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Match Report vs Eclipse 31 May 2023 @ St Fagans (Skipper Luvvers, report Jim)

During the previous Sunday’s win at Barry Island, skipper Luvvers had remarked that the Casuals were ‘starting to look like a proper cricket team’. Would the Cazh continue in this vein of form, or would the skipper’s statement prove to be the kiss of death?

On paper, this game certainly appeared to have the makings of a tough one for the Cazh. Facing Eclipse, who they had not beaten in 6 games, a run going back to 4th May 2017 (with a match report containing some questionable Star Wars puns) [Ed- since been re-checked we played Eclipse twice in 2021 and won the league game 22/07/21), is never an easy task. This, coupled with Eclipse being the 2022 Willow League and Cup winners, did make the odds less favourable. However, this did not deter the Cazh, who all arrived promptly at a sunny, but windy, St Fagans, looking to continue their fine form and reach the cup semi-finals.

Skipper Luvvers won the toss and elected to bat, before striding out to open with Alex. The first delivery saw a loose full toss, which Alex glided through gully for 4, with each ball improving before a perfect in-swinger (taken by the wind) took out Alex’s stumps, with Will coming in at 3. Second over saw Luvvers on strike and, evidently, the bowler had never faced him before, as he bowled a nice, full delivery at his legs, allowing the skipper to send it for 6 on the leg side. The skipper received a few more full tosses or short deliveries, all of which were suitably dispatched, meaning he retired on 27 in just 3.2 overs, with the score 44-1.

Jack B (we need to find a nickname) went out at this stage and played a good role in rotating the strike. Will, meanwhile, started taking the attack to the bowlers with some nice 4s, before retiring in the 7th over with the score on 74. Bryn was next in and looked to push singles and run hard to keep the run rate going. It was at this stage that Eclipse started to use their better bowlers, with Bryn being bowled by the quickie, bringing Rob in, who supported Jack in reaching his retirement score.

James came in and, knowing there were 3 batsmen retired, decided to swing at everything, to little effect before being bowled with the score on 121. Rob went soon after, the bowler taking a good catch off his own bowling, with Maxy bowled soon after. Nadders didn’t last long as he was run out in the penultimate over, showing the right desire to push for every run, whilst Dan was caught in the final over whilst looking for boundaries. This allowed Luvvers to come back in, confidently sending the final ball of the innings for 4, the Cazh finishing on 146-7 off their 18 overs.

Alex b4
Luvvers no31
Will ret25
Jack B ret27
Bryn b5
Rob ct&b13
James b2
Dan ct16
Maxy b0
Nadders ro2
Liam no1

Whilst the Cazh innings had seen a collapse of 5 wickets for 20 runs, the team remained confident as they took to the field, knowing the Eclipse would need to come out swinging to have a chance of reaching the target score of 147. Dan and Alex opened the bowling, with Dan almost taking a wicket in the first over, the ball just evading the diving skipper at slip. Dan got his man in the 3rd, however, bowling the opener through the gate, before Alex bowled the other opener in the 4th, leaving the score at 25-2 off 4.

Maxy replaced Dan and, after a couple of loose deliveries, took the important wicket of the Eclipse skipper, who spooned the ball up in the air for Alex at fly slip. Maxy then gave himself a chance of a hattrick by bowling the number 3 batsman, who played on chasing a wider delivery. The hattrick ball was well defended by the new batsman but, after a succession of wides, Maxy had his man by crashing the ball into the pads for an LBW, before having the number 7 batsman caught by a diving Dan at long-on (unlucky Steveo) to cap a devastating two over spell, leaving Eclipse 44-6 after 7 overs – the victory looked to be on the cards.

After 3 wicketless overs, where Eclipse added 28 to their score, Jack got in the act and claimed two wickets in three deliveries. The first saw the batsman send the ball in the air towards third man, with Alex making up good ground to somehow catch the ball between two fingers. The second, meanwhile, saw Jack strike the batsman on the back leg for an LBW, Eclipse 8 down with only 7 overs left and 60+ runs needed. They had left some batsmen low down the order, but this had little effect, with Will taking the final two wickets. First, a low catch off his own bowling to remove the number 8, before Liam taking a catch at point the following over and seal the victory. Eclipse all out for 91 off 14.4 overs. The Cazh into the semi-final!

Dan 2-0-8-1
Alex 2-0-17-1
Maxy 2-0-13-4
Nadders 2-0-11-0
Jack B 2-0-9-2
Rob 1-0-12-0
Bryn 1-0-9-0
Will 1.4-0-3-2
Liam 1-0-8-0

Catches: Alex x2, Dan, Will, Liam

Post-game saw the Cazh retire to the clubhouse for drinks and buffet, reflecting on their current run of form and how they continued to look like a ‘proper cricket team’. Questions were pondered about our likely semi-final opponents and our chances in that fixture, whilst the skipper declared certain words, relating to wins, were not to be spoken…



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