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Match Report vs Blaina 19 May 2013 @ Blaina (Skipper Cheese, report Steveo)

As the happy band of casuals meandered their various ways up the valley to Blaina (thanks for the lift Dave!) they were met with ominous clouds and a cold chill … fear not though, for the clouds lifted as we gathered upon this chipper little ground to await the locals, who took their time appearing but to great relief they did indeed turn out with the usual welcome. This is a very nice club on a sunny day, as it so turned out to be, and the obvious good cheer with which the Blaina team is led by skipper Mr A. lane ( aka pete) makes it worth the drive.

So to business. I believe Skipper won the toss and elected to bat, although sportingly offered the choice once he realized Blaina were short. They demurred and carried on regardless, and so openers Stewart and Britton entered the fray. Lane opened the bowling and tossed up some good firm deliveries with a little pace. His testing line elicited a number of maidens early on whilst Palmer the other end was similarly successful. No runs off the first three overs as the lads eased themselves in. It wasn’t too long before Ed eased himself out again having fended off 16 balls and lasted just as many minutes. He was caught off Lane’s good bowling but the catch seemed to surprise the catcher and the team ( I think it was a sharp chance to mid off). 5overs, 6 runs 1 wkt.

Mr Mason-Wilkes bestrode the turf to join the fun as Britton began at last to find scoring chances, taking some 2’s and 4’s. Will sensibly took his time to get used to the conditions ( was that sunshine?) but steadily the run rate improved and it wasn’t until the 88th minute since the start of play that Snapper Britton finally tired of the game and fell to an LBW decision. It was the 21st over as Mr Gear, their 3rd bowler struck and Daz stood down on 32, including five 4’s, in a partnership of 80. The effort had brought on quite a heat in the portly paparazzo, as evidenced by the sweaty tide mark in the borrowed cap (don’t worry Darren, its nearly dry now).

Bowes the Youth then took up the cudgel, and in his 30 minutes managed a handy 19, nearly all fours, before being caught. Richie in next and in only 19 minutes scored 13 of 16 balls with no intention of running (atta boy Rich) as three of them were fours. By now of course Mr Will.I.?.Yes.Please.Thank.You.Very.Much was having a grand old time slapping away (I know that’s not the technical term) taking a goodly number of fours and the odd 6 that went way over the road. It would be nearly two hours before he was cruelly undone by an LBW whilst on 90! I won’t mention the umpires name, but I think it was Darren. He took ten 4’s and three 6’s to get there so there was a fair bit of running as well. But before he had made way the luckless (okay, gormless) O’Reilly came and went without troubling the scorer but he did put the jinx on Will who soon thereafter fell with the score on 175 in the 34th.
Mr Gof DayGlo faffed about for 6 runs before getting caught whilst Bagpuss held up the end for a gallant 13, chuckles stephens did his part with a quick six runs, Adam did sod all and Dave … well you know.

E Stewart 0
D Britton 32
W Mason-Wilkes 90
P Bowes 19
R Holliday 13
S O’Reilly 0
G Day 6
M Stephens 13
P Stephens 6
A Maria 1?

Casuals total of 208 ( 6wides, 1 nb, 12 byes, 9leg byes)

Tea was simple but plentiful, with a variety of well filled and moist rolls, chocolate fingers, and a general balance of savoury and sweet.

We knew we’d posted 20 too few to be honest but the bowling attack got on with it. Maria did a fine job ( particularly at amusing the spectators who took a shine to him and started singing his name). The book is hard to read but I think he took a wicket in his first over with Wall ( No 2) getting a duck. He bowled a tight line (mostly, despite 2 wides in the 2nd over that cost us the game icon_rolleyes )and also took the big wicket of Lane in his 3rd (for 2 runs). Things were looking good. Day at the other end also bowled well, although runs were accruing.

Paul and Mark joined in and kept up the attrition – followed by Dave who claimed he couldn’t bowl and Steve o – who every one else claimed couldn’t bowl. Despite this Bill and Ben managed to get a couple of wickets – Ed taking a fantastic catch well above his head ( must have been at least 5 ft off the ground) that had appeared to have gone past him off O’Reilly’s beautifully pitched delivery (!) to see off Selway ( on 32). Dave then skittled out the no. 6 & 7.
Maria returned to put paid to Lewis (on 51) with a rubbish ball (probably) that nevertheless resulted in a quiet little catch from O’Reilly… who without further ado returned the ball modestly and with our further word went back to his fielding position. 'icon_razz'

Ed also bowled and moved the attack around trying to outfox the oppo and did well for the most part – getting an LBW himself – but sadly there were a couple of 3rd umpire moments that Will found hard to take – he eventually got reward for all his hard work behind the timbers with a stumping, but should have had more probably. Maria also felt he had a good shout for LBW but to no avail.

Despite all this it all came down to the last ball by some miracle ( or miscounting) and thanks to the tight bowling of Paul I think we had a chance … however, by some other miracle ( of ineptitude) the batsman/youth needing 1 run off the last almost succumbed to pressure – a mis hit, straight to our tight field, a bit of argy bargy, pass the parcel, hows your father and somehow we managed to take longer to get the ball up to the stumps than Gof takes to shut up in any given argument. Forever. So there we were, lost by a run ( you will now recall the two wides of Maria’s!).

Ah well. the bowling figures are impossible to read so maybe statto can sort that out later.
Well done all, a kindly spirit and a fair ol game in the end, even though we maybe should have won. and probably did win the moral high ground. just not the cricket.

Sorry Will.



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