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Match Report vs Blaina 18 May 2014 @ Blaina (Skipper Kim, report Goff)

The Casz arrived at Blaina to be greeted with pleasant sunshine and a decent pretty flat track. When I say the Casz arrived, a really meant they arrived half an hour late as Shakes decided to invent his very own Sunday starting time. And when I say a decent track, it was, albeit hardly in anyway central to the pitch. On the roadside of the strip, you were saving 1 on the boundary and on the other side, you could save 3!

After a brief conversation about the social-economic gap between this part of South Wales and Cardiff (e.g a security tag being placed on any supermarket item valued at over a pound!), Kim duly lost the toss and we were fielding. Now this was a sensible choice by the oppo skip as it really did look like a decent track to bat first on and maybe they felt they would knock us over quickly leaving only have a handful of runs to chase so preferred to bat the full 40 overs?!........................ eh, no. As it transpired, it was due to the fact they only had 9 adults at the ground at that point and 3 pre-school kids. They were hoping to round up a couple more so batting first would give them the time.

Now I mentioned the 3 pre-school kids. Kim kindly agreed that we would allow the oppo to field these young bairns as long as their Mums and Dads agreed and that they were back home in time for supper and bedtime story before a busy week in Nursery ensued. Although it meant they would have 12 on the field if another adult were to arrive, nobody it their right mind would complain about that would they????

Casz got proceedings underway at approx. 2.30 (Shakes got his own way). In fact, Shakes (who was present in an overseeing non-playing capacity) did take the field for us initially as Cheese was delayed with a hangover.

Goff and Pabs were entrusted with the new ball and went about business. The 2 opening bats were very cautious with a few played and misses, a single boundary and 35 dots from the first 8 overs. 22-0

Dan and Cheese next joined the attack and the story was much the same. (That was once Cheese had recovered from the night before excesses and got his radar sorted!) Another 37 dots and a single boundary and two very cautious batsman. 40-0 after 16.

Next up were DT and Stu who took us up to drinks and beyond. The batsman by now really had to try and force the issue and the short boundary really came into play (well the road to be precise!) Stu took a bit of punishment but the breakthrough eventually came during this partnership as DT castled the No.1 bat in the 2nd over after drinks. 100-1 after 24.

Skipper for the day Kim felt we needed to change things and was looking for a reliable experienced clever and dynamic bowler to maintain control. He couldn’t find anybody to match that description in the field so Richie took the cherry. He, along with Dan, DT and Pabs shared the next 12 with some aplomb and slowed the run rate considerably. Pabs picked up a wicket maiden during this spell by clean bowling the No.3 for 20. 159-2 after 36.

Goff and Cheese took the final 4 without any breakthrough but managed to prevent the No. 2 bat from notching his ton finishing 99 not out whilst carrying for 40 overs. Innings finished 185-2. The fielding was generally very good with Tesh covering so much ground out in the long boundary. The only blemish being a ridiculously poor dropped dolly by Capt. Kim which looped up in the air very kindly for him. Even one of the pre-school kids would have held that one…….!!!!............... Wouldn’t they??

Goff 6-0-25-0
Pabs 8-1-26-1
Dan 7-0-25-0
Cheese 6-0-22-0
Stu 4-0-41-0
DT 6-1-28-1
Richie 3-0-15-0
Extras 3

Tea was pretty good (I believe the new “Tea-Watch” programme will confirm) and the conversation was mainly around Steve O career opportunities and that how could anybody in their right minds even think about promoting him? In fact, taking the piss out of Steve O was generally deemed to be getting easier as each year goes by and it was observed that he doesn’t even have to be sat at the same table anymore to be targeted! “I’ll show em” thought Steve O, as he began to prepare his mind for his batting duties ahead, “I’ll make them all give me the respect I deserve by letting my bat do the talking today!”………………………………………………………………

So, 186 needed to win at a required run rate of 4.65. A decent wicket so should be achievable. But we are the Casz and so anything could happen! The Oppo along with the 3 kiddies (who had just finished their alphabetti spaghetti and ice creams) take to the field.

Capt. Kim and Tesh opened our reply. The trusted leftie/rightie combination. The very first ball (that wasn’t a wide) was pushed sweetly for a boundary by Kim and the run rate was immediately well in advance of required. These two went about their work with Kim dealing mainly in boundaries. 51-0 after 10 overs. Casz only needing 134 off 30 with 10 wickets in hand. Surely it’s in the bag!???

The eleventh over and a bowling change. On comes a bit of slow stuff from the first’s skipper. After 4 uneasy and watchful dots, Kim decides to go on the attack and pulls the 5th delivery deep into the forest above the road and the skipper has to go back to the clubhouse and get a new ball. The 6th delivery and wide eyed Kim punches this straight back over the bowlers head towards the long off boundary but this time is excellently caught. Kim falls for 30. 51-1 off 11. Ironically, the catch was taken by the newly arrived 9th adult.

Surely this was still to be a comfortable Casz victory. Tesh and Will now tasked to reduce the deficit. Alas, 2 balls later and Tesh is back in the hutch after being eluded by that pesky straight one! Tesh bowled for 11. Casz now 51-2 and not feeling as confident, with both openers departing in quick succession……………………………….

But cometh the hour and cometh the man. Steve O strides confidently out to take his guard. A man with a mission! A man with a point to prove! A flat pitch, true bounce, blue sky, the shortest leg-side boundary on the planet, partnering a proven and accomplished batsman at the other end, plenty of overs to play with and yes even CHILDREN in the field! What possibly better conditions could you ask for? Not even Steve O could moan about this……………….

The bowler bowls, an extraordinary shot (well loosely described as a shot) spoons up into the air quite high on the offside. But luckily for Steve O, its only one of the pre-school kids underneath it and surely a let off……………………….. “GONE!” the bairn has time to take his dummy out of his mouth and cup the ball safely much to the amazement of all the oppo. Steve O dispatched immediately with the duck de Golden quacking above his head. The young lad is so excited that he has to put his hand up and ask to go to the toilet. The Casz now 51-3 and not knowing whether to laugh or cry.. No that’s bollocks. We laughed, oh how we fucking laughed. Priceless.

After we composed ourselves, it was back to business. But Cheese decided he didn’t fancy it in the middle either and was duly bowled off his leg for nowt! From 51-0 off 10, a true Casualesque collapse had ensued and we were languishing at 51-4 off 12 overs. We were rapidly looking at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory again.

Richie came out to join Will who had been patiently waiting for somebody to hang around for longer than a ball or two and help build a partnership with. Richie obliged and these two put on a fantastic match winning partnership of 84 over the next 20 overs. This included Richie’s self-induced ‘batting powerplay’ over in the 23rd in which he hit 24 off 5 balls! Richie was eventually caught in the 29th for an entertaining 39 and the Casz now back in the driving seat at 135-5 with 11 overs remaining. 50 needed.

Steve O, by now, had stopped blaming the ball, the weather, 12 fielders, Kim, etc etc etc for his demise and was now more interested as to whether the new batsman (and pretty new casual) Stu could actually bat. Shakes pointed out the Stu was in fact on a hatrick. That special kind of 3 x golden blob hatrick that many casuals through time have endured. Well within 2 deliveries, Steve O could rest easy as Stu would be on 4 more than he had managed!

Over the next 5 overs, Will and Stu steered the Casz home to our first victory of the 2014 season. Stu unbeaten on 11 and Will unbeaten on 73 which included 8 fours and 2 sixes. Casz 186-5 from 34 overs.

Kim caught 30
Tesh bowled 11
Will not out 73
Steve O caught 0
Cheese bowled 0
Richie caught 39
Stu not out 11
Goff DNB
Pabs DNB

After a drink or two and mopping up of leftover tea, we departed. As we left the clubhouse, the wee bairns were tucked up in bed watching the end of Sesame Street…… ironically Steve O, todays programme was brought to you by the letters A & U and by the number 0!



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