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Match Report vs Ponthir 17 August 2014 @ Ponthir (Skipper and report Shakes)

Where do I start? Well, let's start at the very beginning.....

Well actually it all started going a bit pete tong before we even got there as we only had 10. The ten included Stevo who was nowhere to be seen ten minutes before the start of play. Then it crossed my mind, would he have gone to Tredegar when in fact we were now playing Ponthir?

Out came the mobile and luckily Stevo answered quickly, "yes I'm only a few minutes away". After a momentary pause for relief (he'd remembered he was playing) came the pointed question, "you know we are playing at Ponthir near Caerleon and not Tredegar don't you?". A pause, with all possibilities on the table, "oh yes, yes I knew it had changed" he said, half convincing himself that he somehow knew where ponthir was as he'd played there sometime before surely.

As it happened it was our first visit. Hemmed in by modern suburban housing, a pub and a school on three sides there was a wide expanse of open fields beyond the longest boundary. It had the air of a country ground but it was evidently a place that was exposed to the elements. I wouldn't fancy fielding here in a howling gale as even on this calm day there was a crosswind to assist the swing bowlers. Stevo dutifully appeared and we took to the field.

Ponthir started cautiously against some probing bowling from cheese and Paul. There were a few played and missed, some scoops wide of the fielders and at the end of the 8th they had moved to 22-0. From then on it all fell away. I can't recall an easy catch being dropped and we have definitely bowled worse. They finished on 230-8 thanks to three late wickets from Tesh (3-15), deserved wickets for our opening pair of cheese and Paul on their return and a wicket each for stevo and Richie. Will claimed two nice stumpings and Stu held a good un at point. We didn't do a huge amount wrong but their batting was assured and often powerful and the 22 extras demonstrated that we hadn't done everything very well either.

The talk was of batting for 160-180 and seeing where we were after 20 overs. The Ponthir bowlers weren't scary but they did bowl quite straight. Tesh was the first to fall after slicing the ball uncomfortably to cover. He realised he luckily wasn't going to be caught so he charged up the wicket and cheese, on seeing the attempted run on a supposed misfield ran too. But there never was a misfield. The cover fielder simply had to move a few paces and pick the ball up and he had the choice of who he wanted to run out. The ball sped towards the keeper and tesh was gone - a needless run out. All batting calamities require a needless run out and we had gotten it out of our system nice and early.

The death throes of the Casuals innings were painful to watch. After 10 overs we were a bumbling 18-4 which became 18-5 two balls later and our lowest score seemed on the cards. The sixth wicket fell at 24 but a wide took us to 25 (equalling the 25 vs S Glam) and a single to Stevo took us past and on to 30-6 off 14. A bye then took us past the 30 vs Blackwood (our lowest score in a 40 over game) before we lost three wickets for 2 runs. At 34-9 and with no new batsman walking out Ponthir thought the game was over. But shakes insisted on batting on as last man, as previously agreed, and the innings ended a few overs later. 41 all out with 10 from Trev and 8 extras over the course of 21.1 overs, 9 of which were maidens.

There was little to say to the oppo other than to shake hands, apologise, have a cursory can in the bar and leave as soon as possible to avoid further eye contact and get away from the humbling embarrassment that was our innings. Even India had managed 94 all out off 30 overs that afternoon - we were worse than them.



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