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Casuals vs. Barry Strollers – 14 August @Bryn-y-don, Dinas Powys
(match report author - Jonny F)

There was an unfamiliar look to the Casz side that assembled at Bryn y Don to play against Barry Strollers on Sunday. We had 3 guests in the team – young David Harris who has previously played a few games for us, and two Casz virgins, Greg Webber (David’s 15-year-old school mate) and Ben Terry, a friend of Dan (how much did he pay him to say that?).

After winning the toss – yes, honestly – I thought long and hard, weighed up all the pros and cons (stop laughing Paul) and decided to bat first.

Mark opened with Chris Ryde and things looked good for Shakes when he played a lovely pull shot for 4 in the opening over, but alas, he was bowled in the next over attempting to play a swinging ball through midwicket with the score on 5.
Young Greg came in at 3 and looked the part from ball one, playing himself in nicely while Easy continued batting defiantly at the other end. His resistance was finally broken after a well-made 19 when he connected sweetly with one that stopped on him, the bowler holding on to a smart c & b. (42-2)

This brought JF to the crease and about an over later, the acting captain was on his way back in for 0, run out at the non-striker’s end after being sold a dummy by our young guest – how to endear yourself to the skipper in your first game! (46-3)
Fortunately, Greg didn’t let it affect his game and he became more fluent as the innings wore on, eventually passing 50 in an excellent 103 partnership with Will who rode his luck early on, but went on to get a very good 41 including 2 big sixes before being bowled by a real dobber. (149-4)

Ben, who hadn’t played cricket before, came and went without scoring (150-5) and David H was also bowled by the dobber for 2. (164-6)
Paul played a nice little cameo (shame about the running, mate) before taking one for the team, bowled for 11 trying to accelerate towards the end of the innings. (189-7)
Dan, who had a sore shoulder before the game, almost dislocated it completely with a now characteristic cow corner swish (perfectly acceptable in the 37th over), bowled 3rd ball for 0 (189-8)

Muff came in with the sole intention of giving Greg as much of the strike as possible, and although he only scored 3*, he did a superb job of running twos and enabling Greg to get to his 100 and carry on to the end of the innings for a superb 127* - not bad for a 15-year-old debutant! And how very un-Casual: I suppose we can forgive him this once for blocking the last ball of the innings!!

Final score 227 – 8 off 40 overs.

With a good total to defend, we just needed to keep things tight at the start and Andy F and Paul obliged with two good opening spells – Jnr 5-0-14-0, Paul 5-0-26-0, leaving them 44-0 after 10 overs and already behind the run rate. Muff and Dan continued the good work with Muff conceding just 17 off his 5 overs – he might have had a wicket if Yours Truly could have held on to a difficult one-handed diving chance - but I ended up ‘pushing it round the post’. Sorry Muff.

We needed a wicket and it was Dan who made the breakthrough in the 16th over, bowling their skipper for 30 with the score on 61. Not wanting that sore shoulder to cool down and stiffen up, Dan bowled his full quota of overs in one excellent spell of 8-1-23-1, by which time the opposition were well behind the required run rate.
Realising this, their number 3 who could bat a bit, decided to go after Shaky, but apart from one expensive over, they could really do no more than milk him for ones and twos. The pressure eventually told when he had the other opener caught at cover by David H for 33 (98-2 in the 25th over). Shaky’s final figures were 8-1-43-1.

David replaced Dan and saw his first ball fly over long on for 6 as the batsmen tried to up the rate. He got his revenge next over when he had their number 3 caught by JF at deep gully for 46 with the score on 130-3, leaving them nearly 100 to win off the last 10 overs.
The next wicket fell to a smart piece of fielding by Andy F– attacking the ball in the deep and throwing in over the stumps at the bowler’s end for the run out.

Ben Terry gets the credit for the next wicket. Fielding at midwicket, he could not quite get to a high ball for a catch off David’s bowling, but he had the presence of mind to field the ball and throw in quickly for another run out at the bowler’s end.
With the batsmen going for their shots as the overs ran out, David managed to pick up two more wickets, one caught by Will (who had another very tidy game behind the stumps) and one bowled, finishing with 7-0-50-3.

Paul came back in to the attack at the end and bowled a brilliant two-over spell of at-the-death bowling with practically everything in the blockhole and conceding only three runs to finish with figures of 7-0-29-0.

Final score 180 – 7 off 40 overs.

Casuals win by 47 runs.

A very good all-round performance, with everybody contributing with either bat or ball and also in the field. Great thanks must go to our three guests for their part in the proceedings, and also to our hosts who were very friendly and who played the game in a great spirit.

I reckon this is what Sundays were made for.


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