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Match Report vs Cross Keys 03 August 2014 @ Cross Keys (Skipper Kim, report Goff)

On arriving at Cross Keys (and first time for me), it felt very much like "the hills have eyes". A proper valley place isnt it by here now isnt it? Most of the inhabitants appeared to have family connections. Still, not to complain, the sun was out and it looked like we were on for a decent afternoon play.

The square was elevated about a foot above the rest of the pitch and bowlers from either end would need to scale a hill before planting the front foot. All the wickets were very green and soft and the centre strip was deemed the best to play on. With this, it initially looked like it should play favourably for the willow. Long boundaries for the straight players (I am not talking sexual orientation) and short straight edged boundaries behind deep square leg and deep point, dictated by the river on one side and road the other.

The oppo were obviously all related apart from 1 chap who appeared to be from outside the village and may have been adopted (or stolen) as a youngster. He would prove to be our nemesis and the instigator of the funniest moment in my 5 seasons of Casual-ty. He shall be known from hereon as our Indian nemesis of fun. I will explain this oxymoron later......................

Kim won the toss and fancied the chase. Goffy and Cheese took the new cherry for the first 8. Kept the batsman honest but neither could break through. 37-0 off 8 overs.

Pabs and Winks took up the attack and it wasnt long before both were in the wickets. Pabs dispatched of 2 with consecutive deliveries in his 2nd over; Kim actually managing to hold on to simple catch for the first and Will whipping the bails off the stranded batsman for the 2nd. Winks then clean bowled the No 1 who was just getting going in the following over. 86-3 off 16 overs.

By now, our 'Indian nemesis of fun' the number 4 bat, was mainly dealing in boundaries himself and keeping things rolling. DT had joined the attack with Pabs bowling through. These 2 took us upto and beyond drinks and to the end of the 24th over.

It was about during this time when "it" happened. For those of us present, we will all know what "it" is. As I mentioned earlier, a moment of hilarity which left most of us in pain of laughter. There is no way I can do it justice with words as its a real 'you have to be there moment' but here goes.. Step up Bambi, your time has cometh....

Bambi was fielding as the lone sweeper on the river side boundary. Our indian nemesis of fun was helping himself to a few and played one which had Bambi racing around to his left to cut off before it hit the rope. Alas, Bambi's efforts were in vain and he managed to dive through a muddy bog and take the ball over the line leaving his once sparkling white strides a very dark tone of shittyness. Now, that was obviously amusing enough to those of us watching but this was just the warm up act. Dont get me wrong, it was a great effort by Bambi to get there, and not fielding you would associate with any fielding batsman, let alone a Casual!

So Bambi cut a forlorn figure as he threw the ball in and made his way back to his original mark in prep for the next delivery. He was clearly pissed about the state of his trousers as he peeled the loose layers of shit off them. But, no time for feeling sorry yourself as the very next delivery had him charging around again but this time to his right. Another vain attempt to stop the ball crossing the line and another failure. In 2 deliveries, Bambi had run about 200 metres and got his trousers covered in shit when he may as well just stood still! So again, he forlornly retreived the ball and lobbed it underarm back to the bowler. Hang on... where's the ball?? OMG....... he has actually forgotten to let go of it during his underarm lob and it has fired over his head, over the fence and into the river!!!

The scene that ensued was of 10 casuals all on the floor holding their stomachs and writhing around. It was as if they had been mowed down by a driveby shooter.
Thank you Bambi. Thanks for that moment. Your new wave will be with you for the rest of your Casual days ahead. And for all you doubters, that definately trumped the DelBoy Wenvoe fence moment of a couple of years ago.

Now, back to business. Straight after drinks, umpire Sheppard would have been hopping around as 2 quick wickets in successive deliveries with the score on 111. DT accounted for both our Indian Nemesis of fun and the new batsman with Britpop safely pouching the former who had got to 56 and another stumping by Will. Pabs took another in his last over (cant remember how?) Score was now 120-6 from 24 overs.

DT was now joined by Winks for the next 8. No further wickets. 161-6 from 32 overs.

Goffy and Cheese closed out. In this spell, Cheese was at this deadly best with a return of 3-9 off his 4 overs. 2 cleaned bowled and 1 caught by safe hands OB1. 185-9 from 40 overs.

Goff 8-0-34-0
Cheese 8-0-32-3
Winks 8-4-26-1
Pabs 8-1-54-3
DT 8-1-32-2

A good effort by the bowlers and fielders with only 1 dolly drop (Kim again at 1st slip). An very gettable 186 needed which should offer no problems for the batsman. 240 deliveries to get them at only 0.78 per ball or 4.6 per over.

Tea was good but will let the Tea master Pete OB1 fill you in on that one.

So, 186 to win. Plenty of time. Plenty of wickets etc etc blah blah blah.

Let's cut to the chase. We were shite and were chasing our arses from the first couple of overs. We were unable to manage the runrate which left us with too much to do late on. We were:

18-1 after 8 overs
48-1 after 16 overs
67-2 after 24 overs
119-2 after 32 overs
148-9 after 40 overs

Will and Bambi attempted to get things moving in the middle overs with 44 and 50 respectively but we were always well behind.
Its obvious there was an attempted accelaration from the 32nd over which ended in wickets galore!! Noticable maiden 50 from Bambi but will obviously be always over-shadowed by the "event"!

Kim ct (1x6, 2x4) 22
Brit Pop LBW 0
Bambi ct 50
Will ct (5x4) 44
Fogg run out 1
OB1 bowled 0
Cheese bowled 2
Winks ct 3
Goffy run out 2
Bambi Ct 50

Couple of beers were then taken on the sun drenched veranda following the worlds most hottest shower! Mrs Winks also graced us with her presence but unfortunately introduced the "F" word to the afternoon. There is no place for 'fruit' at a Casuals fixture.



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