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Match Report vs Cavaliers 06 June 2021 @ Pontcanna(Skipper Rob, report Jim)

We all know how strange the world, and our lives, became in 2020, so it’s been great to see that the New Year has started to move back towards something close to normality – including the return of the annual Sunday fixture between the Casuals and the Cavaliers! What a day it was for it as well. Dry, sunny, hot and a pitch at Pontcanna that had very few demons in it! The last fixture played between these two long-term rivals was the 2019 Willow League Cup Final, where the Cazh took home the trophy – would the Cavs make amends for that in this game?

In the build-up, the Cazh looked like they were struggling to get a team together, but managed to find an 11, with Mat Cullen stepping up to make his first appearance since 2019 along with two debutants – Jack Lyons and Rhys Davies, the latter of whom was found for us by the Cavs, something that they may regret!

Anyway, on to the game itself. Cavs won the toss and, on such a hot, sunny day with a dry, flat track, elected to bowl – brave decision. The two debutants strode out to open up the Cazh innings and, with a right- and left-hand combination, rotated strike well and punished the bad balls that came their way. JL was the first to fall, though, caught at mid-off trying to slap a full toss out the park in the 9th over, with the score on 45. Will, back to his customary number 3 spot, came out and set about building a partnership with Rhys, both looking at ease against any delivery they faced. There was even a moment where Rhys gave Will a taste of his own medicine, and took a single on the last ball of the over! Both, however, continued to find the boundary, helped by some Cav mis-fields and full tosses – Will in particular benefitted from this, taking 20 off one over with two 4s and two 6s!

With the score passing 150 just after drinks, and both batsmen reaching their half centuries, the Cavs finally got the breakthrough, Will caught going for one shot too many, leaving the score on 156-2 after a partnership of 111! In came Ben, who supported Rhys in pushing for runs and building a big total. A partnership built that took the Cazh total past 200. Rhys was finding the boundary well, whilst Ben rotated strike excellently, although would’ve scored more boundaries if it wasn’t for the outfield. With one final single, Rhys got through for a superb debut century, before deciding to retire (out of tiredness and thirst), which brought Foxy to the crease, given a batting promotion by the skipper. No sooner was he in, however, that he was then out, caught behind with a thick edge, with the score on 209-3 after 35 overs. This meant the skipper came in and, with 5 overs to go, worked the ball into gaps well to keep the score ticking, whilst Ben finally started finding the boundary, before a bit of standard Cazh cricket saw Ben run out on the last ball of the innings, with the final total 237-4 off 40 overs.

Rhys 100ret
JL ct20
Will ct50
Ben ro32
Foxy ct0
Rob no13
DNB: James, George, Goff, Pabs, Maxy

A slightly longer tea break was taken, allowing members of both teams to quickly dash to a local shop to stock up on fluids, due to the searing heat, whilst others needed to apply the sun cream before they became redder than the ball being used! Once the necessary preparations were complete, the Cazh took to the field, with Goffy opening the bowling from the River Taff end and Maxy from the Cathedral Road end (when in the shadow of Sophia Gardens, may as well used these names). Both were steady, holding their line and length well, with the pitch still offering little to the bowlers. The Cavs also looked to capitalise on a right- and left-hand combination, with the left hander going for more powerful shots, whilst the right hander (no prizes for guessing who) looked to rotate striker by playing through third man. With the score on 50 after 10, the Cavs were behind the rate but had all their wickets in hand, until the change of bowling. With Pabs replacing Goffy, a mix-up between the batsmen gave Rob the chance to throw to the bowler’s end, with Pabs taking the bails off to send the left hander packing.

With Rob now on at the Cathedral Road end, the Cavs run rate began slowing down, with the pitch starting to show some turn and slight uneven bounce, making the challenge tough for the batsmen. The Cazh found it tough as well, with half-chances just evading fielders. Just before drinks, though, a chance finally found a man, with a lofted drive from the opener off Pabs finding itself safely into Will’s bucket hands at long-off. 91-2 at drinks gave the Cazh the knowledge that the run rate was escaping the Cavs, but this also led to some tired looking fielding, as the sun had started to wear the players down. The bowlers persevered though, with Pabs picking up a wicket in his final over, bowling the number 3 bat, before Rob managed to get the number 4 caught by Maxy in the next to leave the Cavs on 118-4 with 14 overs remaining. Will and George replaced entered the attack, which saw 3 more wickets fall in 3 overs, Will bowling the number 5, whilst George had the number 6 caught behind by James before bowling the number 8. With 10 to go, the Cavs were well short on 140-7, with a maiden over from Will effectively killing off the game, as the innings coasted to an end with the Cavs finishing on 191-7 off their 40 overs, the Casuals winning by 46 runs!

Goffy 6-0-25-0
Maxy 7-0-37-0
Pabs 8-1-43-2
Rob 8-0-22-1
Will 3-1-9-1
George 5-0-30-2
Foxy 2-0-9-0
Ben 1-0-12-0

Catches – James, Maxy, Will
Run Outs – Rob

After the game, the lack of shower facilities was felt heavily by some players, but the feeling of a cold pint in the Pontcanna Inn as the sun set gave the Cazh a good bit of respite after the hottest game of the season so far!



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