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Match Report vs Blaina 20 May 2012@ Blaina (Skipper and report Ed)

The first glorious day of the cricketing year brought us to Blaina to find the wicket as usual towards one side leaving a massive boundary one side but very short the other. After turning up early I found myself looking at the forum to see if there were any last minute issues, only to read steve-o explanation to Pete Obee (obi wan) over his ‘ability’ not to find grounds and Richie saying he would be setting off without a phone.
With the rain on Friday I had made the decision at 13:40 to bat second to see if the wicket would dry and play better in the second innings, I won the toss and put them in. At 13:55 I was rueing that decision with Richie and Steve-o still on the road.

Cazh took the field with 9 of us ready to go with Pablo taking the first over from the rose garden end with a short off side boundary; his first spell went well though the wicket was not playing up as expected and any ball given width on the off side was pushed to the short boundary.

Dan had started at the Rugby ground end firing in at a full length pushing the batsmen back then putting the ball on a good length looking to beat the bat. This did happen on few occasions only for the pad to block the path to the stumps and the umpire was not inclined to the lbw decision.

During these initial overs the two pioneers had arrived and the cazh were up to the full compliment. With neither the openers making a break though and the batsmen looking set, Shakey and cheese took over looking to cut down scoring options. This had the desired effect (in 5 overs only 8 runs were scored) but no wicket. Bowesy was on for cheese, after he missed a caught and bowled and had worn it on the shin, third ball of his cazh career got one to nip back and finally we got an lbw decision (needless to say this umpire was replaced quick smart).

Shakey followed up this breakthrough with a brace of quick wickets, gaining another lbw decision (buses comes to mind) and bowling the next, initial it was thought to have turned past the inside edge but this was changed to batsmen missed a straight one after Ash pointed out that it hardily moved.

At two overs before drinks they had been 77 for no loss, they reached drinks at 82 for 3 with cazh on the hunt for more wickets without leaking too many runs.
Cheese recovered from his knock and came on for short spell and after being taken for successive fours found a leading edge which Tesh followed up by taking a good catch coming in from the cow boundary.

Obi wan was on from the rose garden end and having to bowl a defensive line on leg stump on orders from the captain but this did mean that the short off side boundary would need an in/out shot which was looking more and more risky as Obi wan found his range.

During Ob’s second over their captain swung around on one down the leg side only to pad it down to shakes on 45° as the ball was passed back to the bowler, there was a cry from the boundary “he is out” we all thought that it was a passer by a friend of the captain but it was our travelling support; junior who was informing us with the bail on the floor the batsmen had trodden on his stumps but as none of the fielders nor umpire had seen it and the batsmen played dumb the bail was repositioned and we carried on.

Dan was on for his final three overs and hammering them down at their captain probing out any weakness in his defence, finally the pressure told and Dan found the off stump unprotected knocking him over for a steady 42 then had a couple of sighters at the number No.7 before removing him finally gaining the umpires approval on an lbw appeal.

Shakey and Cheese were back on to finish, with cheese keeping it tight from one end, Shakey went through his repertoire of deliveries with Tesh clinging on to a fine catch in the covers and then the next over getting yet another lbw decision his way (not sure what shakey had offered the umpires but we can sure it was not his share of tea) though neither found the ball to deliver the coupe de grace.

The late wickets and the hustle in the field left them only getting 19 runs off the last 10 overs and instead of chasing 160 plus the target was a gettable 144 off 40 overs.

Pablo; 8overs; 1 maiden; 29 runs; 1 wicket
Shagger; 8, 2, 17, 2
Cheese; 8, 2, 25, 1
Shakey; 8, 1, 20, 4
Bowesy; 4, 0, 18, 1
Obi wan; 4, 0, 20, 0

Tea was decent affair with rolls generously filled with cheese and onion, corned beef, ham salad (this is the only acceptable form of salad) and Tuna mayo. Then there were plates filled with sausage rolls, scotch eggs, cocktail sausages and pork pies. Compliment with trays of chocolate fingers, Battenberg cake, Jaffa cakes and half scones with jam and cream. Refreshments were in the form of pints of squash and good tea. Though the problem of unseasoned egg sandwiches did raise its head again

On with the batting after their sterling work in the field, Kimbo and Tesh were rewarded with opening the batting against the captain who likes to drop it a bit short and the number 5 who looked a classy cricketer.

The opening partnership started slow but as with most run chases it was important not to lose early wickets and then the left right combination started to its toll on the opening bowlers opening up the short leg side boundary from both ends.

At the start of the 13th over the score was 43 and scoring rate increasing every over, then Tesh lost a bit of concentration and was castled by the number 5 who he had be dealing with easily.

This started a mini collapse as with his tail up the bowler sent down some unplayable deliveries accounting for Ash and Richie in the same and thankfully his last over. Steve-o saw off the remaining balls only to dolly one up after a great drive for two straight past the off-spinner from the rose garden end.

The cazh from a promising position of 43 off 12 overs, were back in the dog fight at 47-4 off 16 overs. Bowesy was next into the fray with us all hoping that he could start where he finished off last week.

The pair got the scoreboard moving again only for Kim to fall just before drinks to sharp upholding of the lbw appeal from cheese. At drinks the score was 57-5 but with now fewer than hundred to get from 20 overs the cash were not out of this yet.

For the next 6 overs Obi wan and Bowesy set about picking up runs where they could in particular byes and frustrating the bowlers into wides and no balls. This is not to say that their were no runs from the bat during this period of rebuilding, the two shots of the day first was Bowesy putting it over the ropes towards the rugby pitch end which was as big as they come and then Obi wan with probably a better shot punching one from right under his eyes to the cover point boundary. This partnership had moved on to 32 off 6 overs which in the context of the game was mammoth though Obi wan was winkled out with a sharp catch at gully with Obi wan just misjudging the bounce.

Bowesy was on strike from the rose garden in the next over and with a shorter straight boundary than the one he had cleared a couple of overs ago, went for it again but got a thick inside edge the ball ballooned towards long on. The fielder was slow to get started and was no where near when it bounced then made a hash of the gathering and Bowesy collected another precious boundary. Later in the over he picked the right ball and sent this one over the rope and cazh were on 110 and galloping towards the total. Then finally after almost 3 combined hours at the crease Bowesy showed that he is a casual and went for the next ball as well only to be bowled.

This brought the Stephens together which provided our guest scorer with a bit of bother as Katie (Ash’s’ fiancé) could not tell them apart. Though I am unsure if it was them as it states Shakey scored a 3 in the book. The Brothers Grimm (register trademark of Disney inc. Corporation) kept the score board ticking with some well placed singles and Shakey finding the boundary with one particular crisp drive. As it looked like these to would bring us home Shakey was bowled still trying to get his breath back from the aforementioned 3.

Dan strolled out to the wicket with the remaining cash members holding their breath and cheese gingerly padding up. First ball was a straight full toss which was only ever going to have two outcomes, this time it was smashed to the boundary and then Pablo hit the rope in the next over the game was won by 2 wickets.

Kimbo; 27 (4x4), lbw
Tesh; 11(1x4), bowled
Ash; 0, bowled
Richie; 0, bowled
Steve-o; 2, bowled
Bowesy; 31 (2x4, 2x6), bowled
Obi wan; 8 (1x4), caught
Pablo; 15 (1x4), not out
Shakey; 14 (2x4), bowled
Shagger; 4 (1x4), not out
Cheese DNB

I think those finally 10 overs of their innings was the difference when we could have easily shipped 30 – 35 runs but held them to 19 was a great effort from the bowlers and the fielders not least Richie in the covers and Tesh at midwicket.

If we can keep this enthusiasm in the field we will have more wins than loses.


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