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Casuals vs. Clytha – 11 July @ The Moat
(match report author - Shakey)

What a glorious day and what a nail-biting game. A pity only 10 Cazh were available but the oppo only mustered the same and it meant more Tea all round – never a bad thing. More about Tea later.

I assume the game started on time and that we lost the toss. Anyway, I finally arrived late in the 20th over of the Clytha innings, missing two allegedly excellent but unlucky spells by Shagger (6-1-21-0) and The Supreme Andy F (6-0-25-0) with balls flying off the edge to the boundary with unerring accuracy.

Steveo and TH were thrown into the fray and the ever-consistent Horse responded with a wicket in a tight spell (6-0-18-1). Clytha were accumulating but with the size of the ground it wasn’t quick enough, reaching 92-1 in the 24th over. Clytha got a move on and Richie paid the price with an expensive over. Paul struck back, bowling the other opener in another tight spell. Shakes, burdened with two fez (fezzes?) and after a brush with the cows in the adjoining field on his way to the ground, accounted for the number 4 batsman to leave Clytha on 125-3 in the 27th.

A dangerous stand between Andy Norman and the number 5 realised 47 quick runs before the number 5 was out. He wasn't just out – he was only stumped by the surprised Steveo off JC in the 33rd over!! Incredible
The scoring picked up at the end but wickets fell consistently on a pitch offering considerable lift. Paul finished on 6-1-29-3, accounting for Andy Norman (68) with the help of a Shagger catch at mid-wicket, and the Clytha innings fell away at the end as they closed on 187-7 off the full 36 overs.

A calm start to the Cazh innings (Easy bowled for 10 in the 4th) was awoken with the arrival of Mr O’Reilly, fresh from his keeping exploits – 8 byes but a stumping. His innings lasted a mere 12 deliveries but included some daring smiting. After two early 4’s the 6th over of the match was despatched for 24 with the each of the last four deliveries hit for 6 over midwicket. The Cazh wanted more and cheered enthusiastically from the boundary. Alas the brief stay couldn’t last and two balls later Steveo was out for a rapid 34, leaving the Cazh 50-2 in the 7th.

With the ball darting all over the place and the lift from the pitch increasing as the Clytha bowlers pitched it in short, Andy H and Shakes had a midwicket conversation and decided to get on with it before they were either killed or out. 40 runs followed rapidly for the 3rd wicket, both hitting a six each as the Cazh maintained their early momentum. Shakes was bowled for 25 and was quickly followed by Richie (7) and Jeff (2) before winkie also fell for a vital 22 in the 19th over. Casuals 120-6, ahead of the rate but losing 4 wickets in 4 overs.

TH and Paul had to steady the ship but they didn’t just pat it around. They both kept playing shots against some dangerous bowling. TH’s second straight six off one of their quicker chaps, after his arse had hit the ground taking evasive action the previous ball, will live long in the memory. The Horse perished (22) with the score on 160-7 in the 25th after an excellent 44 run stand. But Dan and Paul maintained steady progress by taking the singles on offer.

Then disaster struck. Paul (20) smacked a doughball straight to a fielder with the score on 177 and we needed 10 more to win. Enter the Supreme Andy F. Clytha knew this was the last Cazh batsman – which he was. But they also thought he couldn’t bat – although he can. Andy F did his usual early innings dabs and Dan his usual air shots. The Clytha fielders edged closer and closer to the bat of Andy F as the tension and pressure mounted. But in the 33rd over a rank long-hop was smacked to mid-on for 4 by Andy F with his only scoring shot. The close-in fielders could only dive for cover as the Cazh won an excellent game on a beautiful summer’s day by one wicket.

But then the day got even better. Following the first presentation of the Fez to Steveo in the beer garden, the Cazh were invited to take Tea. There was lots of it, including something called salad I believe (we left that to the Horse and the members of the team who use a belt to keep their trousers up rather than their gut in), and it was extremely good. Then Clytha turned up and wondered where their Tea was? Well most of it was in my belly and that of the fellow Cazh. Apologies to Clytha for nicking their Tea, but double Tea did make the day that extra bit special. A Cazh classic.


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