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Match Report vs Cross Keys 12 May 2019 @ Pontymister (Skipper and report Dan)

The match had been, for 5 minutes on Saturday night, called off as Cross Keys found themselves in a similar position to the Cazh – lack of numbers, however, after another quick whip round – they thankfully found enough for the match to remain on. Both teams turned up for the 1.30 start, though following another late withdrawal, Cross Keys were down to 9 and were offered the option to bat first and a fielder which they accepted.

Dan and Dave White (got to find a nickname soon) opened the bowling with a very lacquered and shiny ball. Movement through the air and off the pitch caused the batsmen all sorts of difficulties (not to say made the bowling look excellent!). Dan got the first wicket in the 2nd over of the younger of the 2 batsmen with a fullish yorker. Dave picked up his wicket in his 3rd over, after the new batsman had heaved the ball to backward point, it was only keeper Luvvers who notified everyone that the batsmen had trod on his wicket. This brought in another capable looking batsman. Dan took himself off after 4 and was replaced by DT. Dave White bowled another before changing to Goffy. The shiny lacquer was now removed and replaced with an egg shape on the one side – not saying this helped Dave, but it probably didn’t hurt.

The Cazh were also helped by the boundary on almost all sides being massive – the corners of the pitch were barely visible with the naked eye, plus the outfield grass was quite long, so unless aerial and flat, the ball rarely made it to the boundary. DT got his first wicket, bowled, the batsman looking to cart it down leg side, but according to Dave it was a straight one. 32-3 off 12. Goffy toiled away at the other end with no success. There were a few sharp chances through the keeper/slip area, but none to hand. Goffy was replaced by Obee1. At drinks the score was up to 59 and both batsmen looking set. On return to the field, Goffy decided he wasn’t getting enough exercise and decided that he would field long-on to long-on, and therefore relegating Jesus to mid-on and Steveo to square leg when DT was bowling. As luck would have it, Jesus took a wonder catch last ball of the first over back – leaping like a salmon or the skipper described it – like a breaching whale – taking a diving one handed catch to his left. Leaving the opener in disbelief and departing the field. As the old adage goes – one brings two, next over Luvvers stumped the new batsman. 64-5 off 22.

DT bowled through and was replaced by Shakey. It looked like Shakey’s body may have been suffering from spending too much time on the allotment – 5 of the 6 balls didn’t bounce in the batsman’s half, and the following over included a few wides, there would have been more had the batsman chased after them, not that Shakey was impressed. The remaining overs did return to more like what we’ve come to expect. In the 28th over, Pete lulled the growing in confidence batsman into pulling one to backward square, but right to where Richie was fielding and snaffled the catch. This was Richie’s second catching opportunity, the first much earlier in the match, which after making the ground to get there, it popped in and out again. He was not the only one to have the misfortune of shelling one, our lead catcher Steveo managed to put down 3 during the match – some more difficult than others, the final one coming off his own bowling, having replaced Obee1 bowling from the hill end. Steveo did, however, pick up a couple of wickets (against the kids) – the first in the 38th (bowled) and the next stumped by Luvvers (taking no prisoners) last ball of the game. Richie who had replaced Shakey also got a wicket - the remaining adult in the 35th over, the batsman managed to pick out Shakey in the deep, the catch which could have easily been another drop as it was airborne for a long time, but was taken very comfortably. Cross Keys finished on 113ao.

Dan – 4-1-5-1
Dave W – 5-0-19-1
Dave T – 8-0-26-2
Goffy – 4-0-13-0
Pete O – 6-1-15-2
Mark – 5-0-12-0
Steveo – 5-2-15-2
Rich -3-0-9-1

Luvvers - 2 x stumping
WMW – 1x catch
Richie – 1x catch
Mark – 1x catch

Tea was had – lots of savouries and sandwiches and a nice cuppa.

Rob, after his not too hot start for the season, accepted the offer to open – even if it meant blocking to re-find his form. He opened with Luvvers. The bowling was as expected, opened by the adults. Both of them bowling good length and asking questions. Dave W volunteered to field for the oppo (later on to be joined by his son). Both batsmen did well to keep them out, Rob stoutly defending and occasionally leaving the wider deliveries. Apart from one…which was stuck - ballooning towards square leg, but fortunately didn’t reach the fielder. After 8 overs the score had reached 21, with Rob scoring the lions share of the runs including some impressive drives and glances. The first change bowler was brought on at the hill end, and it was Luvvers that began to up the tempo. He too was fortunate, as first ball he didn’t quite time it and drifted towards the young mid-on fielder, who got a hand to it but couldn’t cling on. This change bowler was replaced after 2 overs due to the increased run rate. The new bowler didn’t fare much better in his first over, and the other opener who had stemmed the runs was also taken off after 7overs – in his last over Luvvers hit a 5 (1) – neither batsman looked in good health after that, especially in the lovely afternoon sunshine. After 15 overs the score had reached 60. The score then moved into next gear and Luvvers reached his 50. Drinks were taken early at 18 overs with 40 runs required to win.

After the drinks break, the pair really went to town, though I might suspect that Cross Keys might have been just as happy for the end of the game (unless a few wickets fell early) as Luvvers was going all full metal jacket and reached the target in the 21st over and finishing with a 6 struck towards the cars. An excellent batting display and an all round enjoyable game (regardless of the result, though it helps) at a lovely ground and setting against friendly opposition. We then enjoyed a pint or 2 in the sunshine before heading back.

Luvvers – 80 not out
Rob O – 31 not out
Will MW; Goffy; Rich; Steveo; Dan; Dave W; Mark; Pete O; Dave T - DNB



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