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Match Report vs Tour 2 Creigiau 05 Sept 2021 @ Creigiau (Skipper Mark, report Will)

Creigiau was the host venue for the second of the Casuals’ September Tour games, and it was a picture, bathed in late summer sunshine for the returning Casuals, many of whom, after their Tour (and Tour XL) excesses, looked in need of a bath themselves...

35 overs a side was agreed and the toss was tossed by Tour Skipper Shakey, and whether it was won or lost we ended up batting.

Luvvers (after 6 hours sleep across the 3 nights of Tour XL) and Tesh opened up, with fairly sedate bowling from each end, though with a bit of swing from the far end that both openers dealt with cagily. The score ticked slowly along, on a pitch that wasn’t really slow, but kept very low, with Luvvers looking unusually leaden and unenthusiastic between the wickets (whilst Tesh looked usually leaden and unenthusiastic between the wickets...) before a change of bowling bought something more to Luvvers’ liking – youthful, short-pitched and repeatedly dispatched to the mid-wicket fence. Luvvers got moving/sobered up after this, and with the opposition’s female player bowling loopy spin from the far end, spectators (not least Will’s dad who’d turned up in his motor-home to watch) began looking nervously at their various vehicles parked just over the short leg-side boundary. Fortunately, no insurance claims were necessitated, as with drinks looming, Luvvers, after moving past 50 and looking set to go on for the big one, could only pump a full ball to the cover point fielder who took a good catch above his head to remove Luvvers for 65. Drinks were taken, and Will came in next, watched on by all the family (parents, partner, the 3-month old baby Jesus and Lulu the dog). He was greeted with the sight of 6 fielders on the leg side and 1 fielder patrolling the very short cover boundary, which he dutifully took advantage of – hitting 3 4s through the vacant offside in quick succession to get going.

Will and Tesh kept the score ticking nicely, putting away the fairly frequent bad balls and keeping out the occasional good ones. With 10 overs left the score had moved past 150 with talk in the middle of setting a target well in advance of 200. Stand-in Skipper Shakes had other ideas, and after Tesh went past 50 he was asked to retire, to give the oppo/some other Casuals a chance. Next in was the ever patient Steve-O who lasted 2 balls, scoring 1 before scything his second ball to gully/backward point. With 3 overs to go, Will teed off, hitting a 6 and a 4 through cover off the first 2 balls ball of an over to move to 49. 3rd ball he tried the same shot only to be dropped by fielder coming in off the boundary – a hard chance to be fair – but having walked the single to bring up 50, he retired anyway, with the score in 190s for the loss of only 2 wickets. Talk on the side-lines turned to whether we’d make it past 200, which looked increasingly doubtful as first Rob and then Dan fell cheaply, both having big old heave’s, before Foxy was bowled for a blob.

In the final over, however, we did manage to creep up to 200 (Goffy running a bye I think) and Jim put the icing on a cake, swotting the last ball of the innings for 4, leaving us on a fairly hefty total of 204-5 from 35 overs.

Casuals Batting
M. Hirani, retired, 50 (7x4s)
G. Loveridge, caught, 65 (10x4s, 2x6s)
W. Mason-Wilkes, retired, 50 (7x4s, 1x6s)
S. O’reilly, caught, 1
R. Owens, bowled, 2
D. Lewis, bowled, 5,
J. Hodkinson, not out, 4
J. Prior, bowled, 0
G. Day, not out, 0
M. Stephens, DNB
T. Bluff, DNB

Batsmen’s Totals: 177
Extras: 27 (B12, LB6, W8, NB1)

Tea was taken – and in something of a rarity these days, it wasn’t just individual pack lunches on display! Creigiau brought out a selection of cakes (malt loaf a particular favourite), had hot tea on offer, and as well as this, Will’s mum, tucked away in the motorhome, had been preparing a selection of sandwiches, pork pies, scotch eggs, fruit and other cakes – a most welcome return which almost required an actual tea watch!

Steve O and Dan opened the bowling, and in a strange turn of events, Steve O was actually the better bowler! Dan, who looked like he’d forgotten how to bowl, complained it was the yips, though it was pretty clear to the rest of us that 3 days and nights on the piss, coupled with the hot weather, had caught up with him and he was just really hungover.

Steve O made the first breakthrough (in his first over I think) getting the opener out LBW, with a very confident appeal that few other Casuals, or the batsmen, seemed convinced of, but the umpire did, and he’s the one that matters. Hungover Dan, even though not as good as sober Dan, still didn’t do too badly, picking up the number 3 who slapped a drive to Will at mid-on who took it in the classical Casuals’ breadbasket style. The number 4 played a couple of nice shots, but facing Tim, who’d replaced Steve O, only managed to help a flat sweep round the corner to Will on the fine leg boundary who took the catch. The number 5 also looked like a reasonable bat, and he and the remaining opener built a pretty good partnership, though the opener particularly was completely bamboozled by Tim’s variations of slow and slower bowling. Shakes rotated the bowlers, bringing Foxy on for a couple in place of Dan, before taking over himself at that end, but neither could break the partnership, though the run rate was kept well in check. Will then replaced Shakey, and Tesh came on at the other end for his first bowl in a couple of years. Will did the damage, however, dismissing the number 5 in somewhat fortuitous circumstances, bowled off his pads for a well-made 30. This precipitated a mini-collapse, as with very next ball Will bowled the number 6, with a ball that actually turned a bit from outside off to hit leg (though it didn’t bounce much which probably helped…). Hat-trick ball to the number 7, was, unfortunately, a bit wide and easily defended, but the next ball beat the outside edge and clipped off stump, meaning 3 wickets in 4 balls for Will and a swift end to his spell. Rob came on to replace Will, and the game, very much petering out at this stage, descended into farce, with Steve O strolling to and from whichever fielding position he fancied occupying with his whites rolled up into a pair of rather unflattering short shorts, and even Jim coming on for a bowl! At some point Rob picked up the wicket of the number 8, bowled, and after this Creigiau ambled a long, content to bat the overs without ever getting near the total, finishing on 148-7 from their 35 with the opener unbeaten on 82.

A nice afternoon’s cricket played in a friendly spirit, and a good way to finish another Tour with a comfortable victory. The touring casuals retired to the Creigiau Arms for post-match refreshments, which in Dan’s case rebounded rather unpleasantly once he got home (3 days worth of hangover + sun = heatstroke apparently)

Casuals Bowling
D. Lewis 7-0-26-1
S. O’reilly 3-0-17-1
J Prior 4-0-17-0
T Bluff 6-0-16-1
M Stephens 4-0-24-0
W Mason-Wilkes 3-0-14-3
M Hirani 3-0-13-0
R Owens 2-0-7-1
J Hodkinson 3-0-15-0



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