Match Report vs Abercarn
18 July 2021 @ St Mellons(Skipper Rob, report Tim)
And so, after a month of Sunday inactivity (Rogerstone, 13th
June – outstanding match report DT) the Cazh were finally
back on the road. Such was the pent up enthusiasm within the
squad that the day before the game we eventually had ten,
but Ben stepped up long after most of us had gone to bed,
only to be bumped by Goff who had somehow managed to cancel
his kids’ collective birthday celebrations on the morning
of the game.
And so to Abercarn. A decent sized ground, curiously located,
bordered on one side by trees and on the other by an industrial
estate, with a mock Brutalist pavilion that from the outside
had the air of a long since abandoned Little Chef. Inside
was a Cazh-confusing maze which led to a refurbished, Covid-friendly,
changing room where the only ventilation, for a little while
at least, came from Pabs’ portable fan.
As usual, there was a certain amount of confusion about the
opposition – firstly that with the side they had out
they’d be lucky to reach three figures, then that they
were mainly second teamers with a few from the first team
thrown in, and latterly that they don’t play many Sunday
games so it was pot luck but they were keen for a rematch.
Whatever the truth they took the field bedecked in their heat
absorbing dark blue (Are you sure this is a good idea? It’s
the hottest day of the year) kit.
With the hosts happy to run both scorebooks, Tim headed to
the middle to umpire with Goff, and DT sat around in the sun
before realising just how hot it was and opting for a more
Pabs and Martin opened up, constrained by some tight bowling,
but happy to pick off the ones and twos in the blistering
heat. The outfield was slow, and it took until the ninth over
for the first boundary of the day to be registered, a first
of the season for Martin. Progress enough to prevent the watching
SteveO (due in at four) from his usual tempo related heckling.
The score had moved gracefully to 39 in the 16th when Pabs
succumbed to the heat and retired on 22 (I actually heard
25, then 23, but the book says 22). In fairness, it was truly
hot, and Pabs commented that he felt he was holding Martin
back by not wanting to run. It was a wise move as back in
the confines of the changing room Pabs condition worsened
and he was to play no further part in the days’ events.
Richie was next in, and a mixture of stout defence, some
decent strokes and more than a bit of luck had brought him
11 runs before he was harshly adjudged LBW by Tim.
This brought the in form SteveO to the crease, leg stump
guard, chest puffed out, straight ball….bowled.
Skipper Rob survived the hat-trick ball and set about building
a partnership with Martin, and a decent partnership it was
to be, as the score moved from 71 for 2 in the 28th to 122
for 2 in the 34th before Rob was cleaned bowled for 28. Worth
a mention here is the Casual-esque groin injury suffered by
Oates as he attempted what looked like a routine pick up at
long on, the ball popping up awkwardly and leaving him out
on the floor.
Steve B was next up with his first knock of the season (?)
and moved quickly to 14 before being stumped. Martin meanwhile
was still there, passing 50 for the first time for the Cazh
(previous best 36). A tremendous effort in the searing heat,
before being run out for 56. On another day it might have
been 10 or 20 more.
Dan was at the crease by now and pushing the score on. Goff’s
new bat made a brief cameo towards the end of the innings,
and Patrick squeezed a single from his three balls in the
Innings closed on 176. A decent total on the face of it,
but the Cazh would be fielding without the homeward bound
Pabs, and without him they were also a bowler down.
Pabs Retd Hurt 22
Martin Run Out 56
Richie LBW 11
SteveO Bowled 0
Rob Bowled 28
Steve B Stumped 14
Dan Not Out 21
Goff Bowled 4
Patrick Not Out 1
DNB – Tim, DT
Dan and DT opened up. The former in typically miserly style,
but as with the Cazh’s innings, both openers could bat,
and were happy to dig in and wait for any bad balls and the
first change of Goff for Dan and Patrick for DT brought no
immediate joy. Indeed it took until the 17th over, Goff’s
fourth, for the breakthrough to occur, with Goff bowling Chilton
for 38. With Rob having to juggle bowlers and looking to rotate
in five over slots due to the heat, Goff was to have come
off with figures of 1 for 10, but persuading Rob to allow
him to stay on could have proved to be decisive when in his
7th over Goff took three wickets – the first a well
taken catch by Patrick at mid off, the next bowled, and whilst
the incoming batsman survived the hat trick he was out two
A triple wicket maiden for Goff.
Tim had replaced Patrick at the other end by now and unusually
the field didn’t feel particularly threatened. Indeed,
nothing much happened until midway through his sixth over
when he threw himself to the ground in an attempted caught
and bowled. Getting a hand to the ball was a decent effort
and probably saved four. There are a number of descriptions
of what came next – ranging from a WWE move to a high
board dive to being shot by a sniper – but nobody really
knows how it happened, Tim ambling in managed end up face
first in a heap on the ground whilst still manage to project
the ball towards the waiting batsman.
Rob had by now replaced the bowled out Goff and was bowling
well, and DT thankfully replaced Tim, but the batsmen (including
one of the openers) were set and with five overs to go and
40 still required, a tight finish looked on the cards. Tighter
still when, in the penultimate over, Rob bowled the opener
(Whilst they didn’t appear to be scoring at that rate)
Abercarn arrived at the final over needing nine, which became
two off the last ball and unfortunately the Cazh were unable
to hold out.
A disappointing end to what had been a great game where everybody
played a part, particularly in the field where the missing
body really told.
Personal highlights – Martin’s maiden 50, Goff’s
triple wicket maiden and a solid performance from Steve B
behind the stumps.