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Match Report vs Ross on Wye 06 September 2020 @ Ross on Wye (Skipper Will, report Jim)

A year to the day, the Cazh rocked up to Ross-on-Wye for a rematch of the second tour game of 2019, perhaps slightly less hungover and full of curry as they had been on that day – no confirmation of that though! After the flooding that had hit the area in February, it was lovely to see that the long-standing pavilion had largely survived and the pitch mostly recovered, aside from a slightly spongey outfield. The bar area hadn’t recovered, having lost the electrics, but no structural damage at least.

Anyway, onto the cricket! Despite not being on tour, skipper Will was offered the chance to bat first as ‘the touring side’, an offer that was of course too good for him to refuse. Looking back, it may not have been the wisest decision to accept…

Keith and Pabs strode out to the middle to open the innings, with an ‘intense’ fielding line-up of 50 slips, 20 gullies and a few others in close. Keith quickly found on of them, caught for a duck off the third ball, sending Will out to the crease. A few runs ticked over, with both Pabs and Will finding the boundary off no balls, before the first interesting occurrence of the game. Will, having just swatted a no ball away, was then bowled by a full delivery. Martin, fully prepped, started walking out, but soon returned, as it appeared to opposition were allowing a free hit after a no ball, giving Will a reprieve! He soon fell however, caught at close range, with Pabs being bowled in the next over and Martin soon following, leaving the Cazh precariously, if not out the ordinary, on 23-4 off 8 overs.

Richie and Rob steadied the ship, adding runs to the total but also taking minimal risks, before Richie was bowled in the 15th over, James the next man in. This provided the best partnership of the innings, again with few risks and steady accumulation of runs. James also became the first to punish a free hit, slapping the ball to the boundary, which had been hard to come by during the whole innings. Entering the 23rd over, with the score on 82, Rob was caught for 22, which proved the catalyst for another Cazh collapse, with Cheese being bowled next over for a duck and Patrick caught for 1. James’ time was also up, LBW attempting to play a sweep, a decision which took an age to be reached by Martin umpiring. DT was quickly bowled, meaning the Cazh had lost their 10 wickets for 96 in the 29th over.

Keith – ct0
Pabs – b6
Will – ct11
Martin – ct0
Richie – b10
Rob – ct22
James – lbw31
Cheese – b0
Patrick – ct1
Shakey – no2
DT – b0

At some stage, however, it had been agreed that the Cazh would keep on batting for the full 40 overs, which is where the score book becomes difficult to read. Can’t blame the scorers, we weren’t sure of what to do either! Anyway, in the remaining 10 overs, the total reached 160-18 (yes, 18 wickets down!), with Shakey (1st innings), Keith, Pabs, Will, Martin, Richie, James and Cheese getting out in a variety of ways (though mostly caught). Will had enjoyed his second go in the middle, smashing a few sixes to help build a total. Rob finished not out for his second go, but really not sure for how many! Anyway, innings finished on 160-18 off 40 overs, with the Cazh knowing they would need to protect the run rate, rather than take wickets, to win…

After the now customary homemade, individual teas of 2020, with a variety of offerings on show (must get some pictures for a mini tea watch), the Cazh took to the field, uncertain of how the game’s result may be reached. With very little options in term of fast, seam bowling, Will added early protection for the run rate, with Cheese and Martin sweeping the boundary on each side. DT and Shakey were the opening pair, with the first wicket falling in the 2nd over, Shakes taking the opener’s middle stump. The second opener then fell in the 6th over, again off Shakey’s bowling, caught at deep mid-on by Rob, with the score 21-2. This became 30-3, with DT getting in on the act, taking matters into his own hands to bowl the number 4 batsman, having had him dropped by James a few balls previously. He also had an LBW shout turned down because, quoted from the umpire, "it spun too much"!!! The pair bowled through their remaining overs tidily to leave the score on 57-3 off 16 overs.

Patrick replaced DT and made an instant impact, taking the number 3 batsman LBW with his first delivery. Ed had replaced Shakes at the other end and, after some tidy bowling to start the spell, bowled the number 6 to make the score 68-5 at drinks. So far, the Cazh had done what they needed to, by keeping the run rate down, primarily thanks to Martin sweeping the boundary, with the ball seemingly following him wherever he was on the field – fairly certain an entire over was fielded by him at some stage! In true Cazh style, however, a few catches had gone down during the innings, including one from Rob and a tough one on the boundary for Cheese. After drinks, however, the Ross skipper found Will’s bucket hands off Cheese’s bowling, making it 6 down and the score on 84.

The number 5 batsman remained, however, and had a rather irritating ability to keep his shots on the ground and finding gaps well, building what would become a great knock of 74 not out. He was well supported by the number 8, as they built a partnership of 76 that brought the scores level on 160. Patrick, Cheese, Rob, Richie, Will and Keith had all toiled away and, whilst not bowling expensively, couldn’t break the partnership, until a twist of fate in the 38th over. The Ross skipper, now standing umpire, was seemingly bored of the number 8’s innings, so informed everyone to appeal if the ball hit the pads. Will obliged by ratting the pads in front of the 4th set of stumps, the Cazh appealed, the batsman walked, 160-7. Four dot balls followed to produce a wicket-maiden for the Cazh skipper. 12 dot balls needed to tie the game became 11, before Keith couldn’t maintain the momentum as the number 5 hit the winning runs.

DT 8-0-22-1
Shakey 8-0-31-2
Patrick 6-0-28-1
Cheese 5-0-19-2
Rob 3-0-12-0
Richie 3-0-14-0
Will 3-1-11-1
Keith 2.2-0-16-0

Catches: Rob and Will

An enjoyable game played in a great spirit, despite some unusual playing conditions! It really was good to see that Ross have managed to get lots of cricket in despite the flooding in February and we will hopefully visit again in the coming seasons…and finally sneak in a win!


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