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Match Report - 4th July vs. Rhiwbina at Wenvoe. (author Jonny F)

The skipper of the day kept up the Casz tradition of losing the toss and the opposition captain invited us to bat first on a Wenvoe pitch that was even slower and lower than usual - a circumstance which doesn't really suit the Casz batting line-up, although we did manage a fairly respectable total at the end.
Bad Back 1 and Bad Back 2 (aka Andy Hood and JF) opened the innings, Andy making batting look incredibly easy, whilst the acting captain scratched around making it look impossible before finally dragging one on for 5.

This brought Goughy to the crease and 11 runs later he was on his way back given out lbw by Steve (after about a 20 second delay, in spite of being hit on the front leg a long way forward, with a suspicion of a little bit of bat involved … and because the opposition shouted really loudly!!!!). Plumb, my arse! (That's not an invitation by the way). When will we ever learn?
Nevertheless, Mr Ed and Andy put together a good partnership before fatigue got the better of Mr Hood who chipped one to mid-off for a fine 42.

Colin came in and did a good job for the team, throwing a bat at the bowling and not wasting many deliveries before also skewing one to mid-off for 5.
Paul then joined Ed in the middle for the last couple of overs and although they were never troubled by the slow dobbers, the lack of pace and bounce in the pitch made it difficult to get the ball away as they tried to accelerate. At the close of the innings, Paul had finished 9 not out and Ed was unbeaten on 28 (thanks to some fine umpiring decisions and Goughy almost starting a fight by not giving in to an appeal for a stumping)

Total 111 for 4 off the full 20 overs: not a bad total, but we should have got about 20 more. We didn't run enough singles, we didn't turn enough ones into twos and we didn't take enough boundaries off the bad balls.

Now, I believe that if you bowl straight and field well, 111 is a defendable total at Wenvoe …

Dan got us off to a fine start with a maiden, whilst Mr F Jnr, by his own admission, bowled a mixed bag first up and the bad balls were put away for boundaries. Dan continued bowling well and was not helped by some indifferent fielding, most notably from the acting captain - hands up, lads! Andy F came back really well with three tight overs and the wicket of their dangerous left-handed opener - thanks to a straight-forward catch by Paul and a magnificent piece of field placing by … well, by Paul himself who read the batsman perfectly.

Justin came on first change and bowled a magnificent spell of 4-1-15-0. When you consider that one ball went for a straight six (Ed refused to retrieve the ball from the field next to the house, in spite of the captain's pleas), this meant that Justin bowled 23 deliveries for a stingy 9 runs against two decent batters who were well set - brilliant stuff from JT.
Kevin was also bowling well from the other end but we just couldn't stem the flow of singles and he should have had a wicket when the acting captain put down a catch which he would normally have held, and which might have changed the course of the match - hands up, lads!

With the opposition requiring less than a run a ball with 9 wickets in hand, the skipper's plan for the last five overs was to bring the field in to cut off the singles and force them to try to hit Muff's nagging dobbers off the square whilst Paul kept it tight at the other end - and it almost worked! - for two overs anyway.

In his first over Muff almost took a difficult return catch and he wasn't helped out by more indifferent fielding from yours truly (hands up again). Paul then bowled an excellent over in the circumstances (conceding only 3 runs) - and especially having to contend with Goughy shouting "Let's see the size of your bollocks!" and "Those are massive bollocks!" after a particularly good delivery..

This left them needing 18 off 18 balls and I reckon they didn't fancy leaving it to the last over, so their captain decided to go for it. He came down the track twice and hit Muff to wide long on and to cow corner for two fours, effectively ending the game as a contest. There was nothing wrong with the deliveries and on another day he might have missed one and been bowled or stumped (some chance, Goughy!) or he might have edged one up to a fielder. Things just didn't go Muff's way on the night.

They were comfortable winners in the end with two overs to spare, leaving us to reflect on another series of 'What ifs …'
What if we had scored more boundaries?
What if we had run more singles?
What if we had turned more ones into two?
What if we had fielded better?
What if we had held our catches?
Maybe there's a lesson to be learnt here.

Dan L 4-1-22-0
Andy F 4-0-23-1
Justin T 4-1-15-0
Kevin M 3-0-21-0
Matt F 2-0-20-0
Paul S 1-0-3-0

Casz Man of the Match: Justin Thomas for a brilliant spell of bowling / Andy Hood for a well made 42 and a good fielding display in spite


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