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Match Report vs Cardiff IX 27th May 2024 @ Forest Farm (Skipper and Report Jim)

 

With our original opposition withdrawing from the game, the Casuals made the very short trip to Forest Farm to take on a youthful Cardiff side, skippered by Cazh player Bryn ‘splitter’ Wilkes and organised by Rob, who would this time play for the Cazh rather than Cardiff. As has become customary this season, the build-up to the game was dominated by concerns about the weather, following heavy rain overnight and threatening clouds in the morning. However, the pitch had been covered and the rain (just about) stayed away, so the players arrived, the toss was ‘negotiated’ and the game got underway, with the format being 30 overs per side.

Skipper James and full debutant Kevyn (having not made the field in the Ponthir washout) opened up for the Cazh, with the first few overs containing everything: accidental beamers, wides, big booming shots for nought, the odd boundary and slipping when going for runs. There was also an early injury, with Kev middling one right out of the screws towards James, who couldn’t get out the way and was smacked right on a finger, stopping a certain 4 in the process (sorry!). This didn’t disrupt the partnership too much, however, with a steady accumulation of runs culminating with James being caught at mid-on going for a big shot, the score 69-1 at drinks.

With a platform set and a number of batters still to come, the Cazh looked to accelerate and build a strong total. However, the inevitable collapse came, with Kev first being bowled by one that kept low, before Cardiff’s pacey Dourrani twins came into the attack and saw Will caught and bowled, Steveo bowled and Rupert also bowled having broken his bat a few balls before, the score now 100-5 with just 10 overs left. Rob joined Fred in the middle and, after a watchful first couple of overs, both started pushing ones into twos, twos into threes and contributing with occasional boundaries. Fred in particular took advantages, playing a number of flicks and pulls into the leg-side that would’ve resulted in more boundaries on a drier day. The pair took us through to the end of the innings, Fred finishing agonisingly short of a 50, but with the team total being 161, there was a good total to help the bowlers.

With a quicker interval than usual, the Cazh took to the field with Will donning the keeping gloves due to James’ finger injury. The Dourrani twins opened for Cardiff, whilst Goff and Liam the Pylon taking the new ball. Both were economical and hitting the mark well, before the Pylon beat one of the twins for pace. Goffy then got in on the act, bowling the number three and four batters through the gate. Liam F and Ed Stagg were the next pair, with both coupling some good deliveries with a few rustier ones, giving Cardiff the opportunity to score some runs. Ed picked up his first wicket for the Cazh just after drinks, caught by Rob at mid-wicket, with Cardiff 51-4 at this stage.

Rob and Fred came onto bowl and, like with the batting, worked well in tandem, with Rob using his knowledge of the opposition well and Fred showing good pace, picking up the wicket of the Cardiff number six, caught behind by Kev who had replaced Will with the gloves. Rob also got in the act, bowling the number 7 through the gate, with Liam then claiming a run out, having chased the ball in the deep and getting a good throw back in for Rob to take the bails off. This brought the splitter out to bat and provide support to the remaining Dourrani twin, who had batted very well at this stage. However, his resistance was ended by the returning Goffy, bowled when trying to an expansive flick into the leg-side. Goffy would also claim the remaining wickets, first having the number ten caught nonchalantly by Rupert at cover-point, then bowling the splitter to collect his 5fer, Cardiff all out for 110 with one over remaining.

At last, our first win of the season! With the sun coming out post-match, the Cazh enjoyed a few bank holiday drinks and gorged on pizza provided by Mrs Owens, along with her famous lemon drizzle cake. A big thank you to Rob for organising the game, including ensuring the pitch was fit to play, and for Cardiff being able to accommodate us last minute!

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