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Casuals vs. Sri Lankans 18th June 2006 at Morgan Jones Park, Caerphilly (skipper Dan, report - Andy F)

Firstly I apologise for any incorrect stuff as I don't have the book but Dan did write down most of the important stuff for me so here goes and at least its prompt.

A couple of unusual things happened to me this weekend - firstly I witnessed a batsman make a century and then a bowler take all ten wickets on Saturday. Then something even more incredible than that- I turned up at Churchill's before anyone else, amazing.

Everyone turned up with an A to Z but it appears everyone found it OK including Steve and Foxy. After the horrible experience of last years venue we were back at Morgan Jones Park. It should be nice and in a way is, but also has a few of dodgy features as well. The outfield on one side had more cracks than a Bangkok massage parlour and the other side I am told was littered with dog poo. The wicket didn't look good which is not always an indication that it would play badly but this looked bad and was indeed sh*t.

We bowled first with Andy Hood and captain Dan in tandem. Andy's first ball was an indication that it would not be a day for batters and so it proved. Steve was behind the stumps and a few people I won't mention were worried but Dan had little choice and the doting father with new baby in tow was indeed behind the stumps. This meant of course lots of fucking around while he got his pads and gloves right etc. Steve was in the action pretty early and took the most obvious caught behind off Andy that meant all of us (except me -too lazy) had gathered in a huddle around Steve to look back in disbelief that the finger had not gone up.

Not that this mattered too much as the same bat hit one straight to Kevin Mavely at cover off Dan and 8 for 1. Although the wicket was doing all sorts as well as movement through the air- Lewis and Hood were bowling well and mostly in the right areas. Hood took his first well deserved wicket with one that kept a bit low and despite being twatted extremely hard twice by one batter had his own back when the same bat inside edged one on to his body and then popped up to a diving Steve who was justly delighted with his catch. They were then 19 for 3.

The guy at the other end looks to me like he taught the Karate Kid and is a good bat as he proved against us last year. He was involved in shocking decision number two. Firstly he let the ball hit him and then ran which was wrong and then on the way back for the second was quite clearly out with his bat feet off the ground as well as being short. The old guy who umpired both innings gave not out- ouch! Again though this proved not to be too costly.

Dan bowled 6-2-6-1 and Muff took over from his end while Andy continued at the other to finish with 8-1-23-2. Muff got very excited when he saw it was swinging but had trouble in his first over controlling it. In fact Dan asked how much he had paid the old guy umpire as some were a bit wide to say the least. He obviously didn't like Kevin much as later he wided him for some that were quite harsh. Second over though Muff got it right and did from there on.

Somewhere around this time the brass band stated playing in the background. Despite playing a song from the worlds most famous bum boy I managed to restrain myself from singing but this proved beyond Steve as he attempted to sing Ticket to Ride while behind the stumps. Clever bollocks (me) asked Steve what was the B side to Ticket to Ride? He mentioned something about Please Mr Postman and then said "to be honest mate I don't even know which band it is". Steve obviously not a big fan of the Fab Four. Paul also mentioned to me that a good blow is most welcome on a Sunday and I said yes it gives me the horn!

When we play the Sri Lankans the result by and large depends on how many Seeva gets. Normally he gets a few and is the difference between the teams but today Muff was too good for him as he edged one to Steve who took another good catch and we knew that was a big wicket. Full marks to the batsman for walking as well. Muff also had one LBW, one bowled that rolled but the shot was awful and a catch taken by Shakes. This was notable as only minutes earlier Shakey had fallen on his arse while the ball was up in the air and despite Steves shout of "get up" was unable to recover. This was off the bowling of Foxy who was not upset for long as he had the bloke who taught the Karate Kid caught by Muff next ball. A crap full toss yes but who cares. The Fox also had an LBW which Foxy thought hit him on the pad while the bat said hit him on the thigh. He was low down but it looked high from side on so we had some decisions go for and against us now.

At the fall of the ninth wicket they were 65 so Dan took Muff off to make sure Kevin had a bowl while Foxy bowled a few more before Muff swapped ends. Their number ten had the most unusual style and at first looked like Foxy was bowling too quick for him. He left the ball in the most elaborate way and then somehow managed to start scoring while the number 11 could bat a bit too and from 65 they found themselves at 95 until Kevin trapped the number ten in front so 95 all out in 32 overs. Foxy finished with 6-2-11-2, Kevin 4-1-16-1 and Muff with 7-2-21-4. Great stats were had by all.

Early on after a wicket I asked in the huddle what would be a good score on this wicket and Shakes said he didn't want to chase anything over 100. 120 he thought would be too much so with 96 to win we knew it would be hard but within our grasp.

Tea was consumed and Mark and Easy opened up. Mark faced and the first two balls landed in similar areas but one lifted a bit while the other kept low which just about summed it up. Mark fell for four after hitting one to Seeva at short extra cover and in his own words I must get over the ball. 4 for 1 and it was going to be a struggle. The change bowler at the far end was one I hadn't seen before and was pretty quick (very quick for me) and was swinging it plus the pitch so it was not a piece of cake by any means. ( how do you get a fat bird into bed? piece of cake) This geezer did for Paul with one that kept low for 4 and Easy caught and bowled? for 7 which was a gutsy performance. 24 for 3 and Ed (Yosser as I was calling him as he is after a job) in for his first bat of the season and his first scoring shot a four and followed by a couple of good blows (almost had his head taken off as well) before falling to the inevitable yorker. As Ed said-you only need to lose concentration for one ball- Ed normally does this with yorkers. Ed made 10 and Steve also hit a couple of lusty blows before also being bowled by same bowler for 11 and came off berating himself. Marks words were " now we are in trouble" as we were 35 for 5. The band continued in the background and played "There may be trouble ahead" which caused a few chuckles. Soon we were 42 for 6 as poor Kevin couldn't cope with the bowling and was bowled for 0.

Enter Muff and Captain Dan. They faced the quick guy for a bit and kept him out and then the bowling changed. The sun started to come out and gradually things started to look brighter for us. Dan hit some big blows and Muff went about his business and the score passed 50, 60 , 70 and with Foxy, Hood and Furnham Jnr still to come the elusive 13th straight victory was now in our grasp. They brought the quick guy back but it was too late. Muff dispatched him just wide of mid off for 4 and Dan took us to within four as he hit a wonderful six in a similar area- two balls later he was bowled as the bowler claimed victim number 6 and Casuals number 7. Dan had top scored with 26 in what was a tremendous knock from the captain and a partnership of 50 which in the context of this match was truly outstanding. A pity he couldn't quite see it through.

Foxy had to face three from fast guy and despite a bit of luck on the second played a wonderful shot from the third down to third man and with Easy egging him on picked up two. Also this kept Muff on strike and with the help of a wide and single Muff was waving his bat in the air in celebration with Mrs Muff clapping politely. A day Muff will want to remember with 4 wickets and 16 not out. History was made with win number 13 since our last defeat.

One more joke- what do you do if your lover is overweight? You make her walk 3 miles in the morning and 3 miles at night for a week. By the end of the week the fat b*tch will be 42 miles away!

Sorry about that and feel free to correct anything as I can't always tell what happened when I am filming.

We all managed to find the pub in Whitchurch and the highlight for me was seeing one of the mums of the kids I teach to swim. At least it was when she was walking away from me and through the dress I could make out a lovely set of French knickers. Sad I know but remember I was unable to bowl or bat so I have to get my personal excitement somewhere else.


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