engineers were Blair Leighton(39*, 2×4, 2×6) and Andrew Ker(38*, 3×4, 3×6), the only overseas players in that team. For the Engineers, the history was repeating itself.

It was quite an eventful day for the Engineers. For the first time, we split the team into two cars, instead of the usual 10-seater Toyota Hi Ace in which we pack up to 13 human beings – well aware that the Japanese police can book us for human trafficking, if caught, although we can pack another 5 according to our home country standards!

As we entered the expressway, we saw the traffic signs flashing “20 k.m. traffic jam, 4 hours until Atsugi”. So some of the engineering wisdom suggested that we get out at the next exit and proceed to Shin Yokohama, the nearest Shinkan sen(bullet train) station. As it took an hour to get to the next exit, some other engineering wisdom suggested that we stick to the jam as the traffic was slowly melting away. But the majority stuck to the original decision. So we got out. After all, we live in a demo-crazy.

After traveling about 20 km., we realised that we might be heading in the opposite direction of Shin Yokohama. Apparently, the pilot car navigator, who had just passed his level 2 in Japanese, was holding the map upside down, as he didn’t know how to read Kanji. So we took a U-turn, this time after confirming the matter with a gas station fellow.

As we proceeded to the ‘correct’ Shin-Yokohama, there was this guy who had our heart in the mouth. Driving a shabby looking car – a rare sight in the wax crazy Japan – with one hand and the other holding his mobile, he took a sudden U-turn in front of us. Normally, one would have bad-mouthed him in one’s own country, but yours truly, driving the ‘victim’ car, decided to follow the Japanese custom and gave a stare at the trunk of the his car. While in Rome, do as Romans do. A few meters down, the guy almost knocked down a scooterist, while taking a left turn, still talking on the mobile and driving with one-hand. A kilometer or two down, it was the turn of a lady driver, this time from the back, to actually hit us. As this correspondent went behind to inspect the damage caused, the lady emerged from the driver’s seat and said, “Gomen nasai”. Yours truly again decided to stick to the Japanese custom and replied, “Kyotuskette ne” and decided to proceed without troubling the Police and the ambulance.

**************** The Shinkansen came to a halt at the Shin-Fuji, a little before 1:30 p.m., the same time that we would have reached the ground by car had we stuck to the expressway. As we proceeded to the exit, Rajkumar realised that we left a kit bag behind in the train. As he ran back inside the train, others waved at the guard of the train, indicating not to leave. A group of south-Asians gesticulating at the guard and going in and coming out of the compartment must have made some passengers re-think about their onward journey in the present circumstances!

The match started at 2:00 p.m., converted to a friendly of 22 overs as both teams felt that a crucial match like this must be of full 40 overs. The Engineers scored 141/5, thanks to Viswa Ghosh’s blitzkrieg(70, 3×4, 5×6) and a very crucial 78 run 3rd wicket partnership between him and Rajkumar(14).

The Millennium started off well, scoring at the required run rate, largely due to the usual wides and no balls. The bowlers didn’t have a good day either. They were punished for their lose bowling, mostly by Leghton and Ker. The match was evenly poised at the end of 18 overs with 24 runs required off the remaining 4 overs. The batsmen at the crease, Leghton and Ker, ensured that the match didn’t last the remaining overs as they scored 18 runs in the 19th over, thus making it a non-issue. I’m sure Manoj Wanzare will never want to bowl again in a match without coming for the practice sessions in future.