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Match Report vs Ponthir 19 July 2020 @ Ponthir (Skipper Will, report Goffy)

So it begins.....after almost 10 months in the wilderness, we finally embark on our 2020 journey. This game will go down in the history books as the first after "Lockdown", "post-Covid" or even the first during "the new normal" or "business as unusual".

We were invited by our hosts to arrive for a prompt 1.30pm start. All casuals were present and correct well before this... (apart from Steve O, Goffy, Dan, DT, Richie & Britpop) so we were able to get started on time (apart from it was about 2pm and apart from Britpop who thought he would join us a couple of overs in).

With glorious sunshine as the backdrop and our new 2020 Skipper (complete with a stone missing & new boots!) won the toss. We were to field first. NEW COVID RULES to be considered. A sanitary session at every 6 overs and don't fucking touch anything pretty much sums it up. No diving, no bombing, no petting were also mentioned.

Dan and Goffy opened proceedings with the ball and restricted the cautious opening batsman well. Mainly dots a plenty until Dan got a deserved breakthrough. They were 23 for 1 after first 12. (after 2 sanitising breaks, we decided we couldn't be arsed to walk off each time and so the wipes and sticky solutions had new homes behind the stumps)

DT up next to replace Goffy. DT had been doing a great job for Dan at mid on and hadn't put a foot wrong (well nearly hadn't) but Goff kindly suggested he would field there to give DT a breather at fine leg in between overs. A great plan. Dan used his new covid found knowledge of 2 metres to distance Goffy exactly where he wanted him. Second ball of the over... the execution perfect.... the remaining opening bat continued to try to swat everything legside… as per Dan’s plan the ball whistled directly across to the new fielder at mid on…..and he shelled it! Obviously the slippery sanitiser being the reason! That should have been another for Dan but he made amends by skittling the number 3 a couple of balls later. 28-2.

DT eventually opened up with a snorker of a delivery. Waste high slow full toss on the legside. Dispatched for four and the field dispersed. A couple of balls later, ‘Hands’ lived up to his name with some amazing glovework that we have come to know and love. Another dolly shelled. Obviously the slippery sanitiser being the reason…..on the er..gloves. But as is normally the way for a Casuals bowler, wickets come on a DIY basis. The next ball was straight and the batsman had no answer for that. 32-3

Keith replaced Dan and toiled away with DT. The oppo were obviously looking to up the run-rate too. DT bagged his brace during this spell with another cleaned bowled (again, always best to leave the fielders out of the equation) 66-4. Keith efforts were rewarded 1 run later as the 1st casuals actual catch of the post Covid era was taken by Stevie B!! 67-5.

Richie and Steve O took us through the middle to latter overs. No luck but there was a classic 9 ball over form Richie which went for 22! Poetic. 140 odd -5 (still).

The closing overs were bowled out by Stevie B and Luvvers. Steve bowled the dangerous No 4 (who had just bagged his first half ton) 143-6. Only another 11 runs added before tea. A very gettable 155 needed to win at less than 4 an over. What could possibly go wrong?

Dan 8ov 2-12
Goff 6ov 0-16
DT 8ov 2-22
Keith 5ov 1-33
Richie 4ov 0-40
SteveO 4ov 0-19
Steve B 3ov 1-2
Luvvers 2ov 0-10

We all tucked into our self-prepared picnics. No sharing of any kind allowed. All rolls and sandwiches had to be sanitised before consumption.

Britpop, who had a very quiet time in the field (apart from putting down a difficult one at long off) was keen to open up with Luvvers and get his 2020 season off to a flyer with the bat. Padded up and one practice stroke later prior to crossing the rope… he’s retired himself hurt. 0-0 off 0 (10 batsman left).

Stevie B promoted to open with Luvvers and they knew they had plenty of time. By the 6th over we were cautiously rolling and unbeaten on 17. By the end of the 16 over we had progressed to a foundation building 41-1 with Luvvers being the only casualty by misjudging the flight of a shortest one that kept low. Skipper WMW had joined Steve and we were looking comfortable.

Steve was soon to ‘crash’ the ball into his pads and be given out LB by his own teammate. Obviously it was the slippery sanitiser being the reason! 42-2.

Richie joined Will. It was soon 59-3

SteveO joined Will. It was soon 70-4 (SteveO caught off the 7th ball of the over after our scorer awarded them another ball. Obviously it was the slippery sanitiser being the reason!)

Jim joined Will. Will holes out on 49! 87-5

No need to panic. Still 13 overs left and only 60 odd needed. 5 wickets in hand (well 4 and retired hurt Britpop who is now thinking of a left handed debut)

Keith, Goff, Dan, DT and Britpop to come.
111 all out.

Luvvers bowled 15
Steve B LBW 5
WMW Ct 49
Richie LBW 6
SteveO ct 0
Jim not out 11
Keith ct 1
Goff ct 1
Dan bowled 3
DT ct 0
Britpop (left handed) run out 1

So in summary, we had late arrivals, dollies put down, long hops full tosses, 9 ball overs, shocking fielding, shocking umpiring, shocking scoring, retired hurt before playing and an amazing collapse chasing a small total on a lovely sunny day. For those who talk about “the new normal” or “business as unusual” you couldn’t be further from the truth. We are back and its very much business as usual and we love it!



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