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Match Report vs Eclipse 19 May 2011@ Wenvoe (Skipper Ed, report Goff)

A pleasant evening at the mecca of South Walian cricket. Sunny with a wisp of cloud, 15 degrees and a calm south-westerly.

Skipper Ed was keen as ever, there at 4.30pm taking in the atmosphere visualising on his field placement and practising his slice. The Wenvoe track looked long with stumps at both ends, it didn't take him long to decide what he was going to do once he'd lost the toss.

By 6pm both teams were ready to roll. The Casz had selected a very diverse team. Solid performers, consistent, focussed experience, exciting young guns, strategists, orthodox, unflappable......all words that could never be used to describe any Casuals team and certainly not this one.

The visitors put themselves into bat and were eyeing up a 150-160 to defend. Nadders was given the cherry to open up with Dion from the other end. A pretty solid start, 9-0 off 2.

Nadders lost his radar a bit in the 3rd and the short balls were dispatched and he went for 12. Dion settled things back with an opening 4 dots and his next delivery was chipped nicely up for Tesh at mid-on to cradle.........oh hang on, Tesh had other ideas, 'I like this chap' he thought, 'I'm gonna let him carry on batting for a bit' and so gallantly let the ball drop harmlessly to the ground! 25-0 off 4.

A bowling change for the 5th with Gwion joining the attack. A solid opening over. Dion to resume and the batsman was obviously feeling a tad bit guilty that he wasn't back in the pavilion. He chips another dolly up to Tesh again............ 'no, no, no' thought Tesh, 'I know your game, it would be nice if you went on to score at least 44' and let the ball land harmlessly on the ground again. 38-0 off 6

Overs 7 & 8 saw only 11 runs added with a wicket for Gwion as Ed caught comfortably at mid-wicket (or cover, I was eating a Jaffa cake at the time). 49-1. Dion bowled out with very respectable figures of 4-0-18-0.

Now the next 4 overs were impressive. Tesh and Gareth joined Gwion for an over a piece and Eclipse were bogged down a bit only managing to add another 18. It was during this spell that the number 2 batsman had been dropped for a 3rd time as Pablo thought it was his turn to let him off (although I cant remember which over) 68-1 off 12 and Gwion bowled out for an accomplished 4-0-25-1.

Now with the current run-rate holding at a manageable less than 6 an over, Skipper Ed started to get concerned that we wouldn't get much of a bat so he cleverly introduced Kim to the attack. Master-stroke, Kim went for 9, game on! Pablo came on and his 1st went for a steady 7. Ed then bought himself on and reaped immediate success with a wicket from his 1st ball. Pablo 2nd was to his standards very loose with a couple of wides to boot. The score moved on to 104-2 from 16.

Batsman No. 2 was not dropped for a fourth time..... Nadders bought back into the attack at over 17 and Ed took the catch, Eclipse wobbling on 105-3 with only 22 balls left.

Now, 22 legal balls later, Pablo had just finished the final over. Only 6 runs off it and a wicket! A very solid final over, especially for a team with plenty of wickets in hand. What happened during the preceding 16 deliveries can only be described as deserved carnage. I will just leave it there.
Total 154-4

Nadders 4-0-52-1 (13)
Dion 4-0-18-0 (4.5)
Gwion 4-0-25-1 (6.25)
Tesh 1-0-5-0 (5)
Gareth 1-0-3-0 (3)
Kim 1-0-9-0 (9)
Ed 1-0-8-1 (8)
Pablo 4-0-34-1 (8.5)

Most of you would've got to know that I like to tell it how it is but always give credit where credit is due. So well done Dion, Gwion, Gareth and Tesh for bowling around or below a run a ball. I would also like to compliment Ash for only conceding 3 byes behind the stumps. Just as well really as there is fuck all complimentary can be said about his batting effort!

Which provides a nice link to the batting effort. 155 needed. Ed's team-talk was simple, plenty of time, 6 an over to start pushing on to 8-9 for the victory. Nothing silly, back up and communicate clearly. This should be a walk in the park as the Casuals had accomplished batsman right down to No.7.

Wise words, Chris and Nipun (aka Napalm) were sent in to lay the foundation and with Ed's inspirational words ringing fresh in his ears, Chris is castled for 0. 1-1 a dream start. Gareth joins Napalm and is off the mark with a boundary driving a full one for 4. He quickly adds 2 more and then another boundary before also having the wood behind him rearranged. Napalm at this point was dealing mainly in 1s and 2s with a single 4 to his name. After 4 overs the score had moved to 30-2.

No need to panic, going at 7.5 an over with plenty of wickets in hand, Ash the no. 4 bat and he meant business, he takes his guard and smashes a canyon into the surface, this is his crease now and he is going to hang around for a while, probably see us home........... apart from he then forgets to stop the ball from hitting the stumps. Basics Ash, basics. 31-3 after 5.

Here we go, a Casuals collapse of the classic kind was on the cards. Was the incoming Kim going to get his head down and build a match winning innings? Or was he going to chip the ball lamely up in the air for another dolly whilst sharing a joke with the oppo??..............................

Well Kim did chip the ball lamely up in the air for a dolly whilst sharing jokes with the oppo and was caught... but not before he and Napalm had really set about the Eclipse attack and pushed the score to 68 after 10. Kim handed his customary gift at the start of the Eleventh and was gone for 20 including a six and a couple of 4s, so Skipper Ed was required to guide Napalm and the Casz home. 68-4, 10 overs left. Still time and still wickets in hand. And they were literally in Eds fucking hands after his first ball and everywhere else. GOLDEN! 68-5

By now Napalm is beginning to feel a bit isolated and decided to inflict the kind of devastation the real stuff did to the North Vietnamese, Ruskkies and Chinese during the Vietnam War. A brutal assault ensued over the next 4 overs including 6 x 4s and 3 x 6s and flying past his 50 and losing about 3 balls. Tesh provided the support. By the time he was caught trying another biggie, Napalm had made an excellent 71. Casuals were back on track, 14 overs bowled, 113-6

Napalm had brought the required rate down to 7 an over. Still 4 wickets in hand and a certain Casz victory.

Gwion joined Tesh and only a couple of singles were taken in the 15th. The 16th saw Tesh (6) skittled by one that turned a country mile and we were faltering at 118-7. That proved to be the decisive over. Gwion (5) went next and the Casuals rearguard of Dion, Pablo and Nadders although a gallant effort were unable to really trouble the scoreboard to any significance.

The Casz finished on 142-9, 13 short and defeated.

Chris bowled 0
Nipun caught 71 (9x4s 3x6s)
Gareth bowled 10 (2x4s)
Ash bowled 0
Kim caught 20 (2x4s 1x6)
Ed bowled 0
Tesh bowled 6 (1x4)
Gwion bowled 5 (1x4)
Dion bowled 8 (1x4)
Pablo not out 4
Nadders not out 3

With proficiency that can only be attributed to the likes of Cardiff City Football Club, the Casuals manage to snatch failure from the jaws of success.

Beaten maybe but down? definitely not. The Casz will rise again like a phoenix from the flames and overcome all adversity. Unlike Cardiff City who will always wallow in self pity and perennial failure.


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