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Match Report vs Usk 23th July 2023 @ Wenvoe (Skipper Jim, report DT)

It was one of those Sundays when you don’t really expect to be playing Cricket! Saturday, the rain had “wanked it down” all day, and any sensible person could have, rightly expected not to be playing the next day. Any normal person in these circumstances would then stay up drinking wine until 3am in the full knowledge that they could have a lie in the following morning, and not be required to run round a field the next afternoon.

However, Sunday was sunny and warm and the Caszh were on tenterhooks awaiting the 11am pitch inspection, some with more enthusiasm than others. 11am came and went and the news was “the game is on”. This was not met with joy in all Casual households, and some were questioning whether a 1pm start was reasonable and whether 1.30 would be better.

1pm it was!

The Caszh arrived at the picturesque town of Usk at 1245ish to see the oppo still preparing the pitch. All were there apart from Goff, apparently there had been an issue with the “washing machine” being broken (his scullery maid had finally snapped and downed tools unless he agreed to her demands of one half day off per month and a raise that actually included cash not better hand me down clothes). In the process of sorting this issue he felt a twinge in his side (bending down over the cellar stairs to see the scullery maid through the dim light of the 15w bulb she had been allowed following the previous “breakdown). He thought nothing of this at the time, but it would later become an issue.

The 1pm start time came and went. Captain Jim was eventually persuaded to locate the Usk skipper and make the walk to the middle to toss up. The result. Lost the toss, casuals into bat. The openers Capt. Jim and Rob made their way out to start the match at 1.30. Now, despite this being the time suggested by Steveo for the commencement of the match he voiced his discontent with this outcome! You just can’t please some people!!!

After a slow start 0 from 2 overs things didn’t get much quicker and this would be the story of the day. Getting the ball past the fielders would be a struggle, mostly due to good bowling and fielding by both sides but also a slow outfield. Jim did manage a couple of 4’s before being bowled for 15 in the 7th over (23-1). In a surprise selection, to nobody, Will came in at 3. The scoring rate did not increase. With 4 fours and one six in his 34, Will was out caught in the 23rd over (87-2). Rob at the other end was playing the role of someone finding it very hard to score any runs but he was staying in and his fortunes would improve. Steveo was next in. Steveo, Steveo, Steveo!! He was not having a good day and it was not to improve with bat in hand. After 3 balls he was bowled in the 24 over for 2. (90-3). Steveo remained at the crease to assist the keeper in reassembling the stumps and as he was leaving the field Goff was explaining the “Steveo lottery” to the oppo. Steveo was slightly miffed at this. (For the uninitiated Steveo lotto was the prediction of how many balls he would face before inevitably missing a straight one. However, as Steveo has been batting very well of late the fun has somewhat gone out of this pastime). Steveo was about as miffed a Tony Martin was when he shot the teenage intruder or as miffed as the UK was with the bankers in 2008. There was some swearing, but a bin absorbed most of his wrath. The oppo asked us to have a word with him and we said we would, but nobody really fancied it, so we didn’t. Newby Tom said he would go and sit with him and that was that.

Before Tom went to sit with Steveo he had to go out and bat. Up to this point he had not scored a run for the Caszh. This is still the case! (94-4 in the 25th). Dave W was in at 6 having agreed to play despite a knee injury, which thankfully did not bother him for the duration of the match, as he injured his groin, which did. He put on a 33 run partnership with the stoical Rob before the latter was bowled for 38 in the 33rd over (127-5). This brought George W out to join his dad, in what I believe was his Casuals debut. The partnership was not to last long as he was run out. There was definitely a run there in George’ opinion or in his own words “if that useless old c*** had moved is fat a*** there was a definite f****** run there, w*****” ( I am paraphrasing) - we sent Tom to calm him down!!(143-6)

It was at about this time that the Usk keeper collapsed behind the stumps after taking the ball...sorry after taking one in the ball's sans box. His teammates were, guess which is correct

Extremely worried about him

Indifferent and taking the massive piss

Newby Sanay was in at 8. Now, Sanay did not look like a casual! He is young, fit and looks like a cricketer. Dave W was next to fall for 28 in the 37th and Goffy joined Sanay. (145-7) Sanay was run out for 1 two overs later. He’s a Casual! (146-8). This brought Liam out to the middle at 10 despite his heroics in the week, no movement up the order. Goff was not with him for long caught for 0 (147-9). This brought DT to the crease. Statistically, (well anecdotally, as Shakey can’t be arsed to work it out) DT coming into bat is usually associated with a casual's loss. DT ran 2 byes!!! And then scored a 2 that was so nearly a 4!!! Casuals end on 151. Probably not enough but scoring was difficult, so you never know.

No tea from the oppo so that of the homemade variety was consumed the highlight of which was Will’ very large piece of cake which was in truth probably a whole loaf tin size cake!!

Goff and Liam opened the bowling for the Caszh. Unfortunately, after 2 overs Goffy succumbed to his side strain and asked to be removed from the attack. At the other end Liam was struggling with line and length and also with not being hit to the boundary for 4’s!! DT replaced Goffy and after his 4 overs Sanay replaced Liam. With spin (and accurate spin at that, who knew that was possible) from both ends, the Usk scoring dried up Sanay took the 1st wicket in the 16th over (64-1) and the 2nd in the 18th (69-2). DT toiled away at the other end and even though it was, (not my words, but I wholeheartedly agree) probably his best bowling spell he got fuck all for it. George W replaced DT and Steveo replaces Sanay. Both bowled well. Sorry, George bowled well and got nothing, Steveo bowled absolute garbage and took the next wicket thanks to a sharp catch at square leg by George. (109-3 in the 400th over or that’s what it felt like) (Ed. note: fall of wicket is really immaterial as Usk were retiring at 30). Despite, or perhaps because of, his earlier outburst cries, of STEVEO, STEVEO, STEVEO, once again rang out from the opposition supporters during his spell, he does love an audience though!!

The writing was on the wall at this point. Will replaces Steveo and Tom replaced George for the final over which turned out to be the 37th. A very good game played in a, mostly, good spirit. We remained behind for several rounds in the clubhouse

G.Day 2-0-7-0

L, Warren 4-0-31-0

D.Thomas 8-3-19-0

S. Goyal 8-0-24-2

G White 6-1-25-0

S O’Reilly 5-0-28-1

W. Mason-Wilkes 3-0-10-0

T Druce 0.4-0-2-0




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