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Match Report vs Usk 2 June 2013 @ Usk (Skipper Cheese, report Richie)

A warm sunny Sunday afternoon's cricket was almost lost before it had begun thanks to Usk's fixture secretary who had agreed a Sunday league game against Malpas despite already agreeing the Casz's fixture earlier in the year. However thanks to an eagle eyed Andy F and a popular social media gadget called 'twitter', and thanks to Malpas having pulled out, the fixture was back on several tweets later.

The Casz gathered ahead of the proposed 2pm start, assessed the pitch and decided the best option was to bat first and then like a true Casz captain Cheese lost the toss and we were in the field.

Opening up at the 'picture postcard view' end Dan was on the spot from the off troubling the batsmen throughout and only allowing nine runs from his opening spell of five overs, while at the Pavilion end Bowesy .... or Bambi (as has become his adopted Casz name) was given the ball in what will be his last game for a few months. In an opening spell of six overs Bambi started well then went off the boil a bit spraying a few wayward deliveries before bringing it back in again in his sixth over. Ash keeping well behind the stumps to restrict the byes and Bambi ending the spell with 29 runs coming off his six.

after 10 over the score was 36 for 0 - a very good start although unlucky not to get a breakthrough

Paul had replaced Dan and Cheese enquired if I fancied turning my arm over for a couple ... why not I thought ... what could the harm be ?. Paul, bowling spin, tempted the batsmen into a few shots, some of which came off but being unlucky with one that dropped short of a caught and bowled and another that seemed, first to tempt Steve'O, then frustrate him and finally unleash the monster that lurks just beneath the surface with a torrent of abuse, which he only realised was let lose to the world when he returned from the boundary with the ball to find the Casz firstly stunned into silence and then burst into hysterics with his colourful language - as only Steve can with children present amongst a goodly Usk crowd. Steve's response was ''could you all hear that ... I thought I said it in my head !!''

Richie's first over wasn't great but, with his fan club now watching, the second was a little more on the line and length required with a few 'near' misses. After the second over Richie pleaded with the skipper to 'take him off' and that 'he'd had enough' but Cheese vehemently insisted that he stick with it for one more over ... Richie duly obliged. As luck would have it Richie managed to get another one on line and with the help of the pitch disturbed the leg stump of batsman #2 (bowled 36) which was quickly followed by a collectors item - a catch from Bambi (he had dropped one off Richie's bowling slightly earlier) - batsmen #1 (caught 35) - two in an over, the opening partnership decimated and with his work done Richie was retired to the field replaced by Pete O with cries of “the captain’s a genius” emanating from mid on.

Paul, although being ‘got after’ a little for a couple of his earlier overs started to reel the batsmen back in with a maiden in his fifth then Pete struck in his first over removing leg stump to send back batsman #3 (bowled 7). Cries of the “skipper’s a genius” again reverberating from the covers.

83 for 3 at drinks - game on ?

Pablo's first over after drinks, and the final over of his spell, produced the fourth wicket with Ash swiftly whipping off the bails after Paul had tempted batsman #4 out of his crease (stumped 0)

Pete O continued from the pavilion end with no more joy from his final two overs before being replaced by Shakey. Dave 'Treacle Toes' Thomas had now taken over from Paul at the ‘view’ end.

Their #5 bat (& skipper) had now settled and was beginning to charge the bowlers with some lusty blows reigning to all parts of the ground. He was dropped a few times but he was already well into his 50s by the first drop. He was caught once but the poor misguided fool who attempted the catch at (very) deep mid on ended up lying across the rope embroiled with the sight screen and was lucky to escape with a sore leg, hand and neck …. yes it still hurts !!

155 for 4 off 30 overs … still in the balance

Both D(N)B & Shakey continued without any luck, chances were given but were not able to be taken. Ed replaced Mark with the intention of mixing things up a little for the batsmen; especially the #5 who was now well into his stride, with the result of the batsmen checking their ‘charge’.

Finally the opening pair were brought back to finish their spells and again to mix things up a bit for both well set batsmen, with Sh@gger ably helping the cause bowling an excellent maiden in his penultimate over.

R Rees the #5 batsman reached his century off the last ball of the innings 'running' a 3 even though he'd apparently pulled his hamstring an over or two before but more than helped by some ‘Keystone Cops’ fielding.

Usk Innings

1 P Stephens ct Bowes bwld Holliday 35
2 A Head bwld Holliday 36
3 S Davies bwld Obee 7
4 J Pearce stmp Akbari bwld P Stephens 0
5 R Rees not out 100
6 D Spencer not out 36

fall of wicket / score and outgoing batsman

1-77/2 – 2-78/1 – 3-84/3 – 4-86/4

batting total 214

extras: 12 (8 wides / 1 no balls / 2 byes / 1 leg byes)

total 226 / 4 off 40 overs

Casz Bowling (overs/maidens/runs/wickets)

D Lews 8 1 23 0
P Bowes 8 0 43 0
P Stephens 6 1 26 1
R Holliday 3 0 13 2
P Obee 3 0 19 1
M Stephens 4 0 44 0
D Thomas 6 0 42 0
E Stewart 2 0 13 0

bowler number / wickets taken / runs conceded (cumulative)

1 0/1 - 2 0/2 - 1 0/2 - 2 0/9 - 1 0/5 - 2 0/17 - 1 0/6 - 2 0/19 - 1 0/9 - 2 0/27 - 3 0/8 - 2 0/29 - 3 0/12 - 4 0/9 - 3 0/18 - 4 0/12 - 3 0/25 - 4 2-13 - 3 0/25M - 5 1-7 - 3 1/26 - 5 1/9 - 7 0/8 - 5 1/19 - 7 0/14 - 6 0/13 - 7 0/26 - 6 0/17 - 7 0/36 - 6 0/23 - 7 0/38 - 6 0/44 - 7 0/42 - 8 0/5 - 1 0/19 - 8 0/13 - 1 0/23 - 2 0/39 - 1 0/23M - 2 0/43

I'll let others comment on tea as there are others far more qualified than myself to judge such comestibles. It was varied and plentiful is my take.

and so to bat ….

An opening partnership of Tesh and 'wild man' O’Reilly was sent out to terrorise the Usk bowling attack. Steve managed this merely by walking onto the field … but now down to business ...

Tesh still feeling his way back in after his ankle injury (the reckless challenge of the even, well cut, flat turf at Barry West End) was the first to perish playing/chopping on in the third over for 1 (4 for 1). Gangly striding out to the middle for his final appearance of the ‘summer’ Bambi seemed to have the game at his mercy – the stage was set for a mainstay innings of character, strength and determination.

Gangling back to the pavilion one over later, after gently popping a catch to one that stuck in the pitch Bambi’s resistance was over without troubling the score (6 for 2).

And so into the action, a little earlier than planned, was Richie. A brief chat in the middle with Steve resulted in the clarification that there was ‘lots’ of time left and we didn’t need take any silly singles !!

Setting little targets as they went along Steve and Richie got the Casz to 50. Usk had by now decided to introduce their youth policy … Steve seemed a little nervous with this strategy.

After negotiating with his demons for a few overs Steve’O finally succumbed and couldn’t resist having a slash to one which came in a tad … the realisation on Steve’s face was nothing to the joy of the 12 year old who had just taken his first senior (almost very senior now given Steve’s age) wicket. However Steve had more than done his job in steadying the ship (bowled for 27 in the 13th over).

Dan joined Richie in the middle and proceeded to play exaggerated defensive shots to ensure he wasn’t to perish in the same way as his predecessor - it worked and he played himself in nicely.

Dan continued to be cautious of the good ball and spank the bad ball and the partnership gathered some momentum.

Richie by now had taken a little liking to the youth policy bowling and after a few balls were dispatched for fours Dan advised that Richie may want to back off a little in case they change their attack … Richie smiled and smacked the last ball attempting another four which was dropped on the boundary. Wise words indeed Mr Lewis as they changed the 12 year old for their 1st team leg spinner who bowled a little quicker than the leg spin he was expecting.

A short pitched delivery followed Richie’s eyes as he moved to leg and, as he took evasive action from the oncoming ball to protect his head, he wore one on the shoulder. An apology from the bowler and an ‘I told you so’ from Dan were all the comfort he needed. Defending the next ball and then attacking the remainder of the over a four off the final ball helped to numb the pain.

Dan’s innings finally came to an end for a very well played 40 when he was caught off a bottom edge to the keeper and walked before the bowler appealed or the standing umpire gave it. A partnership of 65 dominated by Dan brought Ash to the crease in the 24th over.

The skipper had wanted to be at 100 by drinks which we’d just achieved and now, with six wickets left in the hutch, we had a chance to push on the hopefully make a game of it.

Richie, after a nervous over on 49, finally brought up his 50 and after a few more well judged ‘pitched’ shots to the on side was finally caught on the boundary at long on for 61 in the 31st over having put on 28 with Ash.

Ash had had trouble timing the ball since arriving at the crease and with just the one boundary to his name fell three overs later bowled for 13.

Ed who had replaced Richie was joined by ‘Chinese’ Pete in the middle and after some flourishing boundaries was caught for 20 in the 37th over trying to up the scoring rate. Pete ‘Chinese cut’ Obee (3) was caught in the following over with Paul who had come out for Ed falling in the penultimate over bowled for 4.

That left Mark (1 not out) and Dave (0 not out) to see out the final eight balls of the innings which was accomplished to leave the Casz nine down at the close of play and a defeat by 32 runs.

Casz Innings

1 M Hirani bwld [played on] 1 (3rd over) / 0 x 4
2 S O'Reilly bwld 27 (13th over) / 3 x 4
3 P Bowes caught 0 (4th over) / 0 x 4
4 R Holliday caught 61 (31st over) / 10 x 4
5 D Lewis caught 40 (24th over) / 7 x 4
6 A Akbari bowled 13 (34th over) / 1 x 4
7 E Stewart caught 20 (37th over) / 4 x 4
8 P Obee caught 3 (38th over) / 0 x 4
9 P Stephens bowled 4 (39th over) / 1 x 4
10 M Stephens not out 1 / 0 x 4
11 D Thomas not out 0 / 0 x 4

fall of wicket / score and outgoing batsman

1 4/1 (Tesh) - 2 6/3 (Bowes) - 3 51/2 (Steve) - 4 116/5 (Dan) - 5 144/4 (Rich) - 6 156/6 (Ash) - 7 174/7 (Ed) - 8 180/8 (Pete) - 9 180/9 (Paul)

batting total 170

extras: 12 (8 wides / 4 byes)

total 182 / 9 off 40 overs

a good game where they got maybe 20 more than they should and we fell short by the same margin, on a gorgeous day, in beautiful surroundings with a wholesome tea and a few drinks afterwards too. I like playing at and against Usk, for obvious reasons, but who knows if we’ll play there again with their record of sticking to pre-arranged fixtures ?

apologies for any inaccuracies with my account of the game.

NB artistic license has been used where my memory has prevented a true reflection of events



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