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Match Report vs Centurions 6/06/2019 or Right-Armenius Over @ Wenvoe (Skipper and report Jesus)

"It is the custom of the immortal gods to grant temporary prosperity and a fairly long period of impunity to those whom they plan to punish for their crimes, so that they may feel it all the more keenly as a result of the change in their fortunes."
Julius Caesar

In 9AD, nearing the height of its powers, the Roman Empire suffered one of its greatest military humiliations. Three legions, led by the inept Publius Quinctilius Varus, on a long March from their Summer camp west of the River Weser, were routed in the dank and ancient Teutoburg forest, in the heart of modern-day Bavaria. The arrogant Varus and his legions, lulled into a false belief in the general passivity and ineptitude of the locals after a number of crushing defeats in previous campaigns, underestimated the guile of their opponents, and were undone in an ambush, the audacity of which was matched only by the skill exhibited in its execution.

Not since has the world witnessed in one place such a decimation of Roman military forces, but it is with this cautionary tale in mind that we turn to the Thursday 7th June AD2019, and Wenvoe, the storied setting for the Willow League Cup Quarter-Final between Cardiff Casuals and Glamorgan Centurions…

After one minor thumb injury and 15 minutes of buggering about with the Wenvoe Pavillion lock until we realised we'd been using the wrong key, Stand in Captain Jesus eventually tossed up with the Centurions skipper in the changing rooms. Jesus lost the toss but the Centurions skipper put us in to bat, which is what Jesus would have done anyway, so no harm done. Will G and Kim opened up, Jesus' thinking being that whichever one got out he'd still get to bat with a left-hander and probably milk a few wayward deliveries (head-tap thinking.gif). This seemed to work out quite nicely, as both batsmen looked pretty good (Well Will G did, Kim looked pretty crap to be honest) both surviving a decent opening two overs from Centurion Carter-Chamberlain, bowling fairly quickly, swinging it and getting appreciable movement off the pitch - Kim got at least one delivery that was completely wasted on the likes of him. After the good opening spell, Centurions introduced some of their less good bowlers, which Kim and Will appreciated, moving the score along nicely until Kim retired at some point (5 or 6 overs in but the book isn't clear).

This bought Jesus to the crease, determined to be less shit than he has been for the rest of the season...he was somewhat successful in this regard, Will G and Jesus moving the score along at a good rate, though Jesus was a bit lucky to survive an early drop at square leg. Will G was next to retire for a well-made 25, and with two safely back in the hutch Jesus decided it was time to kick on...this quickly led to him being caught at gully by the stooping Carter-Chamberlain, but not before he had hit a couple of boundaries and hoisted a straight six over the club house, the Casuals first wicket falling in the 10th over leaving them 88-1. Winks had joined Jesus on Will G's retirement, batting with calm assurance and hitting the odd boundary through cover. After Jesus was out Rob came in. He made a few and was then bowled, bringing Steve-O to the crease. Before he had even faced a ball, there was almost a calamitous end to his innings, Winks pushing one to cover and setting off leaving Steve-O to get those oaken thighs pumping to try and make his ground (oaken lungs already very warm as he shouted some abuse at the passing Winks)..only the generosity (or ineptitude) of the Centurions keeper saved Steve-O as he failed to gather the ball cleanly and dislodge the bails.

After 12 overs the score was 97-2, a very decent start, with the potential for a really competitive total if we could keep up the pace. Steve-O and Winks kept the score moving, mostly with hard run ones and twos, with Winky looking like he was really feeling it. He managed, however, to survive and get through to his own 25 and retirement. Going into the last 3 overs the instruction was swing from the hip and run everything, which James, Richie and Goff all did with varying degrees of success (though they scored 1 run between them, so maybe not that varying) - James caught going for the big heave-ho and Richie bowled doing the same. Steve-O, during this period, if you can believe it marshalled the tail with something approaching skill (i.e. luck) to keep on strike and the score moving. Goffy was bowled from the first ball of the last over, bringing DT to the crease (for his first bat of the year?), he dutifully was bowled first ball, bringing Kim back in. Between Kim and Steve, some excellent running and fairly ordinary fielding the last over brought 6 valuable runs, taking the Casuals to a handsome 140-7, with three retirees and Kim 30 not out and Steve-O 13 not out. Centurions needed 141 to Win from 18.

Casuals batting

Will G - 25 not out (retired)
Kim - 30 not out
Will M-W - 16 caught
Rob - 6 bowled
Winks - 25 not our (retired)
Steve-O - 13 not out
James H - 1 caught
Richie - 0 bowled
Goffy - 0 bowled
DT - 0 bowled

Extras: W: 32, NB: 3,

Total 141-6

"Let me have men about me that are fat, Sleek-headed-men, and such as sleep o'nights"
Julius Caesar

The Centurions opened the batting with their keeper and a bloke in a helmet (plumeless, indicating his low rank) who we'll call Nick. Goffy opened the bowling for the Casuals, and Jesus set an in-out field to hopefully apply the squeeze (A pincer manoeuvre if you will) and protect the decent total right from the start. This, surprisingly, worked - Goffy bowled 3 good dot balls and from the 4th, induced the keeper (not his day) to spoon a loopy one to mid-off, where Steve-O took a regulation catch which would have been criminal to drop (he might describe it differently). The next ball the helmeted Centurion nicked one but James couldn't hold on, Centurions 1-1 off 1. 1-1 became 2-2 after Dave once again found the edge of Nick's bat (see what I did there) and this time James held on to take a good catch standing up to the stumps. After Goff finished his spell with another good over (which went for 10...) we ran into real controversy when Rob came on to replace him. By this point centurions had their two big hitters in, the one who normally opens the bowling batting 3 and the large one with a Brizzle accent who normally hits it into gardens at 4.

The Bristol Gardener was on strike (still in single figures but having hit a six off DT) and after creaming one of Rob's deliveries into his own toe tried to repeat the trick but avoid his own feet. All he managed to do however, was loft a steepling catch to cover, where Jesus, running round to his right, calling loudly and hoping any Casuals near by were not deaf/fit enough to get themselves underneath and collide with him, managed to take a good grab. However, our friend from Somerset was not happy and began loudly protesting that the fielders at square-leg had been talking, to which he attributed his miscued shot and the loss of his wicket. The 'fielders' at square-leg turned out to be Dave (surprise) and their umpire, who both looked a bit sheepish. Though the big fella was rather vociferous in his protestations, Captain Jesus, however sympathetic, was not to be swayed, explaining that if the fielders were talking it was well within the batsmen's rights to step away (something Jesus had actually done in our batting innings). He trudged off after a bit of 'encouragement' from his own umpire, though wasn't very happy (in fairness to him, however, he did calm down and come back out to umpire and gave a couple of touch and go decisions so no there were no hard feelings by the end, though Richie might disagree...)

At this point the casuals were really in the driving seat, though the number three was still around and the batsmen who came in at 5 also gave the ball a fair old whack. Jesus cycled through his bowlers and kept the run rate under control, and though both batsmen 4 and 5 did retire, it took them a while to do so. With wickets and retirements seeing the back of centurion's decent batsmen, the less decent batsmen were in. The highlight of this middle period was Richie's spell. Bowling his first over, the 10th (typical Holliday fare that I won't need to describe) bought loud shouts from the Centurions on the sidelines to their batsmen to 'kill him' - which in fairness in the first over they did do a little bit, hitting Richie for a boundariy and a maximum to take 16 from the over. Back for his second over, however, and the number 6 trying to continue the 'killing' only managed to smack one straight at Will G at mid-wicket who took an excellent catch much to the amusement of Richie and the rest of the Cazh.

Jesus, Kim and Will G were left to bowl the final overs, with centurions 3 down but with two retired. Jesus got a wicket in his first (the 13th), the quick bowler stumped by James and Will G followed this up with 2 wickets in his first - bowling the number 7 leg stump, and a couple of balls later repeating the trick with the number 9! Kim bowled the 15th quite tidily, taking a wicket with his last ball bowling the number 10, and with 3 overs to go the run rate was up above 15s with 47 required for victory. Kim's wicket brought the number 3 back in and Will G bowled at least some of the 16th at him, because during this over, he creamed one to stand-in skipper Jesus at mid-wicket, who, engrossed in trying to work out which bowlers needed to bowl from where, only managed to let the ball burst through his hands. A boundary and some good run meant centurions took 13 from this over, leaving them 34 required from 2.

Kim volunteered to bowl he 17th (i.e was too scared to bowl the last) but in fairness he bowled it well, going for only 7 and claiming the wicket of the number 11 bowled, bringing the retired number 4 back in, but leaving Centurions with only wicket in hand and 27 runs required for victory. First ball of the final over, bowled by Jesus, was run off the face by the number 4. Rob, fielding at gully, hared after it, fielded it neatly, turned and lanced in an accurate throw to James to whip off the bails, leaving the number 4 well short of his ground running on the return leg of an ill-advised two .

Centurions all out for 115. Casuals win by 25 runs. The huddled and downtrodden peoples of the world rise up in solidarity and celebration to proclaim to all ye high and mighty who would lord it over us 'not today!', or something like that....

Casuals Bowling
G Day: 2 - 1 - 10 - 1
D Thomas: 2 - 0 - 3 - 1
R Owens: 2 - 0 - 12 - 1
S O'Reilly: 2 - 0 17 - 0
A Hood: 2 - 0 - 10 - 0
R Holliday: 2 - 0 - 23 - 1
W Goad: 2 - 0 - 17 - 2
W Mason-Wilkes: 1.1 - 0 - 7 - 1
K Swain: 2 - 0 - 12 - 2

Extras: W: 14, B: 3
Catches - Steveo,James,Goad, Jesus
Stumping - James
Run out - Rob O

We retired to the pub to feast our victory with mountains of crisps and "Beer ... a high and mighty liquor"! (Julius Caesar)



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