(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.