West District Cricket Union v Japan
Hamilton Crescent was bathed in warm sunshine when the last wicket fell in the WDCU v Japan match on Wednesday, but many, many hours later, both sides were largely present in the middle of a raucous, boisterous and highly entertaining after-match celebration and had been joined by the, no less exuberant, Japanese Women’s side and the Wildcats.
There had been an official post-match reception where all the players involved in the tour matches held in Glasgow that day had been joined by representatives of the City Council, the business community and other dignitaries to enjoy a superb meal organised by Bill and Ainsley Mann who have been at the heart of the Japan tour and their links to the Cricket for Smiles charity.
Cloudy skies had greeted the sides at Hamilton Crescent at 11am when David Stafford won the toss and decided to bat. Good, accurate bowling ensured the strong WDCU batting line up never dominated entirely though Gregor Preston-Jones, Omer Hussain and Scott Beveridge all made 40s in a competitive 250 for 9.
Masomi Kobayashi clearly fancied the chase though, and unleashed a string of flowing cover drives as Japan set off on reply. His classy 47 was the highest score of the match and it took a superb catch to dismiss him. Japan faltered after that in the face of good swing bowling from Muhammed Ramzan and the guile of Scott Beveridge as they subsided to 129 all out.
At the reception, presentations were made to the tourists by Frank Johnstone on behalf of the WDCU, Ian Jarvie from the Glasgow Academical Club, who had hosted the women’s match, and John Thomson, President of West of Scotland, who had hosted the match and the reception magnificently.
The evening was kicked off by our visitors sharing liberal amounts of Saki with the hosts, some of whom found out very quickly, you sip, you don’t knock it back, but reciprocity followed to such an extent that a round of “blue drinks” was enjoyed some hours later.
Friendships were made, not only between players of various WDCU clubs but also between the Scots and the Japanese which are already leading to serious plans being formed for the WDCU to tour Japan in 2014, a wonderful testament to a terrific and incredibly enjoyable evening.
Photos by Ian Buchan