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The lovely setting of St Fagans welcomed the Casz on Bank Holiday Monday and all was well right up until the coin toss. (Skipper on the Day - J Furnham)

Their captain informed me that their batting line-up was pretty strong - quite an understatement, especially considering that one of their openers, Merilat, had scored 56 against Surrey earlier in the season!

So, after continuing the Casz tradition of losing the toss (I always was a useless tosser), we were faced with the prospect of a long 40 overs in the field, and so it turned out.

Dan and Justin opened with pretty decent spells of bowling, however. Dan conceded only 12 runs in his 5 overs and they were about 44 off 10 but without losing a wicket. Andy F bowled an intelligent 8 over spell, conceding a miserly 24 runs and picking up one wicket (a skyer caught by Paul who made a difficult catch look very easy). 89 - 1.

Their number 3 departed for 8 thanks to another pretty good catch (if you'll permit me to say so) by the skipper of the day off Paul's bowling. And that was all the wickets we got up until the very last over.

Fitz and Goughy chipped in with good spells but with no luck, Dan and Justin came back and saw their figures suffer a bit as the batsmen went for their shots, as did Paul in his last over.

Shaky held up his hand to bowl the final over of the innings and finally got Merilat out bowled (anything Martin Bicknell can do) for 134. Mind you, he did edge one behind on about 15, but it was only a half chance and didn't quite carry through to Will who did well to get a finger tip to it.
Ah ... what might have been ...
Total 258 for 3.

Casz Bowling figures: all the bowlers will bowl a lot worse and return better figures.

Dan 8-2-37-0
Justin 8-0-60-0
Andy F 8-1-24-1
Goughy 5-0-30-0
Paul 6-0-59-1
Fitz 4-0-31-0
Shakes 1-0-8-1

Very nice tea.

And so to bat.
Mark and JF opened the batting, but the bemused councillor was dismissed for 2 in the very first over, bowled round his legs by a ball that pitched outside leg and hit the off stump. Much head shaking from Shaky. 2-1.

Out came Goughy who looked in fine touch and displayed a great range of shots before smacking one to point and getting caught for an excellent 38 out of a 54 partnership with JF. 56-2.

That brought Will to the crease and he took over where Goughy left off, scoring on both sides of the wicket while I scratched around at the other end. When I was eventually bowled for a slow and painful 33 it ended an 81 partnership with the score on 137-3.

About 20 minutes later, we had added 4 runs and lost another 6 wickets: Steve O b 2 (not playing straight); Will ct behind 47 (deserved 50); CD run out 0 (unlucky - direct hit), Fitz b 0; Paul c+b 0; Dan b 0 (golden duck - ball hit pad and onto stumps). 137-2 had suddenly become 141-9.

A spirited 10th wicket partnership of 22 then followed between Justin and Andy F, ending when JT flat-batted one to midwicket for 12, leaving Andy 10 not out.

Final score 163 all out and defeat by 95 runs.

We were well beaten on the day, but we were not disgraced. Apart from holding on to a couple of catches, there was not a lot more that we could have done, so we should not be too dispirited by this defeat. After the game their skipper was full of praise for our bowlers and acknowledged that we had been unlucky to come up against a particularly strong batting line-up. They would be more than happy to invite us up again for a similar fixture at the same time next year.

Casz man-of-the-match: Will Goad. A superb 47 against a good bowling attack and an excellent display behind the stumps.


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