vs Machen 23 July 2006 @ Machen (Skipper Dan, report Chris Ryde)
What an honour this is for Papa Casual after all these years to be able to submit his first match report. As it may be my last I will pull out all the stops.
Lets face it boys, we’re too nice. When the opposing captain suggests a limit of ten overs per bowler instead of eight as “we haven’t got any” we just agree because we’re good that way. Mistake number one!
Anyway Shagger lost the toss and we took the field in the searing Gwent heat against a team described with his usual panache by Paul as “a bunch of kids and tossers (bowlers)”
We peaked early. First ball actually when Dan got their opener to snick one to Paul behind the stumps: 0 for 1. He wasn’t going to walk mind, despite the fact that you could have heard the edge up the Rhondda. After that it was all downhill. Justin opened from the other end and he took the second wicket in the eighth over but the score was already 39. Short boundaries, long hops and an inordinate number of wides kept the scoreboard racing despite some undistinguished batting. Both Jeff Clapham and Kevin Mav took early wickets and at 86 for 5 we appeared to have broken the back of it, even though we weren’t half way through the 40 overs. Muff was the fifth bowler used and his first over is one he may like to forget but alas I expect we won’t let him! It’s hard to describe as on the scorebook there are more crosses than the Red Baron had on his fuselage. He bowled about six wides and the normal six balls cost another 14 making 20 in all. It’s the first time I have heard a bowler ask (nay beg) the captain to take him off after two deliveries.
O’Reilly of course being the jammy bastard that he is came on at the other end and took two in two, although he reverted to type on the hat-trick ball by bowling a leg side half volley which their number 11 dispatched effortlessly. At 154 for 9 we rather thought the job was done but that number 11 in tandem with a pretty useful young left hander (who made 53 no) managed to put on 63 for the last wicket. Shag took 1-33-6(overs), Justin 2-28-6, Jeff 2-35-8, Kevin 3-41-7, O’Reilly 2-34-4 and Muff bowled too (4-34-4). There were 47 extras of which 29 were wides.
Machen 217 all out off 35 overs.
Tea wasn’t special (although better than last year when they forgot to bring it).
O’Reilly and Kim opened and looked in no trouble until Kim was bowled for 15. He threw his bat in disgust and muttered “shit shot” but according to Dan it was a good ball. So in future Kim leave it to us to tell you how shit you really are. SteveO managed to play all round one of only five straight balls Machen bowled all day.
That brought to the crease Shakes and Easy, no, not a new Latin American combo, but the Casuals potent strike force. If you are expecting the author to exercise considerable restraint in talking about his own prowess then you don’t know me very well. I/we were awesome. We put the opposition in a state of total paralysis. I managed to get everything off the edge (what’s new) resulting in the positioning of a four man slip cordon. Now intelligent batsmen in that situation would look for the resulting gaps. Not me – I just saw them as target practice. At one point the Machen captain was heard to offer his resignation adding something like “Find out what his fucking lottery numbers are”. Shakes of course played the proper cricket shots and together our dynamic duo added 88 in just under 14 overs. I was caught off a skyer to third man for 38 and Shakes clearly mourning for my company went shortly after caught behind for 36: 138-4 after 22. No one stayed around for long, Paul was caught for 5, Jeff batting for the first time in over a year scored 1 and Muff holed out to long off for 4. When Smitts was bowled for 22 we were lurching at 194-8 with 7 overs left. Captain Courageous took a grip and with the help of Justin who hit a fine 4 and Kevin who swept their best bowler for 2 we reached 214-9 off 36. Three to win at which point chaps luck deserted us and Dan’s attempt to clip their captain to the third man boundary failed and he lost his off stump. 214 all out off 36.1 overs. And if you thought our extra count was bad, they amassed 62 including 36 wides and 23 byes!
They got 75 runs too many and we allowed their two best bowlers to bowl 19.1 overs between them. Nevertheless lots of runs and a good finish.