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Match report vs. Barry Wanderers 1st May 06, Sully Hospital (Skipper on the Day - J. Furnham)

The first thing to mention is that the Wanderers team had to deal with the heavy(very heavy) blow of Andy Furnham pulling out. On the other hand the Wanderers were dealt a huge bonus when they saw that new dad Steve O was included in the Casz line up.

The Wanderers won the toss and decided to put the Casz in to bat with Winky Hood and skipper Furnham opening up. Despite the slow nature of the pitch and early season rust being ironed out, a partnership of 68 developed. Not the quickest of run rates and despite the timing not quite being there, the partnership built a solid foundation for the rest of the innings. Furnham was the first to go for 22 bowled by the third ball from the first change bowler Gale, making his debut for the oppo.

This brought Gough to the crease who played some good shots as befits a player of his class, but he soon fell the same way as the skipper for 14 (90 for 2). Smitts was next in and hit his first ball for 4 but fell to Ashton for 7 in the manner that Steve O normally falls (104 for 3). Steve O himself was in next and despite everyone expecting him to fall victim to Ashton he fell at the other end, bowled for 0 (106 for 4).

While wickets were falling at the other end the rock that is Hood stood steady to see himself past a hard-earned 50 until he was stumped for 57. A superb knock to see us at 120 for 5. James managed a single but seemed quite happy when bowled as he mentioned that it was one more than Wednesday and he expects to score 2 next time -122 for 6.

The innings could have fallen apart from here as so many times in the past but this time it was not to be. Firstly Tesh, although only managing 8, upped the intensity and was caught at long off trying to push the score -128 for 7. Next came the main talking point in the pub afterwards as P Stephens was run out after being sent back by M Stephens going for a second. The fact that Paul had yet to score only made it worse. What exactly went on out there it is difficult to say so I will leave it to those involved and who witnessed it to decide -131 for 8. Had we fallen apart and was everything lost? Not at all as Mark and Dan put on 30 at the end with Shakes batting like a certain M Bevan from Australia. His running was not quite as fast but he did play some lovely shots. Dan despite being dropped also played really well at the end and the final score of 161 for 8 looked very competitive with Mark and Dan on 22 and 12 not out respectively. Dave who managed to hurt his ankle while going to the scoreboard seemed quite happy his services were not called on.

Dan opened from the Ty hafan end and Paul from the former hospital end, and bowl very well they did although a wicket eluded them. The scoring rate was kept down though which proved to be extremely important. Dan's first spell was 5 overs for 12 runs until Paul swapped ends and took over from Dan to finish with 8-1-21-0. Although not taking a wicket it was an excellent spell. Dave meantime had started his spell in fantastic fashion and made the breakthrough by having Dave Smith caught at slip with the help of a fantastic catch from Smitts. Despite having a bad ankle Dave showed how much better he has bowled in recent seasons and finshed with figures of 8-2-27-1.

James by now had come on for a spell and he certainly kept the scorers busy by having to add wides and no balls to the score book. In between the extras though he bowled some excellent deliveries and maybe the most important ball of the match. The Wands looked to be cruising at this point but by taking out the skipper LBW, James changed the whole game. He finished with figures of 4-0-30-1 but what an important 1.

Despite this the Wands were still in the driving seat and wickets were what the Casz needed. M Stephens, although not taking a wicket, bowled as tight as the Lib Dem budget and finished with figures of 4-1-7-0 to cap an excellent day for him.

At this point Tim Sanders and Peter Coleman were at the wicket and if those two had stayed in then the game would have been over with overs to spare. Tesh, who had already bowled P Swannick, made sure this didn't happen though, as he had Coleman caught by James at extra cover. Again this was a huge wicket but Sanders was still there on about 40 with only about 25 to get. They had gone from 100 for 2 to 138 for 6.

Despite M Stephens bowling really well captain Furnham took a chance and brought back Lewis a couple of overs earlier than he would have liked. This meant he would have to find someone else to bowl the last over if needed but the captain was going to try and make sure it didnt reach the last over.

The captain's plan worked a treat as Lewis had Sanders caught behind by the ever reliable Gough. From now on it was a different game totally as the overs were running out and the batsmen were mostly people who could neither hit boundaries nor run quick singles. This, coupled with Tony Swannick's eagerness to run out two of his team mates, meant the Casz were now in the driving seat. Tesh continued to bowl well under pressure to finish with figures of 6-0-32-2.

The final spell from Lewis though was of the utmost quality. He wiped out Morgan, Ashton and Curtis (he is on a hat trick next ball) with stumps flying everywhere, for the Casz to win by 14 runs which seemed very unlikely half an hour before. Lewis finished with figures of 8-2-15-4 with his second spell from the opposite end giving figures of 3-1-3-4, an outstanding effort. The Wands finshed on 147 all out off exactly 38 overs.

Despite 34 extras, some dodgy fielding and missed run outs, it was an excellent win and a good game to watch.

Match report submitted by a neutral observer


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