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Match Report vs Eclipse 04 May 2017 @ St Fagans (Skipper Dan and report Will)

The first game of the season didn’t arrive for the Casuals until International Star Wars Day. Generally the first game of the season is a Sunday in April played in conditions more familiar to the ice-planet Hoth, but this Thursday evening game, though not quite as warm as the desert planet Tatooine, was played in perfectly temperate conditions, as could be expected on the forest moon of Endor. The Casuals had collected together their normal band of Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt lookalikes to take on the aptly name Eclipse – would the force be with us? The game was shortened from 20 overs to 18 as we feared that by the end of the second innings it would be a little on the dark side…

I arrived late so don’t know if new club Captain Dan (Solo) won the toss, but the Casuals were into bat, with Tesh and new club vice-captain Darren opening up. Tesh worked the first ball for a single bringing Darren, who had brought his sons along with him to watch the match, on strike. Full of hope and expectation that their dad would put on a batting masterclass, the Britton boys were to be disappointed, as after blocking out the first Darren was bowled by his second. Casuals 1-1. As he trudged off one of the Britton boys was heard to remark “He always does this!” Darren caught wind of this and said “How dare you, I am your father!” to which the young Skywalker, I mean Britton, replied “No. No! That's not true! That's impossible”*

Pabs was in at three and he and Tesh set about rebuilding the innings. Both batsmen were watchful during their first time at the crease of the season, on a pitch that was a bit soft and spongy. They moved the score sedately on to 15-1 from 6 – the only bit of drama coming when Pabs thought he had been run-out, continued his jog off the pitch, only to be called back. Pabs was out soon after however, caught for 3. Will was in next and after a watchful couple of overs seeing off the opening bowlers, Tesh and Will began to move the score along. With Tesh happy to rotate the strike, Will was able to target the short straight boundaries to good effect. We moved the score up to 91 with 2 overs to go – with hit and run being the order of the day. The first ball of the 17th went for six, the second for a single bringing Tesh on strike for the third. Tesh connected beautifully with a full delivery and Will set off down the track, only to find that Tesh had creamed it straight back to the bowler, who fielded it well and had time to amble over the stumps and whip the bails off, leaving Will run out for 60. Next in was Richie, who went out swinging, and added two before being dismissed (I think bowled – but the book isn’t clear). This brought Steve-O to the crease, who in gamely attempting to add to the score could only manage to be run out for 0, bringing Goff in to run the last couple of balls of the innings, taking the Casuals total up to a modest 105-5, with Goff not out 0 and Tesh anchoring the innings and carrying his bat for 21.

Tesh – not out – 21
D Britton – bowled – 0
P Stephens – caught – 3
W Mason-Wilkes – run out – 60 (4 x 4s, 4 x 6s)
R Holliday – bowled (?) – 2
S O’Reilly – run out – 0
G Day – not out – 0

Batsman’s Totals: 86
Extras: w15, b2, lb2 – 19
Innings Total: 105-5

We were concerned that 105 might be 20 odd shy of a decent total, but good bowling on a pitch and outfield that was fairly slow could yet see us in with a sniff of victory.

Dan opened the bowling with a reasonably attacking field (i.e. Pabs at slip). The opener flayed an early delivery through gulley which saw Pabs retreating a few yards before remarking “there’s no point in me being here, nothing ever comes through slip…” This, obviously, was one some kind of Jedi mind-trick, as the very next ball the batsman fended at a wide one, nicking off to Pabs at second slip. Goff opened up from the other end, but the Eclipse batsmen seemed quite comfortable - at least it seems that way from the book, as I don’t remember much of what happened here – moving the score along at a run a ball until the fourth over were Goffy struck to remove the other opener – out caught, but not sure who by as it doesn’t say in the book. 24-2 from 4 overs.

Captain Dan bowled one more before taking himself off (leaving him one to bowl at the death) and DT replaced him. The runs continued to flow however (mostly from Goff's end), with Eclipse up above 50 from the first 7 – seemingly cruising towards victory. Goff bowled his 4 straight through, and managed to pick up a vital second wicket in his final over, removing the dangerous number 3 batsmen, caught behind for 30. Shakes replaced Goff to bowl alongside DT for the crucial middle overs of spin. Both spinners bowled frugally, going for a combined 33 from their 8 overs – and (though there is some confusion in the book) it looks like both picked up a wicket; DT removing the number 4 batsmen LBW for 5, and Shakes bowling the number 6 for a duck in successive overs [note - both wickets were taken by DT-lbw]. This meant that after 11 overs Eclipse were 65-5, a New Hope for the Casuals, especially as we realised that Eclipse only had nine men so we were only 3 wickets from victory.

However, the Eclipse number 5 and 7 were determined to strike back! They built a solid partnership and kept the run rate ticking along at near a run ball, and with 4 overs to go required 24 to win. With no Pete Obee-Wan to help us, Dan turned instead to the Casuals own Steve C3PO’Reily (who is fluent in over 6 million forms of swearing) to replace DT. Steve-O didn’t let his captain down, dismissing the number 7 in his second over, bowled for a stubborn 7. However, this was not before being hit for consecutive boundaries which took eclipse to 95-6 with two overs left. Shakes bowled the penultimate over but couldn’t make the break through, and a boundary from the fifth ball of the over, along with three singles took eclipse to 101-6, only 5 runs short of victory, with the number 5 batsman set on 27, and on strike. Things looked bleak for the casuals, but Eclipse had not factored in the casuals very own ‘Death (bowling) Star’. Dan’s first ball was a dot, but balls two and three were turned for singles, leaving Eclipse 3 to win from 3 balls, and the Casuals remembering what actually happens to the Death Star in Star Wars….However, Dan had just been charging his giant weapon (erm his arm) and with ball number 4 he dismissed the number 5, bowled with a full and laser straight delivery. This brought in the number nine – who even in a team of 9 should have been batting 11. He managed to resist the first delivery for a dot, but with the final ball of match Dan blasted through his defences, obliterating the stumps in a scene of destruction like that wrought upon the Planet Alderon! The casuals claimed victory, winning by just 2 runs! A real nail biter and the first time in a long time that we’ve actually won our first game of the season. We retired to the clubhouse for beer and buffet and to reminisce about previous games (mostly the one played on the adjacent pitch by the medics, gold bikinis anyone?)

Casuals Bowling
D Lewis 4 – 0 – 14 – 3
G Day – 4 – 0 – 32 – 2
D Thomas – 4 – 0 – 17 – 2
M Stephens – 4 – 0 – 16 – 0
S O’Reilly – 2 – 0 – 15 – 1
Extras: 24 (?) – This isn’t clear from the book

*Disclaimer: This did happen a long time ago in a suburb of Cardiff far, far away, so this match report may not be entirely accurate.
WillM-W Posts: 200Joined: 03 Apr 2013 01:21 pm



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