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Match Report vs Medics 10 May 2018 @ Wenvoe (Skipper and report Dan)

The first midweek league fixture of 2018, and almost to the day of the very first Casuals fixture 25 years ago. So, what has changed during those 25 years? Though I wasn’t playing for the club 25 years ago, I would have been surprised if during that game there was more than the allotted 11 raring to play, for this fixture, not only did we have ready and willing reserves, we also had a keen 12th man, who stayed and completed the scorebook, and 5 whole spectators!

The game produced some notable differences to our performances over the years, but also some often frustrating similarities.

Captain Dan won the toss (not usual) and chose to bat. Tesh and Kim opened up against a varied Medics attack. The first over was steady and bowling accurate, the proceeding overs included some good deliveries, but an ever present and recurring theme from the bowling attack – wides. This also made it more difficult to gets runs off the bat…as Tesh found out. After 36 deliveries each - Tesh was on 9 and Kim on 21 – fortunately the score was on 79. Kim then upped the run scoring shots and scored the next 29 runs off just 19 balls and retired (as is the new League rule to retire at 50). Jesus joined Tesh (who had raced onto 21…). Jesus started slow then upped the tempo with the Cazh closing the innings without the loss of a wicket (!!! Very unusual) and 147 on the board. Tesh finished on 31 and Jesus 22, with extras a healthy 44.

Kim 50 no
Tesh 31no
Jesus 22no
Extras 44

Due to a late start, heavy traffic, the second innings didn’t start until about 7.45, the sun was still shining but it wasn’t going to last. Dan opened the bowling from Penelope’s end, struck 3rd ball – bowling the opener. Shakey opening the other end was hit for a boundary first ball, but brought it back and with the added bonus of getting the second wicket via a run out by Winkie and Jesus –thanks to the new batsmen being called through for a suicide run. Dan’s second brought the big wicket of the other opener who had impressed during the winter indoor league– also bowled. Shake’s 2nd was frugal and Dan’s 3rd a maiden, including a drop by keeper Will. Shakey picked up his first wicket in his 4th. The medics were 33-4 off 8 overs and the Cazh in a commanding, and dare I say it - an unbeatable position….

Newbie Matt C came on 1st change. He struggled for line the first over and was pinged for a few wides, but 2nd and 3rd over regained the line and length remembered from nets. Dave was 1st change the other end. His bowling stats weren’t too bad, but at the time didn’t look too good – the line and length didn’t feel as consistent as has done, but he wasn’t punished by the batsmen. With 6 overs to go the Medics were on 76-5 requiring 72 to win.

Pablo and Rob were lined up to bowl the last few, Paul’s first over were unusual, the first 3 deliveries barely made it to the other end, which, as it turned out were very difficult to hit. Rob declined the chance to bowl, so Darren eagerly offered. Dave finished his 4 over spell and Britpop then took over, his first over was very good. At this point the number 3 bat retired. Paul’s 2nd over changed from barely getting to the other end, to getting there without bouncing, this appeared to be to the liking of the new tennis playing batsmen and the first 2 balls went for straight 6’s, and the next 2 for 4’s. 29 runs were now required from the last 2 overs. The first ball of Paul’s 3rd over was back to normal – medium pace and straight – bowled, followed by a few singles and wides. Still momentum and control was back with the Cazh. 21 to defend with 1 over to go. The first ball went for a 2. The next was a very full, over waist high full – no ball, which was smashed to the longest boundary for 4. The next ball elicited a little ‘oh no’ from the bowler… … …as the ball pitched about a third of the way down the track and trickled off the strip… … …this was the same for the next 4 deliveries. Panic was now very much set in and the scorer had to move on to the next box in the book.

The over continued with a couple of legal deliveries thrown in, but runs scored. It eventually came down to the last ball – 4 required to win. Hang on – no ball, 3 to win. A straight ball – clubbed towards Tesh and Dave at cow corner – we were safe!! Hang on….Tesh does a perfect impression of Ronaldinho’s step over and ball trickles merrily on towards Dave and the boundary. Fortunately, the ball stopped before the boundary – hurrah. Dave only took a few seconds to complete his little jig - circling the ball 3 to 4 times before picking it up and courteously handing it back to Tesh to throw back in…unfortunately the Medics had completed their 3rd run and were contemplating running a fourth. The game over and Captain Dan was still thinking he was going to soon awake from this very strange yet very vivid dream….but no.
There is no one person to blame, yes, some of the bowling wasn’t good, yes, some of the fielding could have been better, but just as easily we could have scored more runs or on the flip side the Medics took the opportunities offered and never gave up and probably (and certainly in reality) couldn’t believe their luck!

Most of the Cazh headed back to the pub along with Mary and Joseph, and Jesus’s girlfriend - who needed a drink to get over the shock of what they had just witnessed – if the game had been at Easter it would have probably have been more fitting… as it turned out it was the Casuals 25th Anniversary! The Casuals have lost some belting games, but to be fair this one will go down in history as one of our best ever losses – even more fitting it being the day of the anniversary!

Dan - 4 overs - 1 maiden – 9 runs – 2 wickets
Shakey - 4-0-24-1
Matt C – 3-0-27-0
Dave T – 4-0-24-1
Paul – 3-0-34-1
Darren – 2-0-29-0
Extras 28



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