Match Report vs Sparsholt
01 September 2012@ Wenvoe (Skipper Ed, report Shakey)
Day 2 of tour saw the 15 Casuals eventually assemble at sun-drenched
Sparsholt, a little later than planned. The early morning
casualties this year centred on the spoofers, veterans of
an expensive for some drinking game. Some of the spoofers
had already drawn crosses for the match and were excused the
pleasure of playing on one of our rare summer days. The others
had taken their chances and it would be interesting to see
how Dan, Daz, Gaz and Goff (surely a Dickensian law firm!)
would fare on an increasingly warm day.
Captain Ed won an arranged toss and the Cazh took to the
field to allow them selves to run off last night’s booze
against a Sparsholt team which looked young, fit and out for
revenge after their surprising loss in the 2011 fixture.
Andy and Dan each started with a maiden and their opening
spells produced the odd ball which beat the watchful bat.
But Sparsholt took advantage of the odd loose ball and accumulated
runs elsewhere so that by the end of the 10th over they had
moved to 39-0. Gaz and Dave replaced them and it was Dave
who secured the breakthrough, confusing the more fluent of
the openers with a rank long hop which was well caught by
Winkie. The other opener followed soon after, caught off Gaz
by Winkie again as they reached 59-2 in the 15th over.
That was it wicket-wise for the next 17 overs as Sparsholt
made good progress against a disciplined Casuals attack. A
stand of 81 for the third wicket was broken by Paul who bowled
the number 3 and soon after Dan deservedly claimed the number
4 after a catch from Richie. The Cazh had half-chances and
saw the ball pop into gaps but the stand allowed Sparsholt
to gather pace as they scored 60 runs between the 20th and
However, the wickets set them back and they could never
quite recover the scoring momentum. Paul picked up three more
wickets and Andy also came back late to claim a wicket as
Sparsholt picked up 15 runs in the last 5 overs to finish
on 179-8, perhaps 19 more than the Casuals would like to chase
but 20 less than the score had suggested after 30 overs. The
end of the innings saw an incredible catch by Goff who ran
in from long-on to claim a knee-high catch on the run to the
surprise of everyone watching – and not least the grinning
fielder who correctly judged that he should attempt to catch
the shiny one of the three spoof-inspired balls that quickly
came into view.
The Casuals reply got off to a bad start with Jam bowled
for 2. Some watchful defence was interspersed with the odd
run and the odd well hit boundary, particularly from Cheese
who creamed four of them before he was bowled and not long
after Richie followed suit. At 48-3 in the 13th over the game
was in the balance as Gazza walked to the wicket to join Daz.
As one of the tour virgins Daz had earlier fielded in women’s
tennis shorts and a fetching pink women’s tennis top.
The shorts had gone to protect his chaffing legs but the top
remained and it seemed to sober him up. Yes so he couldn’t
drive to the ground, nor could Gaz. But suddenly we had some
control and the odd boundary kept us reasonably close to the
rate. Daz hit a four and a six, Gaz hit five fours and two
sixes - one particularly huge in the direction of the next
village. The score progressed to 105-3 when Daz fell to an
excellent catch at mid-on for a well judged 32.
It was the over that changed the game as at its end Ash and
Goff had also gone, bowled by full deliveries, and they were
soon joined by Winkie in the hutch to leave us on 109-7 in
the 24th over. Dan stuck around for a while before Paul joined
Gazza needing 59 runs off 12 overs with two wickets left (let’s
be clear one of them was Dave).
In the next 4 overs Gazza smashed a four and a six, Paul
also hit a 4 and we were somehow up with the rate. But then
Gazza was bowled for an excellent 57 after one too many hoiks
across the line and Dave lasted one ball to leave us 140 all
out. While Gazza was there we still had an outside chance
but at least we hadn’t embarrassed ourselves.
The Cazh headed back into town for a curry at the Bengal
Sage as the clouds steadily gathered.