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Match Report vs Rhiwbina 28 May 2015 @ Pontcanna (Skipper Kim, report Kiwi Pete)

It was probably when, for the second time that over, the ball went wide past the desperate outstretched fingers of the Rhiwbina keeper to the boundary that the Cazh, attempting to keep warm in the rapidly fading evening, began to believe that they might actually win this game.

Only several hours earlier, it hadn't looked like we were going to get a game at all. We'd arrived at the agreed upon ground at Blackweir in the afternoon sun to find that the pitch had been double booked. Nevertheless, Captain Kim was determined that we should play and stole/strongarmed/borrowed Matt's bicycle and took off in the wrong direction to Pontcanna fields while the rest of us busied ourselves with a bit of catching practice and wondering if we should just go to the pub instead. Kiwi Pete was heard suggesting this might be 'the easiest match report ever'.

Eventually Kim rang and said he'd located us a free pitch at Pontcanna Fields, and after a short discussion about whether it was faster to drive through town or Gabalfa in which Goff assured everyone that via town was going to be faster we headed off. Goff immediately changed his mind and, without telling anyone else, went via Gabalfa which turned out to be much faster.

Once the teams were assembled and a 16 over game was agreed, Kim lost the toss and we were to field.

Luke started from the Cathedral Road end and was unlucky to miss out on a wicket when Kiwi Pete dropped a catch off their opener Powell at point.

Luke was joined at the River end by Matt P, and despite them both beating the bat with some regularity, both openers were scoring freely and by the end of the 8th over the score had raced along to 69/0.

Luke was replaced by Goff at the Cathedral end, who was promptly smashed for three consecutive 4s in his opening over.

Dan L took over at the river end and was immediately rewarded when the second opener, Cain, lofted one down the ground into the safe hands of Matt on the long off boundary. 89/1 at the end of the 10th over.

Dan should have had another when Powell nicked one through to Will behind the stumps, but then after taking a step towards the boundary realised that the Cazh appeal was being turned down and settled back at the crease.

Three tidy overs followed that included some fielding with un-Cazhlike enthusiasm and efficiency, as well as several inside edges somehow missing the stumps. The number three, R James, was out bowled by Goff, middle stump bent back. 98/2 after 13 overs.

The remaining opener, Powell, hit back in the last three overs finishing on 76no, Rhiwbina adding another 32 runs before their innings ended on 130/2.

L Edwards 4-0-40-0
M Purnell 4-0-29-0
G Day 4-0-28-1
D Lewis 4-0-29-1

Extras 10 (3 wides, 7 no balls)

The Cazh, looking at an asking rate of 8.19 per over, sent Kim and Rich to the crease. The opening bowler D James started his run up somewhere in Canton and Kim, not looking to hang around, smashed two fours and then perhaps perturbed by the immensity of the bowlers run up played one to midwicket (one of only nine people on the Rhiwbina team) who took a sharp catch low to the ground. Kim hung around to see if the catch was clean, but Umpire Goff gave him the nod and he was on his way for 8. 10/1 after 1 over.

Will was next to the crease and immediately started the task before him, hitting two fours the next over. At the other end, Rich didn’t have much luck, being bowled for 2 by a bowler recorded only as ‘Matt’ in the book. 25/2 after 4 overs, asking rate now 8.83.

Rob Owen joined Will and the two of them built a solid partnership, with good timing and running well between the wickets and even running a 3!

On the boundary edge the assembled Cazh were struggling to keep warm, which heralded the unwelcome reappearance of Pete O’s infamous cable knit balaclava, this time paired with a fetching light blue towel, worn as a cape.

Meanwhile, the score ticked along to 49/2 after 7 overs before a change of bowling at the River end brought Taylor into the attack. He built the pressure with a series of dot balls before sneaking one past Rob who was out bowled for 11 on the last ball of a wicket maiden.

When Kiwi Pete, finding himself promoted to 5, strode ambled to the crease the asking rate had risen to 10.25 – 82 runs from 8 overs.

Butler began from the River end economically, with his first over going for three. Will continued to attack the bowling at both ends with the ball going to and over the boundary regularly with Kiwi Pete largely spectating at the other end.

Despite this, the asking rate had climbed to an alarming 13.25 at the end of the 12th over. 78/3.

Butler strode in to start the 13th over and immediately launched one past the keeper to the boundary for five wides. The bowler was even more unsettled when Will smashed the next ball for four. So set the tone for an over where the bowler so struggled for line and length that both wides and no balls (for height) went to the boundary. Before the third legitimate delivery had been bowled 27 runs had been conceded, all but 5 from extras.

A single followed and with the field spread and Kiwi just needed to get any bat on the ball for a single to bring Will back on strike. The only person more surprised than the bowler by the full, straight ball that followed was Peter, who was bowled for 3.

The Will-Kiwi partnership had netted 57 runs, at least 30 of which were from extras.

Amazingly, two dot balls completed the over but the Cazh were now back in with a sniff of victory at 106/4 – 25 runs required from the remaining three overs. We just needed a little luck to go our way.

Cricket, of course, is a cruel game. We were swiftly reminded of this as, on the first ball of the 14th over, Will was bowled for 46 by Taylor, then Pete O was next to go, walking after nicking behind in the same over which ended a double wicket maiden.

Even the normally chipper Goff was looking pessimistic at this point. The Cazh had now lost 3 wickets at the same score and was only to add one more run before Tall Dan G was run out by miles going for the second run on the first ball of the 15th over. 24 runs were now required from 11 balls. The Cazh needed a miracle.

What we had was Goff.

With Goff swinging at everything and some determined running he and Matt, fortified by his banana ‘snack’, managed another 7 runs from the 15th over.

17 required from the last over.

Perhaps the opposition Captain was feeling confident because at this moment he brought on a new bowler - Aubrey. He also had a peculiar field setting - deep point and mid off were the only fielders on the off side, with the other 5 fielding from deep backward square to mid on.

It was after 9pm by this point, and it was getting difficult to pick up the ball against the trees.

The bowler commenced..

The first two balls were wides. 15 to get.

Goff heaved at the next and it went racing to the long off boundary for 4. 11 to get from 5.

The next also went to long on but was stopped before the boundary. Goff calling two and turning before Matt had even made it to the other end. 9 to get from 4.

The next was dealt with the same way, this time to long on. Again, Goff was onto his second run before Matt had completed one. 7 to get from 3.

The next ball was another wide. 6 to get from 3.

The next was a waist-high full toss which was spotted early by Goff who leant back, swung mightily and cracked it…

The Rhiwbina fielders could only watch as the ball sailed high over their heads, whistling through the air and over the midwicket boundary for an enormous six.

The Cazh had won in a game of cricket the very balance of which had ebbed and flowed until the last ball. From the moment the catch had been dropped in the first over we’d been playing catch up, and with a little good fortune we’d made it.

The opposition looked more than a little shellshocked.

Shakes, watching from the side, described it as one of the best games he’d ever seen.

Goff, back to his ebullient self, proclaimed “That’s how you do it. Don’t leave it to the last ball, just fucking twat it.”

We then drifted off to the Halfway for a couple of beers to try and work out what had just happened. 131-7.

K Swain Caught 8 (2x4)
R Holliday Bowled 2
W Mason-Wilkes Bowled 46 (7x4, 2x6)
R Owen Bowled 11
P Tangney Bowled 3
D Gregory Run Out 1
P Obee Caught wk 0
M Purnell no 0
G Day no 18 (1x4, 1x6)

Extras 43



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