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Match Report vs Kamikaze 21 June 2022 @ Wenvoe (Skipper WMW, report Gareth Finch)

On a beautiful summer’s eve, the usual rag-tag band of casuals headed to the ‘away’ ground of the Wenvoe Oval (Name TBC – apparently even after years of playing there, the name hasn’t been decided).

The sun was out, only one casual (who shall remain nameless… cough Alex) was late arriving, stand-in skipper Will won the toss… The omens were good, with the exception of the opposition captain mistaking Gareth for Will 3 times in the changing room beforehand. The 2nd coming indeed.

Batting first, Rhys and Rob strode to the middle to open and started brightly. 13 off the first 2 overs with plenty of good running between the wickets.

After an expensive start, the Kamikaze opening bowler (aptly named Shoaib) found an enticing line outside Rhys’ off stump and after 2 near misses, finally snared him caught behind for 7.

This brought skipper Will to the crease and he and Rob set about making solid progress, Will the aggressor, Rob supporting, reaching 58-1 at the half way stage.

Accelerating into the 2nd half of the innings, both batsmen benefitted from the aid of dropped (albeit difficult) catches, one of which seemed to stir the fielder out of a slumber as Will caked it to him at pace at mid-off. Will reached his half century off just 42 balls and retiring, leaving Rob to anchor the remainder of the innings, eventually finishing 45 n.o.

Steve-O and Alex were both bowled late on in the search for quick runs for 6 & 4.

Casuals 130-3 in 20 overs. (The consensus being it would have closer to 150 if league umpiring at been in place).

Batting Figures:
R. Davies – 7
R. Owens – 45 No.
W. Mason-Wilkes – 52 Ret.
S. O’Reilly – 6
A. Heath – 4
N. Afzal – 0 No.
G. Finch – DNB
T. Bluff – DNB
D. Lewis – DNB
M. Stephens – DNB
D. Thomas – DNB
Extras: 16

The Casuals defence, fronted by Dan and Dave opening, began well both picking up wickets early on dismissing the Kamikaze openers and No. 3 for single figures apiece. The wickets coming from a Rhys stumping, Will’s 100th catch for the Casuals (more on that later) and peach of a Yorker from Dan. Dan also snaring a coveted maiden (so to speak). Kamikaze 28-3 off 6.

The middle order put up a little more resistance with their skipper and (Al) Capone taking the score toward 50 before the skipper fell to a rare straight one from Gareth. A mention here also for Shakes who caused a moments concern when impressively appearing to injure his hand, knee and back all in 1 fielding manoeuvre.

Despite struggling with his line and length, Nadders, aided by Rhys’ often improvised but very effective work behind the stumps, set about chopping through the middle order, picking up 2-12 in the middle overs, only 2 of those 12 actually coming off the bat. Nadders 2nd wicket came via an excellent catch by Alex, scooping the ball low off the dandelions in a feat few Casuals could hope to achieve.

With wickets falling at regular intervals and the Casuals total never really under threat, the opposition opted for ‘creative use’ of the scoreboard, reading 4 for 5 and 58 for 17 at different stages. Meanwhile on the field, the rest of the innings descended into what can only be described as controversial in-fighting over ‘alleged’ favouritism in ‘catching’ field placements…

Placing himself (again) at short mid-wicket, Will incurred the wrath of both Dan and Steve-O (now attempting to distract the batsmen by sporting make shift shorts) who saw this as a blatant abuse of power in an attempt to further his tally of 100 catches toward their current totals of 109 each. Of course in the next over, Will duly took his 2nd (and very smart) catch of the match off Tim, prompting a shriek of anguish from Steve-O that could only be compared to Luke Skywalker being told Darth Vader was his father “Nooooooo!”). High fives and handshakes were shared amongst the team with a couple of notable exceptions.

In what some would call poetic justice the next, and final, two wickets fell to catches from Dan and Steve-O – their 110th each, off Shakes and Tim again, respectively. Tim finishing with a very handy 2-5 despite being a ball magnet at fine leg (sorry Tim).

An excellent effort in the field with no dropped catches and wickets shared around.

Kamikaze all out for 72 in 16.2 overs. Casuals won by 58 runs.

Bowling Figures:
T. Bluff: 2.2-0-5-2
N. Afzal: 3-0-12-2
D. Thomas: 4-0-20-2
M. Stephens: 1-0-2-1
D. Lewis: 3-1-13-1
G. Finch: 3-0-15-1

Extras: 19

No tea to speak of being midweek but the pork scratchings at the Wenvoe Arms deserve a mention for their quality and inevitable popularity post-match.



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