Victories in amateur team sports are a beautiful thing. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing, or even if you’ve got any talent for it. The only thing that matters is that you care, ideally too much, and have a ruthless competitive streak in you that means if you lose you will genuinely break down in tears and cry like a little girl.At the start of the day our team celebrated getting one wicket like we had just won the World Cup, the Champions League, the Superbowl, and become President of the
With both dangerous opening batsmen gone Cunningham and Eiji both claimed scalps in the middle order, and while scoring remained steady for Morioka, the consistently fast and accurate bowling from the Akitan men saw the rate of scoring restricted. Yoko's slower paced unconvential technique was impossible for the Moriokan batsmen to live with, and as the wickets tumbled so their desperation increased.The efforts of Jeff Nadeau, fielding close to the batsmen, in distracting the Moriokans with constant taunting, were superb, and he can indeed claim credit for at least one wicket, by timing to perfection the sentence ‘do you know what sport I love? Monster Trucks!’ He also said something rather distasteful regarding a female deer and his genitals, the cad.
3 overs from the end Cooke put behind him some erratic bowling earlier in the day to post a double wicket maiden over. With
Some superb attacking strokes from Hui meant he quickly reached 20 runs (at which point a batsmen is forced to retire). After Hui had forced retirement Akita were still well short of the required total, as Ebdon, Eiji and Tatsuya all tried to steady the ship with limited success, and ultimately it was down to Hui to return to the pitch to partner Mandal with one wicket remaining. No chances for error. One slip up, one slightly mishit shot and it was all over. It needed two clear heads in the middle, and with the free hitting Hui and the assured Mandal,
The team flooded the pitch, the tension replaced by sheer ecstasy as Mandal ran off celebrating. A huge inflatable banana was brought out to join in the celebrations as the beer flowed, and the trophy was presented to a jubilant captain Cooke.
Akita Cricket Club, the team who had practised with rubbish bins and tennis balls, watched only by confused eight year olds and their even more confused tiny rabbits, were champions of Tohoku. And my god it felt good.
For those interested in playing for Akita Cricket Club we're trying to arrange a friendly in July, and will defend the Tohoku Cup in the second tournament of the year in September.