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Match Report vs Pentyrch 03th September 2023 @ Pentyrch (Skipper Luvvers, report Jim)

Right on cue for schools returning, a heatwave had hit the UK, with Pentyrch being bathed in sun as the Casuals arrived in their usual dribs and drabs. Some of the usual questions were asked, such as ‘which ground has Foxy gone to?’ or ‘does the Fox know he’s playing?’, but a rather more worrying query was raised: ‘where is Luvvers?’. In the skipper’s absence, James took responsibility (slight indulgence) and, after fierce negotiating (the Pentyrch skipper offering a choice), the Cazh would be batting first. As the batters padded up, Luvvers had arrived, having taken a detour via Snowdonia on his journey from St Athan that morning, but still no sign of the Fox, meaning the Cazh would only have 10 for the game (it turns out Foxy hadn't actually been available to play).

James and Hollywood Jack opened up the innings and were rotating the strike well, taking singles that were on offer to set an early tempo, although there were also some full tosses that weren’t appropriately punished. Into the 4th over and James was first to fall, a good diving catch at gully-point off the impressive opening bowler coming down the hill – he only conceded 12 runs from his 8 overs, fair play! Will, unsurprisingly, was next in and built a steady partnership with Hollywood, with a slow outfield making boundaries hard to come by in the first 10 overs. However, with the sun baking down, the outfield got quicker and the partnership grew, taking the score from 35 after 10 to 103 off 20, with Will finding success hitting down the ground on his way to 50, whilst Hollywood played much squarer with some late cuts and hooks.

Into the 25th over and the partnership worth 116 was broken, with Hollywood caught in a very similar fashion to James earlier in the innings; a diving catch at gully-point from a late cut. Whilst he may have been just shy of his half century, Hollywood was no doubt ‘relieved’ to be able to sit down in some shade, having batted 25 overs with a lid on in near 30-degree weather! Luvvers came in next and got set into his work, looking to punish some slightly slow, but short, bowling and build a competitive total. Indeed, the partnership with Luvvers and Will added 66 to the total, with the skipper contributing 50 of those as Will also started to wilt in the heat, slowing his scoring rate right down.

After a few close calls, Will was soon dismissed, missing a straight one and departing for a well-earned 73, bringing Rob out to the middle with 5 overs left. Luvvers continued in his aim to pile a hefty target, with Rob supporting him with good running and taking singles where needed, before being caught off a top-edge with two balls remaining, with the batters crossing. Now, if this had been last season (or a Willow League game), this would have meant Luvvers being on strike. However, with the change in laws, dollowing any catch, the new batter should be on strike, which everybody forgot until after Luvvers clubbed the next delivery for a boundary. After a discussion, and uncertainty from the scorers about weather that ball should count (we did count it, eventually), the final ball was faced by Liam, who played for his average by blocking the delivery/hitting straight to a fielder. After 40 overs, the Cazh finished on 233-4.

James ct4
Hollywood Jack ct45
Will b73
Luvvers no75
Rob ct7
Liam no0

DNB: Pat, Goffy, Dan, Pabbers

Earlier in the week, the Cazh had been informed that tea would be provided, at either £3 or £5 per person, depending on who made it. Whilst it was the £3 option provided, it certainly did not disappoint, with plenty of choice to feed the hungry Casuals before a stint in the field.
Taking to the field, the Cazh opened up with the usual pair of Dan and Goffy, who both started with maidens, before Goffy got an early breakthrough, trapping the batter LBW with one that swung. After more tight bowling occurred, with Goffy failing to show some effort and not attempting to catch anything that was chipped in the air by the batters, the next wicket fell in the 8th over. Having again found some movement, Goffy took the edge of the number 3 batter, with Will diving like a salmon to his left at slip…only for James to pluck the ball from its path, much to the dismay of Will/delight of Dan and Steveo. After the first 10, Pentyrch were struggling on 24-2, with Liam having missed a tough diving chance at midwicket to add to the tally.

Now, during those first 10 overs, an already struggling Hollywood began to succumb to sun or heatstroke having been like magnet to the ball in the field. Having then left the field, he went through various stages of struggle, from exhaustion to throwing up, with some talking to himself thrown in for good measure! Eventually (and not for the first time this season), he would be picked up by Mrs Hollywood and taken home to recuperate – rest up Jack!

Anyway, back to the cricket, as the 9 ‘fit’ Casuals (alive would be a more appropriate adjective) continued in their hunt for wickets. Liam replaced wicketless Dan from the top end and made an immediate impact, bowling the number 4, much to Dan’s annoyance. Pabbers replaced Goffy, meanwhile, and also made a good start, taking a good caught and bowled opportunity, before getting the relatively solid opener caught by Rob at midwicket, meaning Pentyrch were now 5 down, Liam unfortunate not to add to that by missing a tough caught and bowled chance. This brought in the opposition’s most talented batter, who led the counter-attack with some well-played lofted drives for 4 and 6.

Needing a wicket, skipper Luvvers turned to Pat, with the Yorkshire terrier striking with his very first delivery, bowling the counter-attacking batter with a delivery that bounced like a tennis ball. Pabs finished his spell with a third wicket, getting the number 8 caught by Goffy at mid-off, Rob then coming on to replace him. As Pentyrch kept searching for runs, a more interesting event would occur in the field. Off the bowling of Pat, the ball was sent to cow corner, with one-legged Dan hobbling up the hill to chase it. From nowhere, however, Pabs came ‘steaming’ in and battled Dan to grab the ball, akin to two siblings fighting over a toy in the back garden! Pabs won the fight and threw the ball back in, capping off a relatively miserable day for Dan. Anyway, Pat and Rob wrapped the tail up, with Pat bowling the number 9 and having the number 10 caught by Rob, before Rob himself picked up a wicket with Will taking the catch at long-on, sealing a 112-run win for the Cazh!

Dan 5-1-15-0
Goffy 5-3-9-2
Liam 5-0-26-1
Pabs 6-0-24-3
Pat 6-1-29-3
Rob 4.3-2-8-1

Catches: Rob x2, James, Pabs, Goffy, Will

The game was followed by some drinks in the sun and reflections on what had been a very typical Casuals game. A good tea, players struggling for fitness and some hilarity/piss-taking in the field. Attention now turns to tour 2023, as we descend on Cheltenham for round 2…what could go wrong?



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