Category: 2018

Wombats swept away by the Engineers

By Vinay Iyer

With the first Japan Cup game against the Tigers washed out Engineers found themselves in a desperate position to win this game if they were to make it to the finals for the 2nd season in a row before taking on Aoyama Gakuin and the British Embassy. So the Engineers packed a full strength side hoping to see a full Wombats side too. As docile the real wombats are, the Tokyo Wombats also turned out to be no different. The 7 member Wombats had the 7th player, veteran Wombie M. Payne, father of their current Wombat, Jamie Payne. Senior Wombat was 68 years young and probably the oldest Wombat to take the field. Any thoughts Robert-Gilles Martineau?

The Engineers have a kind heart (of course they do!) and felt for these 7 Aussies so it was mutually decided to have a fair game and give the Wombats the first go at the game. The toss took place with a counter. Wombats won it and chose to bat first. They would have batted first even if they had lost the toss. We offered them to take a few YCAC players if required for feilding too. Skipper and your writer for the day, Vinay, was happy to field first as it gave us the chance for our new comers to get a feel of the YCAC Ground. We had 3 debutantes, Shreyas N., Vishnu Shekawat & Ajitesh Koushal playing their first Japan Cup game.

Vinay decided to open the bowling with Vishnu from the pavilion end and veteran Anurag from the far end. Anurag had delayed his Saturday Flight to Singapore to Sunday midnight, Thanks Anu for making it 🙂 Both provided a quite start. A few wides here and there by Vishnu but these Wombies looked they had a plan to play off 20 overs as they we not looking to score runs. Vishnu in his 2nd over got the break through when he bowled the opener out. After 6 overs the score was just 18. Skipper’s plan was to try out all his bowlers in a pair of 2 overs each. So the next pair Raman and Ashok was introduced. Their 2 overs didn’t trouble the batsmen much. Wombats were 38/1 after 10 overs. Vinay bought in the other 2 debutantes, Shreyas N, the Left Arm spinner and Ajitesh a medium pacer. Both did a fantastic Job, drying up the score, troubling the batsman, tempting them to go after their bowling, which created a lot of chances.

Finally, Ajitesh broke through. He got Jamie Payne, the ever-slow Batsman who was defending all the balls all the time for 6 overs without scoring. The batsman finally decided enough is enough and played a shot but straight in to the hands of Raman at square leg. Ajitesh cleaned up the next batsman in the very next ball with yorker. With a hattrick chance, skipper continued with him as well as Shreyas who had been troubling the batsmen. Ajitesh got his 3rd scalp soon, then the 4th in his 4th over. He completed his spell of 4 overs with a 3 for.

The score reading at 68/4, Vinay then decided to change to Manu and Pavethy with one over each. Pavethy got the wicket of the Wombats captain who looked dangerous with 3 boundaries and a six. The final over was handed over to Anurag, but it was a different Anurag, bowling to a 68-year-old Veteran Mr. Payne Senior, so it was his sportsman spirit which he showed at the end making the veteran see off the balls though without scoring but becoming the oldest guy may be to stand not out on the YCAC field.

The innings ended with a joy on the faces of both the teams. Engineers then opened their innings with debutantes Shreyas and Ajitesh. Engineers offered their 12th man, Nikunj Pandya, to the Wombats to make it 8 for them on the field. The Wombats field setting was exceptional, not eve seen in Test cricket 🙂 6 slips straight away with no fielders in front of the batsmen. Shreyas was quick to launch the very first ball over mid-on to get a couple of runs. The fielders dispersed in no time back to normal positions and the game began as normal. Ajitesh and Shreyas were in no mercy mood, they went over their bowling attack with an open field. The score looked like this – 1st over 10 runs, 2nd overs 23 runs, 3rd over 35, 4th overs 48. Wombats got their 1st break through when Ajitesh (24) trying to clear the in-field but only managed to find the Engineers 12th man fielding for them at point – the catch was a blinder.

This bought in the Prashant Kale, who we expected to finish the stuff off with his fluent style and he didn’t disappoint in the 1st ball he faced which he launched for a six. It seemed that it is only a matter of time before the game is wrapped up but he fell prey to a J.Payne’s tempting loopy flighted delivery which Kale played straight to mid-on. With the score at 55/2, came the skipper, Vinay, the ever-cool captain knowing his Job. Ticking 1’s and 2’s he gave Shreyas the control as the barsman was going after them from ball number one. With just 8 required Shreyas (29) fell to Payne and in came the japan national team captain Amigo. Vinay (17*). Amigo struck two boundaries to complete the proceedings and Engineers won this crucial encounter by 7 wickets.

Ajitesh, with 3 wickets and 24 runs was chosen as the Saachi Man of the Match and also earned the MoM for the Aussie wine. The Wine and Beer Party continued at the YCAC sports bar, all thanks to Ashok bhai :-)).

Thanks for Joining us here, please wait until the next IECC Encounter which is a Japan Cup Double Header at Sano against AGCC & BECC. Until then this your captain signing off for the day!!!!

 

 

Engineers begin their KCL season with a dominating performance

By Abhijeet Jha
June 3, 2018

With abundance of talent available, the Engineers decided to put two teams in this season in the Kanto Cricket League, with both the teams bolstered by young blood and veterans.  The Alpha Quashers, another veteran club of the KCL also had put in two teams in the KCL. The Engineer’s 1st Eleven’s first match was against the Alpha Quashers’ 2nd Eleven and the Engineers had no trouble in registering a dominating victory over the Alpha Quashers.

The opening match of the Engineers was scheduled on 3rd of June 2018 at Edogawa Sports Ground, Tokyo. A lush green ground on the banks of the Edogawa river looked beautiful. A perfect weather added to the perfect game of cricket . Engineers, led by Vinay Iyer, debuted four new players – Abhijeet (this reporter), Ashutosh, Rahul and Sameer.

Skipper seemed to have a perfect strategy of trying out the debutantes by electing to field first after winning the toss. Raman Tanwar, the Engineer’s precious stone, opened the bowling along with the debutante Abhijeet .Both kept the opposition openers guessing all the time with their consistent length and line, and beautiful swing bowling.
Alpha Quashers lost its first wicket in the very first over of itself when opening batsman Darshak went for a second run on a wide ball, eventually falling short of crease, thanks to accurate and sharp throw by skipper Vinay to the veteran wicket keeper Prashant Kale. Alpha Quashers suffered a set back in the very next over when the opener Rajaram was forced to retire when Abhijeet’s bouncer hit his right thumb. The second wicket fell shortly in the 4th over when Prasath nicked an out swinger by Abhijeet to Vinay at first slip, giving the bowler his maiden wicket in the KCL. The Raman-Abhijeet opening pair finished their opening spell after 7th over giving away only 14 runs.

Seeing the Alpha Quashers under pressure with excellent opening bowling, captain Vinay handed the ball to the next pair of debutantes medium pacers – Rahul & Asuthosh. The pair bowled till 13th Over with Rahul successfully grabbing his first KCL scalp trapping Jasmeet in front of his wicket on 29.

Skipper then brought the spinners, Sameer, another debutante, Sumon, Vinay, Bidyuth & Pandya. Sameer managed to pick 2 wickets while Sumon, Vidyut & Pandya picked 1 wicket apiece. That brought Rajaram, the injured player, back after fall of 9 wickets to support his team & scored 10 runs of 16 balls. Although the Engineers dominated the Alpha batsmen throughout the match some late hitting by Naga (23 off 21) & Tamil (22 off 38) saw them manage 141 all-out in 29 overs. The last batsman, Tamil, was dismissed by Raman, caught by Vinay.

After the break, the Engineers started their chase with their openers Prashant Kale and Masamo Kobayashi. The Engineers openers started in style with scoring boundaries at ease and keeping the run rate above 10 runs per over throughout the match at ease. Bowlers bowled inconsistent lines and were punished by the openers each time when they erred in line and length. Dropping Kobayashi twice, both being dolly chances, did not help their cause either. The openers cashed on this opportunity and both scored their half-centuries. Prashant was the first one to reach his fifty and eventually went on to score 74 runs before bring bowled by Tamil.

After Prashant, Bidyut joined Kobayashi but did not last long and was LBW for  5. But it was too little too late for Alpha and Engineers saw home with Kobayshi completing his fifty. Engineers won comfortably by 8 wickets  chasing their target of 142 in just 14 overs.

Kale earned the Nirvanam Man of the Match for his stellar 74 runs while Kobayashi earned the Saachi Partners Man Of the Match for his 50 runs. A surprise visitor and one of the stalwarts of the team, who had rescued the team many a times from difficult situations, Anurag Singh, awarded the Saachi award to Kobayashi.

Brief Scores:
Alpha Quashers II – 141 All Out (Sameer 2/20, Raman 1/16, Abhijeet 1/2, Rahul 1/19, Sumon 1/21, Bidyuth 1/22)
Indian Engineers I – 142/2 (Prashant Kale 74, Kobayashi 50*)

 

The Founders vs. The Young! – The Reunion match as it happened

By Silvester Pereira

A casual idea floated back in 2017 became a big move as 2018 rolled in and the veterans playing a cricket match in Tokyo aagainst the current young team triggered a great enthusiasm of bringing in the veterans together from different continents for our first ever reunion. On a beautiful sunny match/reunion day (Mar 31st) and pressure tactics working with Bobby Philips, the former captain, being able to come to Yoga pick-up point directly from Haneda airport (overnight flight from Australia), the veteran team left for iconic Fuji ground with lots of memories, Shinkansen and Mount Fuji in the background and a lot of fanfare. Milind Sapre and Nikesh came from US, while Atul Powale led a team from Australia to join us at Fuji.

After having overcome the Tomei expressway traffic, the teams arrived in Fuji around 11:45. Without much ado, the match (T20) was started with the veterans winning the toss and electing to bat first . With hardly any practice and age not on their side, it was obvious that batting first would ensure the veterans would not get tired by chasing balls for the full 20 overs from an experienced and youthful IECC team.

Babu Koshy along with Sandeep Labde opened the innings. Though a slow start 30 runs in 10 overs for no loss of any wicket, the openers were reminded from outside the boundary that this is a T20 game. At the same time, veteran Biju Paul, who was playing for the young team under the leadership of another veteran, Ashok Kumar, was brought into the attack by the skipper. As the shouts from outside the boundary grew louder, Sandeep, who had still maintained his form as younger days, taken out at point off Biju’s bowling thus bringing the first breakthrough. After that the veterans Milind and Nilesh played a good partnership and towards the end with some wild hitting, the veterans managed to score 95 runs in 20 overs with the loss of only 8 wickets. So much the pre-match talk of getting the veterans out within the first 10 overs 🙂

The youthful IECC team played some great shots against a weak veterans bowling line-up. The young team, led by Ashok Kumar included veterans like Sidde Raju, Atul Joshi, Yogesh Chandwadkar, Suresh GV and the young bloods, Pravin Ram, Prabhaharan, Shiv Prasad, Shreyas etc.  On the Founders’ side, it was good to see Amol, Srini, Jaya, Greg and Stanley all getting to bowl, most them had never had an opportunity to do so in their IECC career. Jaya also managed to get couple of wickets including one that of Biju which brought out the loudest celebration the game saw on that day. Jaya turned out to be the star among the veterans given the fact that Biju was playing for 20 years and Jaya was playing a match after 20 years :-). All this was supported with having laughter, and plenty of videos taken to look back.

With match easily won by the youth, it was decided to have another short match of 8 overs per side. There was excitement here as well with veterans batting line up reversed from 1st match, funny sights of Srini falling while batting or constantly having to walk from left to right side of the field due to left/right batsman. The second match was won by the veterans with Atul hitting the winning runs off the bowling of Biju in the last over. Important to note that Amol Karekar, who had been complaining for the last 20 years saying he had never got a chance to bat for the Engineers, had his life’s wish fulfilled but his joy lasted as long as only 3 balls as he was clean bowled by Biju.

As the batch wound up, Bobby conducted a quick laughter yoga session and introduced the concepts, explaining the advantages of the laughter in life.

Having had  wonderful time at the ground, it was time for some booze. Both teams headed back to the Viva Goa Indian Cafe, at Harajuku, owned by another veteran, Greg Azavedo. The booze, the cheer, karaoke singing et al. lightened up the mood and each of the veterans made a speech on their thoughts, reminisced the early days. By the time the dinner ended at 2AM, a proposal was made and finalised to have a similar reunion meeting soon (duration interval is being discussed and it seem@s Melbourne 2020 is the likely candidate site).

Overall it was the reunion which won the day, reviving the good old friendships and the importance of meeting, staying in touch despite the challenges, managing family expectations, busy schedule in everybody’s personal lives, aging/health fitness and with leaving with a smile on everybody’s face that we will be seeing each other again for many more reunions to come.