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Match report vs Cardiff Uni Staff 14 June 07@ Wenvoe (Skipper Paul, report JR)

At approximately 5.30pm players started to arrive more than in hope than expectation after a heavy down pour hit Wenove approximately an hour before. The parkie was not being encouraging but phoned his boss who left it up to the captains as to whether to play or not. The outfield looked wet and slippery but the pitch actually wasn't that bad, a few wet patches round the edges. Anymore rain and we would have been scuppered but the captains were optimistic deciding to go ahead and use a particularly fetching brightly coloured orange ball. A couple of the casuals were held up in traffic including the kit and after a late withdrawal by Goughy, Ash got the call up about 20 minutes before kick off.

Paul lost the toss I assume because he said he was going to bowl if he won it. Manish and Kim opened the batting. We had five runs on the board before a legal ball was bowled which was a useful head start and Kim and Manish pressed home this advantage by taking the attack to the opposition. The partnership came to an end after an excellent 57 runs in the 8th over when Kim was caught for 13. He had been offering the opposition some catching practice, including two good chances in two balls for the same fielder, but his luck ran out. Pike joined Manish in the middle and played the most exquisite square drive for four off his first ball.

Manish was next to go in the 11th for 39 including six fours and some excellent hard hitting stroke play. James R joined Pikey with the score on 74 and a much better total than had been expected in the conditions was now almost a certainty.

James R displayed his usual play and miss tactics including a maiden in the 13th over but with some good shots thrown in and lightning running turning ones into twos and twos into threes they put on another 57 for the third wicket. Pike was eventually bowled with two balls of the innings left for another invaluable personal contribution of 34. Tesh joined James R for the last two balls and a bye was managed to give a final and very good total of 132-3 off the 20 overs. James R finishing 25 not out (his highest score for the club) and Tesh 0 not out.

The Casuals set about the task of defending the total knowing that a good line would make the chase almost impossible. Muff and Deji opened the bowling and Deji was rewarded for some excellent aggressive but not too aggressive bowling with the first wicket, Tripathy bowled for 12 in the 4th over - 20 for 1. The second wicket followed in the 7th with the batsmen pressurised into trying to run everything Ash threw in an excellent throw to Kim who ran out Holwell for 1 - 31 for 2. Muff and Deji finished there allotted overs with excellent figures of 4-0-13-0 and 4-0-23-1.

The spinners Tesh and Matt D were up next and continued the good work. Wickets fell in the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th overs. The first was an excellent throw by Paul just hitting the top of the bails to run out S Akhtar for 3 - 50 for 3. The second was the other opener Cartwright bowled by Matt D looking to advance down the wicket, out for 27 - 52 for 4. Next was a catch by Paul off Tesh, Gale gone for 4 - 60-5 and finally another bowled by Matt D, Munday gone for 3 - 60-6 off 14 overs. Tesh and Matt finished with 3-0-17-1 and 4-0-19-2 respectively and oversaw the period which probably ended the possibility of Uni Staff winning.

Andy and Paul came on to finish it off, Andy finishing with 3-0-18-0. Paul bowled the last over with the oppo needing 33, he mixed it up really well throwing in spinners and slower balls into the block hole to only concede two runs and take the seventh wicket, Ash taking an excellent catch. At one point the only possible outcome of attempting the catch looked like it would be Ash's head being removed clean off his shoulders, the ball was hit so hard. Ash held the catch meaning the Uni Staff finished on 102 for 7 and Paul finishing with 2-0-11-1. Casuals win by 30 runs.

An excellent result and professional performance which owed no little thanks to the parks department actually letting us play.

Not sure what this means in terms of points or what we need to do in the remaining games but I'm sure someone will let us all know.

Also - congrats to Paul for reaching his 50 catch for the Cazh milestone.


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