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Match Report vs Ponthir 21 May 2023 @ Ponthir (Skipper Luvvers, report Dave W)

With the sunny weather continuing, but the original oppo unable to fulfil the fixture, it was to great relief that Ponthir stepped in to offer the Cazh a game.
The ground was picture perfect. The outfield looked in decent nick after such a poor April and we had blue skies, lush trees and rolling hills in the distance. Nice.

A lively contingent of locals were lounging in the warm sun, determined to do their bit for the bar takings. The Cazh sensibly took up position under the large gazebo to apply sun cream and await the all-important toss. Bowlers of a certain vintage and certain athletic profile nervously hoping for the temperatures to abate before putting a shift in.
We lost the toss but Ponthir stuck us in. Alex and Rob to open up. The first over was of the loosener variety with a couple of wides and Rob tucking a 4 away – 8 off it. Next over and already signs of uneven bounce with a couple keeping low -Rob and Alex managing to jam bats down to save the timbers. Things progressed calmly against for the next few overs with the openers watchful against a slow low wicket. Ponthir presumably using local knowledge and it was definitely ‘pace off’. Alex, not his usual fluent self with the ball not coming on, was scratchier than a dog with fleas.
In the 10th one finally snuck through Rob’s defences, seaming in and keeping low, and Will was striding out with the score on 42. A change of bowler next over brought on a youthful lad who bowled tidily (Alex surviving a dropped chance) and the score ticked over until the 16th over when Alex was caught for 26 with the score on 61. Nirnay came to the wicket and unleashed a flurry of attractive shots including 3 4s before chipping the newly arrived young leg-spinner to midwicket with the score on 86.

At this stage a wagon wheel would be helpful to illustrate the full 360 brilliance of Steveo’s first over. 4,4,4,4 and he was on 16 in the blink of an eye – fooling the fielders by deftly placing the ball in unexpected directions, unexpected to Steveo too. Suddenly it was 131/3 after 24 and a decent total seemed feasible. After such a blistering start, O’Reilly had something of an Orson Welles innings, petering out after a big start, before his sad demise; caught off the young seamer who came back to claim 3 wickets in all. Cap’n Luvvers strode out (on one leg, after a round of golf of course) with the score on 138 in the 26th. By this stage Will had got the measure of the wicket and was well and truly into his stride, drive, gliding and beasting the ball to all parts. It would be churlish to comment upon the various dropped catches in the field, the catch off a chest high no ball or indeed the bowled ‘no ball’ that was borderline -but churlish it is.

The oppo skipper, 98% Aussie DNA, brought himself on. Coming off 35 years, bristling blonde moustace and flowing mullet it was like a latter day Geoff Thompson. Unfortunately the slow pitch seemed to negate this approach and Luvvers and Will responded by taking 36 off his first 3 overs. It was definitely a day for dibbly-dobbly stuff.
With Luvvers in tandem, the 2 accelerated the score to 229 in the 36th, Luvvers perishing bowled by the young seamer looking to move to 7th gear.

By this stage Will was playing with considerable abandon, 4s and 6s flying off the Fearnley . Shakes and Dave W came (and went), and it was left to Patrick to round things off. A fairly unexpected 260/7 largely down to Will’s 122 (83) and it was off to see what tea was in store for us.
Alex 26ct
Rob 18b
Will 122no
Nirnay 13ct
Steveo 18ct
Luvvers B 29
Shakey 6ct
Dave 0 ro
Patrick 6no
Liam DNB
Dave T DNB

The umpires strolled out with pints of what might have been lager. Perhaps they wouldn’t be called upon to bat, probably they didn’t care- it was that type of day. With a fast outfield, decent oppo, and a well lubricated and large home support it was still all to play for. With regular openers engaged elsewhere, Liam and Dave W took the cherry and set about making sense of the wicket. Anything short simply sat up and got dispatched across the fast outfield for 4. In no time Ponthir had moved to 33/0. Every 4 was cheered by the exuberant home supporters, ‘NRG, NRG - they cried’ whatever that was. But it was working. By the 12th over Ponthir had moved on to 83, well ahead of the required rate.
However, by this point they had lost 6 wickets and the game was effectively up.

Dave W managed to entice an opener to chip to Will at mid on, although it required stretch-Armstrong capabilities to grab the ball. Liam then had the number 3 caught, again by Will – 42/2.

Mullet-man Jarvo strode to cheers from the assembled supporters clearly expecting the Big Show. He duly reeled off a couple of 4s to suggest the target might be withing reach. However, the Big Show was brought to an early conclusion with the Ball Of The Day from Liam, managing considerable movement after pitching on a perfect length to wreck Jarvo’s stumps. It felt like a big moment.

58/3 became 73/4 when Liam clean bowled another. Next over, Dave eventually managed to bowl full and slid one through the remaining opener’s gate, followed up by an lbw the same over to make it 79/6. Those 6 wickets in the space of 7 overs rather knocked the stuffing out of the chase.

Patrick took over from Liam and began with a maiden. DT was straight into his stride from the other end. The runs dried up, from 83/6 after 12 it became 119/8 after 20, one each for Patrick and DT. On came Shakey who was unaffected by not having held a ball for months and then Nirnay to perform the last rites, grabbing a 2 for 1 deal in his over.

135 all out, off 23.5, an early finish and and a win by an improbable 125 runs. Ponthir’s Baz-ball chase came unstuck but the game was played in a great spirit throughout -should be a good return in August.

Liam 6-34-3
Dave W 6-47-3
Patrick 5-26-1
DT 5-26-1
Shakes 2-7-0
Nirnay 0.5-1-2

The Cazh set about rehydrating, and refuelling in the silver crisp trough to watch the Ponthir lads vs dads foot soccer. Where do they get all that NRG.



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