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Match Report vs Abercarn 15 June 2014 @ Abercarn (Skipper Shakey, report Dan)

The Cazh turned up on time at Abercarn, the sun was out, it was hot, the pitch prepared, but there was a lack of opposition numbers. By 2pm there were still only a handful of Abercarn players, and in that handful there were at least 4 who were pretty small. After a conversation between skippers it was decided that the Cazh would field first in the hope that some more oppo players would turn up.

Shag and Cheese opened up against 2 adult batsmen. One umpire eventually strode out to the middle but there was only one as the rest of the team were pint sized. It soon became apparent that the younger of the 2 batsmen was the first teamer who had all the time in the world on a very flat pitch. Both were confident but cautious and didn’t run very much. After 8 overs they had reached 26 without loss.

First change brought on Winkie and Foxy. Winkie was bowling at about the same speed as the new three quarter centurion, but bowled wicket to wicket. His first over took the wicket of the older opener, bowled for a wicket maiden. As the number 3 took the long walk out to the middle, it became very apparent as to why the openers had been so cautious. I don’t think the no3 had much batting experience and there was a suggestion that we might be already into the tail. The next 18 overs consisted of the first teamer either taking 2s or boundaries and then taking the strike for the subsequent over. The boundaries were usually well secured (lost ball) – even with the vast expanse of field to play with. When the no3 was on strike the shot selection was 99% of the time defensive. Winkie bowled through for 21 runs, Foxy needed regular naps so bowled 2 over spells, and Pablo and then Richie took turns in replacing him.

There were occasionally chances, however, although the ground looked immaculate and was very big, from the many parts of the ground – especially the side furthest from the pavilion, it was almost impossible to see the ball against the backdrop of the surrounding hills. Kim, Ed and Shakey were made to look a little foolish – not picking up the ball until it either dropped next to them or went over their heads for 4. The one Kim did see on the boundary – he made an excellent attempt but put it down whilst very nearly colliding with the sightscreen – ala Richie at Usk a few years ago. Will also had a couple of stumping chances and 1 run out, but given there was no square leg umpire unless it was absolutely obvious there was no point appealing.

The breakthrough came in the 28th over, the no3 finally played an expansive shot and was caught behind by Jesus for 5. 121-2. Two balls later the next wicket fell, although not many people on the pitch realised such was the muted appeal and jubilation. The no4 had been a touch smaller than the no3, but had similar batting experience and nicked a faint edge to Jesus once again. 123-3 off 28overs.

Part time bowler, Shakey, brought himself on to entice the remaining opener into to hit out, and hit out he did, Shakey looping one up and encouraged the miss-hit which Kim took comfortably on the boundary. The Cazh thought that he must have hit a century not that there had been any clapping from the side lines – and yes, he was out for 116. 143-4 off 32 overs. Another adult was next in, and had a swing, Foxy returned and Tesh had a go, neither going for many. Dan returned from the other end and took his first wicket of the season bowled, followed by back to back wickets the following over, on a hat-trick the last but one bat could actual hit the ball (wonders why he didn’t appear earlier) digging out a Yorker. The final over of the match, one of the remaining adults retired for 10 to allow the smallest player we’d ever seen come to the crease – he literally ran from the boundary to the wicket, leaving Ed in his shadow as he passed him. The young batsman kept the remaining onslaught by Foxy, with Abercarn finishing on 168-7 off 40 overs.

Dan – 8overs -1 maiden – 28 runs – 3 wickets
Ed - 8-0-42-2 (written in the book as Stuart Little!!)
Winkie – 8-2-23-1
Foxy – 6-0-22-0
Paul – 4-0-23-0
Richie – 3-1-5-0
Shakey – 2-0-11-1
Tesh – 2-0-8-0

Tea was taken and it was a welcome rest from standing up in the muggy conditions.
Tesh and Winkie opened up for the Cazh. Not really surprisingly, the opening bowlers were the centurion batman and one of the other adults. Both bowlers bowled their allotted overs straight through. The centurion started with seam, then switched to ‘spin’ but it was really just seam off a shorted run up. The other adult from the pavilion end was sharp and often full, but there was a distinct look of the ‘throw’ about his action...The centurion was the first to get a wicket with Tesh playing across the line to a full one (4), bringing Will to the crease. 3 runs later he got Winkie caught sharply behind of a thin inside edge. The Cazh 21-2-off 10overs.

Paul and Will looked to rebuild the innings. This consisted generally of blocking out the 2 openers and waiting for the first change. Apart from Will played 3 sublime square cuts off the chucker, which then enticed the full bunger from a disgruntled bowler.

The first change bowlers were just as difficult to get away, but for completely different reasons. The centurion was replaced by his son – the Ed lookalike, who for someone who was the same height as the stumps bowled very well, but hardly reached the other end. And the other bowler was slightly bigger, but had the same effect. These 2 stayed on for 8 overs, which could well have taken the game away from the Cazh. However, both Paul and Will played a patient innings, and it was the heat that was the main enemy. The boundary was long and playing along the ground wasn’t advisable as the outfield was quite thick. Paul nearing his half century came unstuck in the 32nd over – bowled for 46. 128-3. Will followed suit 3 overs later having reached his 50 caught. Richie added a set of fresh legs and a bit more breeze from swinging the bat until he was caught for 10.

Ed and Kim now in with 24 required off the last 4 overs. After running a 4, Kim then went on the rampage and smashed 19 off the 37th over – including a massive 6 to finish the game with 2.5 overs to spare.
Tesh – 4b
Andy – 7ct
Will – 56ct
Paul – 46b
Richie – 10ct
Kim – 19no
Ed – 6no
Mark, Dan and Foxy DNB.

It was a pint in the shadows and then off down the road back home.



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