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Match Report vs Sudbrook 17 April 2016 @ Sudbrook (Skipper Kim, report Jesus)

The casuals arrived for their opening fixture of the season on a bright and fresh (bloody freezing) afternoon in April. The start of the game was delayed due to a number of casuals being stuck on the M4 behind an overturned horsebox. Fortunately for those casuals who had arrived this provided plenty of time to tuck into Cheese’s pre-match, performance enhancing wonder substance – remaindered chocolate! The news that the chocolate was in fact vegan was met with some bemusement, but the casuals did what was expected of them when presented with large sacks of a chocolate-like substance…

The casuals batted first with Kim and Rob opening up. As expected with an early season game, the subject of how many jumpers were needed to bat in was raised. Rob plumped for only one, stating “I won’t be out there for long enough to get cold anyway”…Prophetic words indeed, as 5 balls later Rob returned bowled for 0 off the last ball of the opening over. Kim had turned the first away for a single, but the remaining 5 had probed around the off-stump, at a fair clip, before eventually knocking it back – an ominous start for the casuals. 1-1 after 1.This brought your author to the crease, who watched from the other end as Kim defended another good over from the other opener, swinging it from left arm over the wicket. Will then faced his first balls of the season and somehow managed to keep them out, the opener hitting the pitch hard on a good length. A squirted single into the leg side bought Kim back on strike to face the last ball of the over, and of his innings, as the opener bowled a wonderful delivery across the left-hander, pitching on middle and leg and moving across Kim to just trim the off-bail, jaffa! The casuals struggling at 2-2 from 3.

Tesh was next in, and the Sudbrook skipper, obviously wanting to give his batsmen something to chase, changed his bowlers. This provided some respite for Tesh and Will, who were able to steady the ship and began to build a partnership. The score ticked gently along, with both batsman struggling to adjust to the pace of an outdoor pitch, but few chances were given as the casuals moved on to 30-2 from 10. Feeling more comfortable at the crease both batsman now began to score more freely with Tesh clipping a couple of nice shots off the back foot through mid-wicket and Will hitting a couple of powerful drives over the infield through extra-cover and mid-off.

The partnership was broken in the 15th over when Tesh was bowled for 14, playing back to a full-ish ball from the off spinner which hit leg. Next in was Cheese, to face leg spin from the other end. The bowler was bowling good variations and occasionally getting some sharp turn which almost did for Cheese who scored his first runs with a wonderful late glance (i.e. edge) through first slip for four. The score moved on to 65, before the leg spinner did for Will, caught between a defensive push and a full blooded drive I could only bunt one gently back to the bowler, out c&b for 42. This brought Prabs to the crease for his first innings for the casuals. It was a short one, Prabs only managing the single before being trapped LBW (though in fairness this did give him the same average as the skipper). Casuals struggling on 68-5 from 20.

Next in was Pete to bat alongside Cheese, hoping to avoid a repeat of the infamous Hayes Point incident of last season (definitely the most shocking bit of running in that game…) Fortunately for Pete, the bowler did for Cheese, LBW for 11, I can only assume sweeping. Pabs was next in who made 2 before being caught. 74-7. Next was Dan, and between him and Pete the score moved on to 89 before Dan was bowled for 5. Richie was in at 10 and added 4 of his own before likewise being bowled. This left the casuals on 98-9 from 33 overs, with few believing we would last the full 40. Shakes was in at 11 however, and had other ideas. Showing great grit and determination (and also a remarkable lack of mobility) Shakes and Pete saw the 7 overs out. The scoreboard was not exactly a blur (there were 5 consecutive maidens between overs 34-38) but the in the final two overs Shakes and Pete cut loose, scoring 2 from the penultimate and 3 from the final over to take the casuals into triple figures. 104-9 from 40.

Casuals Batting Innings
K. Swain: Bowled, 1
R. Owens: Bowled, 0
W. Mason-Wilkes: c&b, 42
M. Hirani: Bowled, 14
E. Stuart: LBW, 11
P. Kugnananthan: LBW, 1
P. Obee: Not Out, 11
P. Stephens: Caught, 2
D. Lewis: Bowled, 5
R. Holliday: Bowled, 4
M. Stephens: Not Out, 3
Extras: w 4, nb 1, b 5
Total: 104-9 from 40.0 overs

Probably not enough we thought, but with the clouds moving in and the temperature dropping, we were hopeful it would be over quickly. We discussed the possibility of drinks in the second innings consisting of hot chocolate and marshmallows with the tea ladies if the game went that far…as you can probably guess, it didn’t.

The Sudbrook batsmen were attacking from the off, looking to play shots and get things done as quickly as possible. Dan and Pabs opened up, bowling well for little reward as the batsmen played freely. They moved the score along to 43 from 7 before we managed a breakthrough, Shakes doing the damage in his first over after replacing Pablo. A lovely teasing length brought the batsmen onto the front foot but with the ball above his eyeline he misjudged it and it slipped under his bat to bowl him. 43-1 from 8. Kim changed his bowlers around, giving almost everyone a chance. Rob took the next wicket but I’m not sure what the score was as the book peters out a bit here. LBW was the mode of dismissal. As Sudbrook ambled towards the modest total there was just time for the casuals to snatch a final wicket (I reckon they only needed about 2 to win at this point) with Tesh inducing the batsmen to charge, swipe and miss leaving Will the simple task of removing the bails. Sudbrook eventually reached the total in the 19th over with a boundary, ending up on 108-3 form 19.1.

(Approximate) Casuals Bowling Figures
D Lewis: 5.1 – 0 – 28 – 0
P Stephens: 3 – 0 – 22 – 0
M Stephens: 3 – 1 – 20 – 1
E Stuart: 3 – 0 – 4 – 0
P Kugananthan: 1 – 0 – 8 – 0
R Owens: 1 – 0 – 4 – 1
M Hirani: 2 – 0 – 14 – 1

We decamped to the bar to enjoy of first post-match pint (or cup of warm Bovril) of the season and attempt to figure out the bowling figures as the book wasn’t much help. Not the best afternoon for the Casuals, but everyone got a bat and most got a bowl, we took a few wickets and best of all there was sacks of free chocolate!



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