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Match Report vs Sri Lankans 20 July 2014 @ Wenvoe (Skipper and report Shakey)

The sri lankans turned up with a familiar looking team at Wenvoe for one of our rare home sunday games. We always seem to have interesting games against them so would this be any different? Ed got the early breakthrough we needed which pegged back the ambition of the sri lankans. With memories of Fakhar's 142 in a league game seared in our minds it was pleasing to see us keep him quiet for so long but Ed and Stu did a great job and then Pete nipped in with another wicket. After 10 overs they had moved slowly to 34-2 with Fakhar still at the crease. Our strangehold on the game got even tighter with some excellent straight and probing bowling from Paul and winks. Paul unfortunately went wicketless but Andy picked up a wicket courtesy of a catch from Tesh and then secured that rarest of decisions for him - a deserved lbw!!

The growing pressure produced another wicket via a run out before Ed came back into the attack and dismissed Fakhar (38) first ball back with a sharp caught and bowled. Another wicket from Ed (finishing with 3-12) and the sri lankans were firmly on the ropes at 91-7 after 27 overs.

We couldn't quite nail home the advantage and the sri lankans fought back well thanks to Niluka and Venkat who built their partnership quietly but steadily. They never quite managed to race away with the scoring but they took the sri lankans towards a more respectable total before Foxy picked up Niluka (40) caught by Richie to end on 157-8, probably 20 short. A special shout to Darren who manned up when shakes cast his eye over the team in search of an emergency keeper - he confirmed the keeping mullarky was hard work in the sun.

After a goodly Tea from the Fox the Casuals reply went swimmingly. After 10 overs we had quite comfortably moved on to 43-0 with Tesh and Kim batting assuredly and it was a surprise when Tesh was out for 24 with the score on 69 in the 18th over. The scoring rate never quite accelerated for any period of time. There were some quiet scoring spells but then a four or a couple of well judged runs did the trick to put us within touching distance of the rate and at 30 overs we found ourselves on 108-2 (Andy out for 10) needing 50 runs off 11 overs but with 8 wickets in hand.

If you are reading this match report you must have read a few over the years so you are very likely to know what happened next. Yep and it was a good un too. The familiar Casuals batting collapse began with Richie falling for 7 followed quickly by Darren, cheese and Paul to leave us on our arse at 116-6 off 33 overs. Another 42 runs needed off 7 overs and Kim had to bat with the tail. Pete supplied the much needed resistance, his crucial innings of 2 allowing an additional 22 runs to accumulate through extras and the increasingly authoritative Kim. But Pete was run out for 2, and Foxy was bowled for a duck as we limped to 144-8 off 38 overs. Two overs left and 14 runs needed but Kim was crucially off strike leaving Stu to face Niluka. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Stu smashed a four first ball to quieten the nerves that were now being shredded on the sidelines. But two balls later and he was bowled and so last man shakes walked out with 10 runs needed off 9 balls.

At this point its worth noting that Kim was 73 not out courtesy of 10 boundaries. He had scored nearly half of our 148 runs. As senior batsman Kim's order to shakes was 'don't get out'. Shakes followed orders and any thought of a run off the final ball of the 39th over was quite sensibly cast aside. So we needed 10 off the final over of a real nail biter with Kim now back on strike. Fakhar was given the pressure of the final over from the pavillion end and first ball he bowled a low full toss which to the left-handed Kim was a gift and he smashed it as hard as he could over long leg for a glorious six. Two balls later and Kim hit the winning boundary to leave the Casuals winners of a thriller with one wicket and three balls to spare.



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