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Match Report vs Barry Wanderers 09 August 2015 @ Hayes Point (Skipper Kim, report Jesus)

With Apologies to our Glorious Leader K.Swain…

The Casuals arrived at Hayes Point – though for the majority this was after the 13:30 stated start time, meaning we didn’t get underway until around 1:50. I believe someone lost the toss calling tails (which Buckets was quick to point out spelled certain doom) but I’m not sure if it was their skipper or our (glorious and most talented) Captain Kim. Either way, we were batting.

Kim (did I mention how great he was?) and Rob Owens opened up, facing the medium pace of the youngster Harris and the slightly less medium pace and bounce of Wade. After a watchful start (back to back maidens and 7 from the first 4 overs) Rob and particularly Kim began to find their rhythm and moved the score along to a handy 37 from the first 10. From then on the shackles (or sheckels?) were thrown off well and truly by the two openers, with Kim (what a guy) taking the lion’s share of the strike and using it to good effect hitting a number of devastating boundaries, including some elegant lofted drives over extra-cover, and 2 big sixes over mid-off. Rob at this point was happy to rotate the strike, running well between the wickets (though only ever at the one speed…)


The talk on the side lines turned to how well the pair were playing, and how they were managing all these quick singles whilst barely uttering a mumbled “yes”, “no” or “wait”. Surely, the watching Casuals thought, this won’t set a precedent for a game filled with a lack of clear and decisive calling and attendant horrendous run-outs….

With Kim and Rob in full flow (well Kim mostly, passing 61 with a generous/hugely sarcastic round of applause, Rob more of a trickle) the score moved along to 85-0 at drinks. At the break Rob suggested it was time for T20 mode, and the yet-to-bat casuals suggested we should be scoring another 180 from here – and with 20 overs to go with 10 wickets in hand, we were fairly confident of it happening. Rob tried to up his rate, and was successful for a couple of overs, before spooning a loopy catch to mid-wicket – out caught for a useful 24, the casuals 109-1 after 23.

This brought Jesus (Threesus) to the wicket, who had spent most of the afternoon until then relaxing in possibly the most comfy chair in the greater-Barry area. Obviously this had had some effect on his mental preparation for his innings, which soon took the most calamitous of turns. After spending a couple of overs at the non-strikers end watching Kim bat serenely, Jesus, yet to face a ball, with his mind obviously left behind in the billowy-folds of the wicker-chair’s warm embrace, was surprised when Kim called him through for a single after pushing the ball into a gap in the offside field. Jesus, startled, could only make it half-way down the wicket, before, for reasons unknown even to himself, decided to halt and about-face, sending a bemused Kim back to his ground with a strangled “no…”. With shouts of “What are you doing?!?” ringing form the boundary, Kim, stranded, could only turn and look on in horror as the fielder under-armed the ball in and the keeper removed the bails, much to the fielding team’s delight. Kim trudged off for a cruelly curtailed 78, leaving Jesus to attempt to make amends for a truly terrible run-out, 110-2 from 24.

Richie was next in, looking to move his total runs scored for the season ahead of his total wickets taken. Unfortunately he could only last a couple of overs in which he managed to add just 2 runs (which may or may not have taken him past his total wickets taken). He then lofted a catch which was well taken by the opening bowler Wade (somewhere in the field)

At the other end, Jesus’s attempted redemption didn’t last much longer. After hitting a couple of his trademark sweeps to the boundary, and being subsequently warned by Dan that it was keeping low and anything straight would probably hit the stumps, Jesus tried the sweep to the low-bouncing straight one, played all round it and left Dan no option but to give him out LBW for an extremely costly 12. 125-4 after 28, with the Casuals promising start now mired in a predictable middle order collapse.

In at the crease now were Pete Obee and Cheese, and 125-4 became 128-5 at the end of the 29th. If Jesus’s run out of Kim was tragic, then Pete and Cheese mix up was like something from a silent comedy, so non-existent was the talking from either player. I’m unsure of the precise details of the run-out but what is sure is that the only conversation between the pair occurred after Cheese had scampered in vain to make his ground after making it ¾ of the way down the pitch only to see Pete rooted firmly in his crease, and was given run out. After the bails had been removed, Cheese “politely reminded” Pete that in the event of future running together a brief mention that the fielder was in possession of the ball would be preferred.

Next to the crease was Flash, who along with Pete took the score into the 130’s before the bowler managed to find the non-bouncing are of the pitch (i.e. most of it) and snuck one under Flash’s bat to bowl him for 6. Pete added 10 in total before being bowled by the rampant Ford.

So after being 100+ for 0, the Casuals had contrived not only to shoot themselves in the foot, but to then chop the foot off and beat themselves over the head with it. A score of sub 150 was on the cards; 147-7 with 6 overs remaining. Once in a while (or all the time according to Pabs) the bowlers dig the batsman out of a hole, and this was one of those occasions, though here they did it first with the bat. Dan, in at 9 alongside Clappers (playing his first game in a year), initially looked as if he was intent on merely batting the overs, successive forward defensive strokes bringing some of the loudest cheers of the innings from the on-looking casuals. This plan was quickly discarded however, in favour of heaving the ball to the boundary. Dan’s first scoring shot was an almighty blow over widish long-on for 6, and his second in a similar direction was almost as impressively struck. However, this shot went more up than out, and with the fielder moved to “close the gate at the dairy farm” it seemed that Dan’s innings would be 6 and out. The fielder positioned himself well underneath it and held onto the skyer, but in so doing took a step back, and found himself treading on the rope, giving Dan his second six. To add insult to injury Dan hit the next ball through the same area (surprise surprise) though this time on the floor, the fielder ran to intercept but the ball bobbled through his hands for four, much to amusement of the casuals. After adding a couple of singles Dan was eventually out, well caught at (you guessed it) the much shorter cow boundary up the hill. Pabs was in next to bat alongside clappers and took 2 boundaries from the first over he faced, taking the score to 171-8 after 37. During this time clappers had added 2 of his own before having his timbers rattled in the 39th (obviously it takes an innings or so to get back into the swing of things after not playing for a year…). This left Pabs and Dave to bat out the final over, Dave scoring a masterly single and taking the casuals score 177-8 from 40, Pabs with a useful 13 not out at the end, and Dave 1 not out.

Mixed feelings for the casuals who had less than they should have had after their great start but possibly more than they might have had after their middle order collapse – it was something to bowl at least…

Casuals Innings
K. Swain – Run Out – 78 (2 x 6’s, 12 x 4’s)
R. Owens – Caught – 24 (2 x 4’s)
W. Mason-Wilkes – LBW – 12 (2 x 4’s)
R. Holliday – Caught – 2
P. Obee – Bowled – 10
E. Stewart – Run Out – 0
A Akbari – Bowled – 6
J. Clapham – Bowled – 2
D. Lewis – Caught -18 (2 x 6’s, 1 x 4’s)
P. Stephens – Not Out – 13
D. Thomas – Not Out – 1

Extras – 11 w -6 nb -1 b-3 lb- 1

Total 177 – 8

Tea was good according to me – Tea watch will tell you more.

Barry Wanderers opened their innings with a mixture of youth and experience, with the older of the opening batsman definitely looking like he knew which end of the bat to hold. The casuals didn’t have much youth going so settled on experience, Dan opening from the far end off the long run (2.5 yards as opposed to 2) with Pabs at the other tweaking and twirling (and occasionally bowling the ball). The casuals knew that to stand a chance they needed to restrict the run rate early on to build the pressure, taking the odd wicket on the way. In the first regards Pabs and Dan did a fine job, keeping the run rate to less than 2 an over for the first 8. Dan created a couple of chances, finding the edge of the younger opening batsman a couple of times, inducing Kim to pack to the cordon (there were only two slips but Jesus was one of them and Ash was keeping so the cordon was definitely packed).

After surviving the opening spell of tight bowling the openers finally looked to be finding their rhythm moving the score to 26 from 9. Then the casuals made their first breakthrough, Pablo with the wicket, tossing one up to the youngster who couldn’t resist hitting over the top. Richie, at the deep long on boundary, under the tree, stood stock still as the ball arched towards and took a good catch without moving anything but his hands. 28-1 after 10. Dan bowled a miserly 6 overs, (1 maiden for 18) before Kim (wisely) took him off to save him for the death. Pabs bowled his 8 through to see him return figures of 8-3-22-1, a tight spell of bowling which gave the casuals a fighting chance.

Dan’s departure brought Clappers into the attack for his first bowl of the season. After a rusty one delivery, Clappers settled nicely back into his groove (in much the same way as Jesus had settled into the wicker chair) and began ticking through his overs. DT joined him at the other end when Pabs had finished his spell but it was Clappers who made the next breakthrough in his third over, removing the dangerous looking opener with a leg-side full toss that he could only spoon in the air to be caught by Pabs at backward square-leg for 34. Only two balls later Clappers had his second, the no.3 batsman who had scraped around for a couple, cutting at one that was a bit two straight, sliced it to gully where Jesus snaffled the chance (using only his hands and definitely not his casuals bread basket/hamper). 53-3 from 17 with the casuals in with just a sniff if they could get a couple more.

Clappers and DT settled into a good partnership, but the number 4 batsman (the skipper) and number 5, started to up the scoring rate, getting up to around 4 an over. As with the bat, the casuals were committed to some comical errors in the field, the first of which came from DT’s bowling. Having induced a top edge from an attempted sweep by the well set skipper, the casuals watched on in horror as both Cheese at backward square and Rob at fine leg circled beneath the looping ball. Once again the silence was deafening as the Cheese and Rob approached the ball, Cheese managed to get hands on it, but very soon afterwards he got his shoulder into Rob’s ribcage and the ball spilled onto the turf, soon to be followed by a winded Rob…

81-3 form 22 became 81-5 after 23, Clappers again the man doing the damage, this time with a double wicket maiden. First to go was the powerful number 5, driving on the up to be caught well by Kim at short cover (Kim catch one?). With the last ball of his over Clappers had the number 6 out for nought, again caught driving at a full widish one, this time by a somewhat recovered Rob ‘neutral’ Owens at mid-off. Kim promised to take clappers off if he got to his 5fer, which he couldn’t manage in his 7th over, which went for a maiden. With the first ball of his 8th he got there though, bowling the number 7. He finished with figures of 8-2-26-5, a spell in which he bowled some good balls and some wicket taking balls, though not necessarily at the same time…

This put the casuals in a strong position, with Barry Wanders 87-6 with 13 overs of their innings remaining – more than a run a ball required. However, the 2 batsman at the crease were 2 of the 3 most accomplished in the side, the wanderers having mixed their order up to give their youngsters a chance. Cheese came into the attack to replace clappers in the 29th but both batsman looked assured against him and DT, moving the score along at the required rate.

As the game moved towards an increasingly tense finish there was still time for the casuals to make another howler in the field. The skipper turned one out to the leg side boundary, where Kim was on the prowl. Kim fielded the ball cleanly and unleashed a bullet arm to Ash, with the batsman already committed to the second run. They met in the middle as Ash collected the throw, with the simple task of turning and taking the bails off as both batsmen were stranded. Ash, unfortunately, wasn’t aware of this and in his haste he turned and attempted to throw the stumps down from a yard away, he missed and the batsman scampered home.

Casuals’ heads dropped, with Kim’s day turned from bad to worse. The game seemed to be slipping away from the Casuals, with both batsman looking like the luck was with them. With 26 required from the last 5 overs, Kim turned to Dan in one final throw of the dice. His first over back went for 11, not exactly what the skipper had been hoping for, leaving them requiring 15 from 4. Cheese bowled the next and concede 8 and Barry were coasting to victory 7 required from 3.

Dan’s next over however, was the just what the Captain had called for – after going for two singles, he managed to get one to just move away up the hill, clipping the top of off stump to remove the skipper who had batted nicely for his 56. Still nothing to worry about for Barry, and a mere consolation for the cazh…2 dot balls followed before Dan repeated the trick, bowling the number 9 for 0, 173-8 form 38. The cazh feeling slightly better about things.

Cheese bowled the 39th, Kim spreading the field to allow the set Blundell a single. He took one first ball, which in hindsight he may have regretted, as with the very next ball Cheese bowled the number 10 with a straight one. This brought the inexperienced number 11 to the crease, playing in one of his first games, and suddenly the Cazh scented victory. Kim bought the field in and every ball was oohed and aahed at but somehow the batsman survived, leaving Barry with just 4 required from the last over with their set batsman on strike.

The question was now who would bowl the last over - with Dan bowling his 8 the options looked thin on the ground. In a moment of inspiration, Kim turned to Richie, who’s one previous over had gone for 7. The casuals weren’t brimming with confidence as Richie strolled up to deliver the first ball of the last over, and when he released it what little confidence was left evaroporated. A loopy leg-side full toss descended on the batsman who must have already imagined himself walking off to the rapturous applause of the Barry faithful after depositing it onto the beach by the time it reached him. His imagination must have got the better of him as all he managed was to mistime his pull shot and send the ball ballooning out towards the long leg boundary where Cheese took the catch with consummate ease. The Barry fans were silenced, the casuals were cockahoop, the batsman was stunned but not more than Richie who couldn’t quite believe he’d got away with it!

The casuals claimed victory by 3 runs in a topsy turvy game that was full of pretty rubbish cricket but some moments of genius. We headed off to the pub to discuss ice-skating saboteurs and celebrate an unlikely victory.

Casuals Bowling
D. Lewis: 8 – 1 – 31 – 2
P. Stephens: 8 – 3 – 22 – 1
J. Clapham: 8 – 2 – 26 – 5
D. Thomas: 8 – 0 – 47 – 0
E. Stuart: 6 – 0 – 36 – 1
R. Holliday: 1.1 – 0 – 7 – 1
Extras: w-8, nb-1, b-2, lb-2

Cardiff Casuals 177-8, Barry Wanderers 174 all out. Casuals win by 3 runs.



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