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The Casuals vs. Miskin Manor – 7th August @ Miskin

On a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon the troupe arrived at Miskin minus the skipper – who had decided to stay for ‘extras’ at the Barry Island Women’s Beach Volleyball Tournament. (I suppose that’s allowed). Therefore I (Dan) was voted in as captain by the team who I think thought we were going to get whipped by the very keen and talented looking group of ‘youngsters’ who were our opposition.

Losing the toss, we were asked to field. Given the opportunity Dan opened the bowling with Paul, quickly wishing he hadn’t taken this opportunity as the Glamorgan under 17 player (Whiteley) proceeded to smack him for 25 of his first 3 overs…Paul had no such trouble, bowling a maiden to start with, but then started to take some punishment as the batsmen had their practise at the other end.

First change came quickly (after 6 overs) which brought Muff into the firing line (his season’s bowling figures surely to be punished!!). After 10 overs the oppo were 77 for no loss, and a potential score of 400 looked possible… as the openers continued to score boundaries quite freely. Then came DB1 into the attack after 12overs… The slower pace and hint of turn slowed the run rate and in 14 over the breakthrough was made, DB1 tempting the batsman into one too many big hits with Shagger taking the catch on the way to the boundary. Miskin 113 – 1 off 14 overs.

The fall of wickets are a little hazy (as they weren’t noted in the book), but Muff got his well deserved wicket 3 overs later, with Dave taking a superb ‘diving’ catch low to his left at point. Muff got another one a few overs later, Dan catching a loopy one at square leg and he got the prize wicket of Whiteley after literally telling the batsman what he intended doing – chuck down a wide to be stumped by Goughy (for 92). Miskin 161 -4 after 25 overs. Muff and Dave finishing with figures 8 overs, 1 maiden, 51 for 3 & 8 overs, 39 for 1 respectively. Dave doing especially well considering the oppo’s form.

Andy F and Shagger (2nd spell) bowled a good line, Shagger picking up the next wicket caught by Andy F in covers, then got two more wickets – one bowled, another caught (sharp chance) in the slips by Ed (7 overs, 41 for 3). After a slight cock up in to communication between scorers and Shagger, Paul was brought back into the attack a little early to complete his allotted overs, though getting a well deserved wicket (figures 8 overs, 1 maiden, 60-1). Foxy came on at the end, unfortunately taking a bit of punishment as the batsmen tried to increase the score with the final few overs remaining (3 overs, 30 for 0) and Andy F coming back for the last but one over (6 overs, 28 for 0).

Miskin finishing on 256-9 – a more than formidable total…..though kept relatively low with good bowling and sharp fielding, everyone contributing, even Baggy, with his spectacular ‘dives’ (the ball obviously always going for four each time….)

After a good tea, including - scones, strawberries and cream, which unfortunately went all too quickly and to be fair was a tad on the expensive side (@£3.50 per man), TH and Easy Ryder opened the Casuals reply. We started well – TH scored a 2, then it didn’t go so well – Easy was bowled with the 4th ball. (3 for 1 off 1). Baggy was next up and looked settled on the good batting track. Ed also looked settled until he was bowled in the 3rd over…(6). Baggy began to middle a few, though unfortunately middled one too many into the hands of cover (9). At 25 for 3 of 6 overs, we didn’t hold up much hope of getting the required score, nor getting to 50, however, Richie and Goughy were out to prove everyone wrong.

The long standing fourth wicket record was about to fall (76 Mark & Jeff since 1998). Starting steadily the pair began to grow in confidence; Goughy reached and passed his 50, Richie playing the ‘solid’ role at the other end. They passed the 100 partnership in the 25th over, by which stage the 1st team opening bowler had been brought on (who I was told only ever bowls spin on a Sunday – mmm) to ‘end the partnership’. That he did, not after Richie had frustrated him for a couple of overs. Richie was bowled out for 30. (The Cazh 132 for 4). Foxy, still facing the quickie fell for 2, and Shagger (wishing he hadn’t promoted himself up the order) also faced 2 balls – the first one bowled him – TH kindly calling it a no-ball, the second just a little quicker, bowled by an in-swinging yorker. Cazh 145 for 6 off 29 overs.

Paul had no such problems, seeing off the quickie (2 remaining balls) - the first of which was a leg glance for four. These two rapidly increased the pace of the Casuals reply and put on a staggering partnership of 81 in 8 overs. As you may be able to work out, by this time Goughy had reached and passed his second century of the season! It was Paul who’s wicket fell (34 – including 5 fours and a 3) with the Cazh requiring 36 off just under 3 overs. Goughy’s valiant stand came to an end in the same over, finally getting caught in covers for 109 (including 13 fours). The partnership of Muff and DB1 lasted about eight balls, ending in DB1 being run out (3). Big hitter Andy F had four balls to hit 22 runs (bit of an ask), though was helped out by 4 no-balls. Muff was run out on the last ball going for a suicidal second (5). Andy F remained 5 not out.

The Casuals finished 246 all out, losing by just 10 runs, it could have been even closer had the game not finished so late as the dew on the outfield certainly slowed the ball getting to the boundary. However, an excellent game all round, played almost entirely in the ‘right’ spirit.

The Order of the Fez went to Dave for his game ‘turning’ bowling plus lightening (and surprising) catch, and Goughy for his almost immaculate century (he was dropped 3 times!) .


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