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Match Report vs St Fagans 23 June 2013 @ St Fagans (Skipper Cheese, report Tesh)

Just two days after the summer solstice the Casuals arrived at St Fagans expecting to be bathed in sunshine. Mother Nature, it would appear, had other plans and the ground was encircled by ominous clouds.

Somebody won the toss and the Casuals batted first. Tesh and Steveo opened, Tesh was first to play his part in the bodyline series re-enactment. First ball was pitched well within the bowlers half of the pitch, Tesh pulled it at head height whilst on its way back down, it trickled to the straight boundary after being lofted high into the air. The second ball was an almost identical delivery; Tesh played it in much the same way but managed to keep it down to score one. A helmet-less Steve faced several similarly short deliveries, even having to duck one which would have passed at chest height. The bowling at the other end was better, a decent pace and length with some swing from the start. Steveo struggled initially with the predominantly leg-side deliveries – one hitting him square the left buttock giving rise to the now familiar barrage of obscenities from the bearded Casual. Tesh scored only one more in the 3rd over before playing yet another half-tracker into the outstretched hand of a diving first slip.

Richie’s innings was short-lived, falling for 0 to another short delivery and being caught. Lovers didn’t fare much better top-edging a pull shot to another short delivery and having to return to the side-lines for 0.

With the ship very much in need of steadying Roachy stepped out and all hope was on his naturally defensive style curtailing the imminent collapse. JR played a few deliveries from the second bowler without much trouble and managing to take a single from the last ball. He then faced the opening bowler who immediately welcomed him with a half-tracker played at chest height off the splice of the bat. JR, quite rightly, protested at the unnecessarily aggressive bowling. Their captain took little notice, choosing to smile off the comment and allowed his bowler to continue. The second ball was identical, JR took a stride forward and ended up having to play the ball in front of his face, this time with the handle. In frustration at the hostile bowling JR walked off the square, threw his bat and directed some choice words at the St Fagans captain who again dealt with the protest with a smile and shrug of the shoulders. Captain Cheese, umpiring at square leg, stepped in at this point. Fearing that the SF captain’s understanding of a Sunday friendly was somewhat different to the rest of ours he reiterated JR’s concerns about having his face broken for the sake of a friendly game of cricket. SF’s captain could only defend the bowling by informing Ed that the bowler hadn’t played for 3 years yet he made no attempt to ask him to pitch the ball up.

The ‘rusty’ bowler took it upon himself to pitch the next few deliveries up. Roachy eventually fell for 3 caught.

Maria came in to bat next and he and Steve began to build a partnership together. Rusty, now bowling at a revised length, found himself at the mercy of Stevo’s aggressive style who began scoring more freely including a massive straight 6 which landed in the middle of the adjacent field. Maria provided support with a range of good looking shots eventually being bowled for 12.

Steve and Cheese continued the innings proving that the bowling could be dealt with. Steveo’s innings eventually came to an end when he was bowled by the dreaded straight one but not before he had amassed 36 putting the Casuals back in the game.

Captain Cheese, entirely untroubled by the bowling, put his repertoire of shots to good use and began scoring all around the ground. Pete O provided much needed support at the other end and Cheese soon passed the 50 mark. Not content with the half ton, Cheesy continued to go after every ball. Pete O departed on 1 to be replaced by Shakey who continued the supporting role. He and Ed upped the score by another 40-odd until Shakes’ fine knock ended on 13 when he gifted SF another catch trying to up the run rate.

Pete T finished with 3 not out and did enough to give Cheese an opportunity to get his century, he did so in style with a 6 in the last over to take him to 101 not out and the Casuals to a respectable 202.

The rain eventually came in around the 38th over and before tea the pitch was covered.

Tea was taken in the club house and while it was a decent spread some Casuals felt there wasn’t quite enough of it. Perhaps it was due to the rain lashing down at this point that the Casz had turned their attention to eating but despite this after a lengthy tea break there was a break in the rain and even some glimpses of blue sky in the distance.

The covers were removed, the sun came out and play continued.

Their opening pair looked in good form and they put on about 80 before the Casuals got their first break through, Paul with the wicket. The lack of detail here is due to the score book not being completed. The wicket of the other opener was taken by Shakes and was the beginning of a catastrophic collapse for St Fagans. The next 7 batsmen managed to score only 27 due to a combination of excellent bowling, tight fielding and in the lower order sheer lack of talent. Maria and Pete T were unlucky not to pick up any wickets but both were extremely economical going for just 10 and 17 from 8 overs respectively. Roachy eventually got his own back by picking up 2 in 2 overs. Pete O also took 2 wickets from his 6 overs as did Paul from 4. Shakes and Gaz claimed 1 each. And Tesh picked up 1 at the end when the batsmen tried to play at one which and been slung down leg side only to take out all three of his stumps with the bat.

St Fagans managed to limp to a score of 106 all out.

A victory snatched from the jaws of defeat made possible only because Ed played one of the best captains innings in recent Casuals history.



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