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Match report vs The Consmen 02 May 07 @ Wenvoe (Skipper Richie, report James Roach)

On a sunny evening with barely a cloud in the sky it was time to bring cricket to Wenvoe for the first time in 2007. The pitch looked in better condition than in early 2006 mainly due to recent weather although the parks guy claimed credit because of extra work that had gone into the pitches over the winter.

The usual traditions were observed as Rich lost the toss and a casuals side containing four debutants (Fred, Sharif, Matt B and Jamie B) were sent out to field. The consmen batsmen were actually at the crease and ready to start before most of the casuals fielders had finished their pre-match smoke.

After some debate Matt B decided he wanted to bowl with the wind behind him and so Sharif took the first over. The Consmen openers of Langford and Vanstone looked to make a steady start with no heroics and despite good bowling no early wicket was forthcoming.

After 4 overs Consmen were 17-0 and Matt B finished a good spell of 2-0-5-0. Andy H replaced him and was as economic as usual asking the batsmen plenty of questions. He almost got his reward in what would have been a spectacular catch behind, Smitts thought he had it and got good hands to it but it was palmed away to third man.

After 8 overs Consmen were 39-0 and Sharif finished his spell with 4-0-26-0. Dan replaced him and eventually in the 11th over the breakthrough was his. Vanstone bowled for 14 getting a slight nick onto his stumps. More was to come in the same over as Dan got a second wicket, Price caught by Sharif between cover and mid-off for 0. Dan finished with figures of 2-1-3-2.

After 12 overs Consmen were 51-2 and Andy H had finished without just reward for his good bowling 4-0-8-0. Consmen were still scoring steadily and Jamie B was introduced into the attack. His first ball for the Casuals was a wicket. The ball pitching half way down the strip but going on to hit middle stump, Williams removed for 3. At this point the Consmen started to go after Jamie B's bowling hitting two fours in his first over but Jamie B recovered well and kept his head. At the other end Manish was introduced into the attack with the same result bowling Martin with his first ball for 9.

After 16 overs Consmen were 72-4, still picking up runs but now the wickets were falling more regularly. Manish picked up another in the 18th bowling Saunders for 3, in the same over Davies was run out by Rich for 1 with a good throw from point. There was some debate as to whether Smitts broke the stumps with his hand before the ball hit. Smitts says no and credits Rich with the run out. Jamie B got another wicket in the 19th bowling the left hander Sidney for 0 with one that seemed to come back into him and hit his leg stump. Jamie B finished with 4-0-19-2. Langford the opener was still there at the beginning of the 20th but the innings was rapped up (Consmen only had 9 players) when he was caught for 39 at mid-off by Matt B. A good inninings which provided the backbone to total of 90 which definitely gave the Consmen a target to defend. Manish finished with 3.4-0-19-3 and Potter was not out 2. The other features of the innings to note were some excellent diving around fielding by Fred and Dewbs and some smart stumping attempts by Smitts standing up to Jamie B.

The casuals needed 91 with good light conditions meaning the full 20 overs could be played without darkness descending. The reply started with a never tried before top 3 of Smitts, James R and Dewbs. Smitts was removed 4th ball of the innings bowled by Vanstone for 0 playing across the line to a straight one (which may be a feature to look out for this season). James R edged a single to third man and tickled one round the corner for two before being bowled by Langstone for 3 unable to decide whether to play a defensive or attacking shot to a straight ball which went through the gate. Dewbs followed shortly after for 0 bowled by the good left armer Davies, playing the ball onto his legs and then onto the stumps.

After 4 overs Casuals 4-3 but the mood in the Casuals camp was still good and a win was still hoped for. Fred and Sharif were at the wicket and making progress, Fred swishing the bat around attempting bit hits which either made it over the in-field or were dropped and Sharif playing some good square cuts/drives.

After 8 overs Casuals 22-3 and the two opening bowlers had been replaced. This allowed the casual batsmen to up the run rate but Sharif was soon out bowled by Saunders for a good 12 in the 10th. Fred followed in the 12th lbw to Langford for a vital 17. There was some debate about the lbw as most of the Casuals watching on the boundary thought it was going down leg side but Dewbs (the umpire) and Fred both thought it was plumb.

After 12 overs Casuals 51-5 requiring 40 off 8 (5 runs per over). With the Consmen's opening bowlers out of the attack runs flowed more freely but wickets also continued to fall. Matt B next victim bowled by Langford for 5 going for a big hit in the 13th. Dan followed in the 14th trying to go over the field caught by Langford off Potter for 4 after playing an excellent back foot push through the covers for 4.

After 14 overs casuals 60-7 keeping the required run rate at 5 an over but wickets falling. Rich looked in good nick connecting well with the ball, running one 4 and then hitting another. He fell in the 16th bowled Potter for another vital innings of 16.

After 16 overs Casuals 73-8. That brought Jamie B to the crease who had spent most of Sunday afternoon giving the slip fielder catching practice at Llandaff Fields. However, his quick 9 runs including an exquisite drive for 4 turned the match in the casuals favour and brought the required run rate down substantially. He fell in the 18th caught by an unnamed fielder off the bowling of Potter leaving it up to the last wicket pair of Manish and Andy H to not lose their wickets and score the remaing 8 runs off the last 15 balls. It took them just 4 balls both hitting boundarys to win the match and finish Manish 15no and Andy H 4no.

A good win for the Casuals which didn't always look likely but was finished off in the professional manner we have all come to expect.


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