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Match Report vs Talygarn 24 May 2022 @ Llandaff fields (Skipper Richie, report Jesus)

The Casuals arrived at Llandaff Fields/Pontcanna Fields/Rocket Park (delete as appropriate/if Steve O) on a sunny late-May evening for our league match against Talygarn. New players Rhys, Alex and Jack had added some much-needed youth and agility to the Cazh ranks recently, and so for once the opposition looked to have both a higher average age and (whisper it) weight than the Casuals – would this prove decisive?

From memory we lost the toss, but despite not having a full 11 by the scheduled 6pm start time, Talygarn stuck us in, with the youthful Rhys and Alex opening up against some accurate if not express pace from both ends. A few well-run singles and a boundary apiece from each batter got the Casuals moving at more than a run a ball, but Rhys was soon to fall for 6, bowled by a good one that hit the top of off to leave the casuals 17-1 from 2. Will was in next, and he and Alex set about building a partnership. Both found the increasingly large gaps between the rapidly tiring Talygarn fielders with regularity to pick up easy ones and twos, and put the fairly regular bad balls away to the fence – Alex hitting a number of powerful shots off the back foot through mid-wicket, and Will, who was dropped at long off for about 20, hitting 3 6s in his innings of 52not out, one of which took him to the milestone. This wasn’t before Alex himself had reached his half century (his first for Cazh? and from the looks of it first of many!) to bring Jack S to the wicket.

Jack found it a bit tougher in one of his first few games for a number of years and was bowled by a loopy straight one (most of the Talygarn bowling after the openers was a variation of loopy, though not much was straight) but leaving the Casuals very well set on 111-2 at the end of the 13th. Skipper Richie was next to the crease, and after a couple of dots he was underway with some good hitting for back-to-back boundaries to keep the score motoring along. Jim joined Richie on Will’s retirement, and with the skipper kept the rate at up around 7 or 8 an over.

Then came a moment of controversy, the Skipper being bowled by an extremely loopy yet straight one that dropped out of the sky from a great height, and though it was very close to being a no-ball, according to your author who was umpiring at square leg at the time, by the time it reached Richie it was below waist height (it did hit the bottom of the stumps to be fair). Richie out for a well made 22 brought Luvvers to the crease, looking to dine out on some of the buffet bowling he’d been observing from the side-lines.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, as he was bowled for 3 by an absolute beauty of an away-swinging yorker by Talygarn’s only real pace bowler, who until that point had mostly bowled wides and beamers…Much to the Casual’s disappointment this brought the ever patient Steve-O to the middle to actually face at least one ball, which he managed to negotiate successfully before hitting his next (and last) for one. The Casuals finished up on a very healthy 177-4 from their 20, a total which even we were fairly confident we’d be able to defend.

Casuals Batting
R Davies, Bowled, 6
A Heath, NOT OUT, 51
W Mason-Wilkes, NOT OUT, 52
J Sim, Bowled, 0
R Holliday, Bowled, 22
J Hodkinson, NOT OUT, 9
G Loveridge, Bowled, 3
S O’Reilly, NOT OUT, 1
G Finch DNB
M Cullen DNB
D Thomas DNB

Batsmen’s Total: 144

B6, W21, NB6
Total Extras:33

Total: 177-4

Luvvers took the new ball and immediately made an impact, bowling full and wide and quick to draw the edge of the Talygarn number 2, the paceman who had done for him, with Jim taking a good catch low to his right to complete Luvver’s revenge mission. At the other end Maxi opened up, and was miserly in his first over, going for just a wide, and in his second took 2 wickets, the first removing the other opener, caught at slip by Will, and two balls later castling the number 4 with some beautiful swing bowling. After a bit of treatment/edges that went to the boundary from the number 3, Luvvers then cleaned him up in his third over, bowled for 13, and Maxi, not wanting to be out done, repeated the trick in his third, bowling the number 5, this time for 0.

Luvvers finished his spell with another wicket, the number 6, popping one up to Jack who took a comfortable catch in the covers, to end up with a decent return of 3-29 from his 4, and leave Talygarn floundering at not many for 6 (the book isn’t very clear unfortunately), a long way short of where they needed to be in any case. DT and another newbie Gareth Finch were the first change bowlers, Gareth making his debut even though he technically joined before COVID, and they very much picked up where Luvvers and Maxi left off. DT took a wicket in his first over, the number 8 stumped by Jim, and Gareth, after struggling with his line a bit in his first over and getting pasted for 18, recovered well as his spell progressed.

In his second, he got one to get a bit big on the number 9 who could only spoon it to mid-on where Alex took a good catch running round, before in his third he bowled one very short and wide, but found the toe of the bat of the free-swinging number 7, the innings top scorer with 18, who looped a simple catch to Will at slip. This just left Maxi to come back on and clean up the tail, which he duly did with the 3rd ball of his last, and the innings 16th over, bowling the number 10 for 14, leaving Talygarn 93ao.

Casuals Bowling
G Loveridge 4 – 0 – 29 – 3
M Cullen 3.2 – 0 – 10 – 4
D Thomas 4 – 0 – 18 – 1
G Finch 4 – 0 – 37 – 2

Catches: Willx2, Jim, Jack S, Alex H
Stumpings: Jim

As is becoming traditional we retired to the Halfway for a well-earned post-match pint, to celebrate an emphatic win for the Casuals who, oddly, were better than their opponents in all departments on the day.

[EDIT: After writing and posting this, it came to mind that this was the game where Steve-O 'injured' his hand so badly failing to take a catch that he had to leave the field and then rush to casualty to have it pieced back together. Given that, as it transpired, all they did was put a plaster on him and send him home, and he was back playing within a week, I thought it didn't really warrant much of a mention in the main report - especially as I'd forgotten about it until now!]


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