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Match Report vs Eclipse 31 May 2022 @ Pontcanna(Skipper Richie, report Rhys)

An exciting, closely fought, but ultimately disappointing result versus Eclipse in the cup.

It was a rare early start, with all the Casuals inexplicably turning up before 6pm. It must have been posted as a 5:45pm start or something. Captain Rich won the toss, and elected to bat.

Keen to avoid a Platinum Duck during the Jubilee week, openers Rhys and Luvvers got off the mark quickly and steadily progressed to 23 off the first three overs, before the latter was bowled for 9. Will came to the crease looking to keep the run rate ticking over and started as he meant to go on, rotating strike effectively with Rhys. The Cazh looking good, with 28 runs from the first four overs. That was all to change though, when Rhys edged one behind to be dismissed for 15, followed by Rob in the same over. The first of a few ‘comical’ dismissals, as Rob cut the ball towards his own stumps and watched painfully as the ball trickled into leg stick. Rich was next to the crease, but was unable to trouble the scorer before being bowled.

Having been coasting at 29-1, the Cazh now found themselves in a sticky situation: 31-4 and the run rate slipping. It was a good job then, that we had last week’s opener Alex H to come in and steady the ship with Will. A baptism of fire awaited Alex, as he was subjected to some short balls from Eclipse all-rounder Sahail. Prompting Luvvers to comment, “He wants bouncers? When he’s batting I’ll bowl him some f*cking bouncers”!

Alex was able to beautifully guide at least 4 bouncers down to third man before the opposition skipper decided to put in a slip. After seeing off two short pitched overs, Alex and Will were able to show the same form from the previous game, following up their partnership of 94 from last week with 37 valuable runs, getting the Cazh back on track. The partnership was ended when Will was bowled by a delivery initially called a ‘no ball’, but after deliberation between square leg umpire Shakes and Luvvers, Will was deemed to be on his way, one run short of the 25 mark.

In came Jim who was happy to stick around and let Alex score the runs, which he did until forced to retire. Not before a 19 ball over though, which left a few commenting on the sidelines that they hoped Extras didn’t have to retire at 25 as well!

With 17 from that over, and Goff about to come in to replace Alex, the Cahz were looking pretty solid. 93-5 off 13. “Don’t do anything silly”, someone shouted to Goff as he walked to the crease. He mustn’t have heard, as the dismissal that was to follow left both umpires in stitches, and me nearly choking on my ham and cheese sandwich. If there’s an award category for “Worst Leave of the season”, close the betting: we already have our winner.

Jim –who was happy to stick around earlier – was less than happy to be bowled for a duck. Just ask his bat, which made a quick trip to the ground via the sky. Alex S was unable to hang around for more than a few deliveries before edging behind, bringing JT to the crease to join Shakes.

DT added another run to his annual tally before getting bowled, causing statisticians in the club to wonder if this could be the year he hits double figures! DT’s departure brought back Alex H to the crease, but the last 4 overs had been slow scoring, and we had only added 11 runs to the tally. Some quick running between the wickets kept Alex on strike for the final over, but the innings was brought to an end three balls early when Shakes was run out going for a risky second.

Cardiff Casuals 111 a.o.

Rhys ct wk 15
Luvvers bowled 9
Will M-W bowled 24
Rob bowled 0
Rich bowled 0
Alex H not out 32*
Jim bowled 0
Goff bowled 2
Alex S ct wk 0
Shakes run out 0
DT bowled 1

A defendable total, and a good start from Goff with the ball, restricting eclipse to only 5 from his two overs. Alex S opened the other end and though not as economical, managed to get the opening wicket: well caught behind by Jim.
Shakes and DT were first change, keeping the runs down whilst picking up a wicket each. Shakes bowled his man, while DT was thankful that it was Alex H’s pair of hands under the ball rather than Goff’s – who managed to put down a tough chance off Shakes’ bowling.

This brought the aforementioned Sahail to the crease, and got Luvvers rubbing his hands together. Rhys and Luvvers both went for 12 in their first over, falling victim to a few pull shots from the left hander. A much improved second over from Luvvers followed, including a few deliveries which looked a bit painful for the batsman. Though I’m sure it was totally accidental Gareth ;)

The game had opened up, and by the time Eclipse had two retirees waiting in the wings the score was 77-3 off 12 overs. It was around this point that we started hearing a fair bit of yapping from the sidelines. One would be forgiven for assuming that it was Dan’s dog Dougie, but in actual fact it was Steve-O, who had turned up to no doubt provide some friendly support. The usual encouraging cries of “You’re all crap”, and “Aim for the stumps” drew the injured absentee to our attention. Dan was then treated to an action replay of how Steve-O injured his finger in a ‘heroic’ catch attempt last week.

Alex H and Will were next up to bowl, and both were able to add to the wickets column. Sharing a catch off each other’s bowling, with Will even getting the chance at his first hat-trick following a Luvvers catch. There was almost a runout from the hat-trick ball, but less said about that the better! 83-6 off 14 overs, the game hung in the balance.

Rob was tasked with cleaning up the tail, and keen to make amends for the earlier duck he was able to strike almost immediately, bowling his first victim. It could have been two in the first over, had it not been for another missed chance from Goff, his hands still hurting from dropping the last one! Rob’s second over produced two further wickets. One a very agile caught and bowled, and the other a run out, picked up and thrown by Rhys, for Rob to remove the bails. A mixed blessing, as it brought you-know-who back to the crease.

The tough task of ‘seeing it out’ fell to Alex H, with Eclipse needing 16 from the final over. Our attempt to give away a single to the big hitter was not tempting enough, and with three balls remaining 9 runs were required. A big swing and a miss was unfortunately enough to put off Jim behind the stumps as the ball ran away for 4 byes. The game ended in defeat a ball later, with only the groundsman to blame for making the boundary 5 metres too short, preventing Will from catching the match winning 6.

Eclipse 113-9 (Eclipse win by 1 wicket)

G Day 2-0-5-0
A Shatford 2-0-15-1
M Stephens 2-0-6-1
D Thomas 2-0-8-1
R Davies 2-0-21-0
G Loveridge 2-0-13-0
A Heath 2-0-17-1
W Mason-Wilkes 2-0-9-2

It seems weird to do a report on ‘teas’ for a midweek game, but there was indeed some food post match. And in keeping with the usual crisp theme, it arrived in potato form. Seemingly distraught with guilt from his earlier drops, Goff took it on himself to “order” a large tray of chips for the boys. Whether or not he paid for them from the goodness of his own heart, or using club funds remains to be seen!



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