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Match Report vs Pontypridd 29 August 2010@ Pontypridd (Skipper and report Jam)

After all the kafuffle about turning up early for a 1:30pm start, the 10-man Casz arrived at Ynysangharad Park to find the pavilion closed and hardly any opposition present. Last to arrive was their captain so it was nearer 2:00 when the game finally got under way with Ponty having been invited to bat by JF.

They opened with the Collins brothers, two first-teamers who had the ability to make it a long old afternoon for us so there was a lot of responsibility on Kim & Pablo to get them out or else try to keep it tight. In Kim’s first over, one ball was slightly overpitched and went screaming towards the long off boundary: Richie made a valiant attempt to half stop it, saving two runs, but in doing so jammed his hand. Next over, Pablo induced a false shot to mid on from the skipper Andy Collins – I was 100% sure that Richie would catch it, but what none of us knew at the time was that he had actually fractured his hand and so the catch was not taken. (It was my fault really: if I’d realised how bad the injury was, I wouldn’t have had Richie fielding at mid on - someone else could have dropped it!) Collins was on 4 at the time and went on to score 106. Them’s the breaks, if you pardon the pun, Rich.

Kim did get the other Collins, Gavin, taken smartly low down by JR at midwicket, a much more difficult catch than a lot we have dropped this season. This however brought another first-teamer, Waughington, to the crease and with his cultured stroke play and Collins’ aggressive hitting, the score rattled along for quite a few overs. DT finally got Collins caught brilliantly by Paul on the long on boundary – the ball went miles in the air and was up there for what seemed like an eternity, but Pablo made it look easy.

DT got another wicket bowled shortly afterwards and Shaky got in on the act getting a wicket caught safely by Kim at mid on. They then brought Tom Vaal in, another first-teamer to join Waughington and it was about this time that the confusion started. After about 13 overs, it had started to rain and their skipper asked if I wanted to reduce the game to 35 overs. I said that as we’d started at 40, we’d stick with it which he seemed happy with. So in the last 10 overs or so, Kim, DT & Shaky had all bowled out and I calculated that I needed to find a couple of overs each from Cheese and JF, leaving Pablo his final three overs to bowl at the death. Then a shout came from the boundary to tell the batsmen it was the last few overs. After 34 had gone, I asked how many left and they said last over! Six balls later, Waughington walked off undefeated on 79 with Vaal 22 not out and the score a daunting 261-4 off 35 overs.

Kim 8-0-53-1
Pablo 5-0-41-0
Dave 8-0-56-2
Shakes 8-0-47-1
Cheese 4-0-32-0
Jam 2-0-16-0

The bowling figures speak for themselves. Nobody bowled badly and our fielding was ok (especially being one man short and having to ‘hide’ Richie for most of the innings) but against some very good batsmen, there was absolutely no margin for error and missing Collins early on was obviously crucial. They did have a number of kids playing, but unfortunately, we never got that far into their line-up where we might have been able to stem the scoring.

So after a good, if unspectacular tea, Cheese and JF went out to chase down the 262 needed to win ... and it started with a maiden! That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the innings. Ponty bowled their kids and the slow, low and accurate straight bowling made it difficult to time the ball or even hit it off the square at times. JF was first to depart in the 5th over, missing a long hop that didn’t get up as much as he expected. Kim came in at three and even the free-scoring Cheese and kangaroo combo found it tough to up the rate, taking 9 overs to add 33 before Ed looped one up to cover.

Paul then strode to the middle only to see Kim depart in the next over, out lbw. Ash hit a couple of good blows before getting frustrated with the lack of pace & bounce, eventually holing out to mid on – mind you, the fielder did do his best to make it look more difficult than it was!

With the score 68-4 after 22 overs and the game already beyond us, JR & Pablo settled in for some batting practice for the next 10 overs. BA was out caught in the 32nd over and replaced by his brother. JF was umpiring and overheard the skipper telling his fielders there were 8 overs left, so it turns out they’d actually declared, rather than reduced the game to a 35 over match.

Even so, after 35 overs of our innings, the score had limped to a feeble 101-4: I knew DT & Andy F weren’t that keen to bat and it would have been silly to for Richie to go in (I think he was already in the shower anyway!). So I asked Shakes and Roachy if they wanted to carry on. Shakes said, “I can’t be arsed, mate” and JR, who had played some good shots, was of a similar opinion, so we all just shook hands and wandered off, game over, Ponty winning by millions.

Cheese – caught 22 (43 balls)
Jam – bowled 4 (9)
Kim – lbw 20 (34)
Paul – caught 12 (56)
Ash – caught 8 (17)
JR – not out 18 (34)
Mark – not out 6 (10)
Dave – dnb
Andy F – dnb
Richie – dnb

The oppo all disappeared straight after the game so the Casz gathered at the Llanover Arms (after negotiating the barrier to get out of the park!). We sat listening to Classic Gold sixties hits in a pub that looked like it was last decorated in the sixties; Shaky lived up to his name and a round of sick jokes and talk of Crumbly, not Dusty, Springfield made Paul laugh for the first time that day. It was just what we all needed to make the earlier cricketing non-event seem a dim and distant memory.



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