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Match report vs Llanvapley 16 September 07 @ Llanvapley (Skipper Jonny F, report Shagger)

For the first time in history all the Casuals team arrived on time and without getting lost, however, in a reverse of tradition, the oppo took over our usual tardiness. Struggling to find a full 11 – the toss was negotiated so that the Cazh were to bat first, starting at 2pm with only 6 players for Llanvapley (and one on the way), three fine athletes (Shandy, Shagger and super oppo fielder Dewbs) from the Cazh took to the field to aid the oppo.

Skipper - Jonny F and Muff opened the batting and began steadily against the medium pace attack. The runs were kept down as the pair seemed to be aiming their attack at the three cazh fielders – though Muff did attempt a run every time the ball went in the vicinity of Shag (who was feeling the effects of the previous day’s rugby Leo Sayer)…

It was however Muff that fell first superbly caught (7 ) in gully by none other than Dewbs!33-1-10. Smitts was next to the crease and very nearly fell first ball to an almost identical catch by….Dewbs. However, though the chance was slightly easier than the first, Dewbs realised that it was a long walk home from Llanvapley so decided to drop his drivers loose shot. Next to perish was Jonny F, again to the hands (or finger) from the other Cazh on the field. The bowler pitched the ball just over half way down the track, hit JF’s pad on the way up at the knee roll, whilst being 4 foot down the track, the bowler gave a speculative solo appeal…Umpire Rog (hands in pockets) started to lift his left hand from the pocket, then returned it, then when everyone had stopped looking, pulled his right hand out and lifted the finger…..out. Jonny F wasn’t as vocal as the last time, but could be heard crying all the way back to the pavilion (21 ). 34-2-11. JF’s old running partner Coach Pike joined Smitts in the middle.

The pair were blessed with a mixed bag from the bowlers, some very close, some very far away, but it allowed the pair to play their strokes, including some lovely cover slaps or ‘drives’ from (newly engaged) Pikey. The partnership was finally ended before Pikey could run out Smitts - with Pikey being bowled (17 ). 68-3-17. Shandy was next in and continued where Pikey left off, though the partnership was cut short with Smitts being bowled just before the drinks break (17 ). 78-4-20.

After drinks, Feff Clapham partnered Shandy and the pair pushed, nurdled and twated the ball to all corners in the innings’ top partnership of 69 before Shandy fell – bowled (27 ). 148-5-32. Change of bowling, the new bowler struggled with line and length – length being the biggest problem for the batsmen – either half track and bouncing throat high, of not bouncing at all towards head area (this wasn’t intentional by the bowler – just rustiness of not bowling in 5 years). Rog was next in and made some scampering runs before being bowled (2). 156-6-37.

JR next in, but it was Jeff who went for a Yahoo and was bowled by a non-bouncer – for an excellent (39 ). 158-7-38. Dewbs next in, JR looking for 26 to make it 100 season runs, reduced the target by 2 before being caught (2 ). 159-7-38. Foxy in next. Dewbs lasted a few balls before being caught (1 ). Shag, last man in, faced 3 balls against the bouncing bowler picking up byes and wides, before Foxy on strike – hit the ball straight to the close in cover fielder, shouted ‘yes’ - Easy style, turned his hearing aid off and started to run, leaving Shag nothing to do apart from being run out by a mile (or 2). 174ao- 41-5overs. (Foxy not out 3, Shag(ged) out 2).

The Cazh were pleasantly surprised with tea – after being told there wasn’t going to be any, a fine selection of cakes were put out – which were hovered up within 15minutes!

On to the fielding - Llanvapley craftily opened with one of the two Harry Potters, so Jeff and JR opened the bowling for the Cazh. Jeff as normal didn’t veer off his normal good line and length, taking the first wicket in the 3rd over caught by Dewbs. 12-1-3overs. Jeff struck again in the 7th, this time a sharp caught behind by Smitts (who also stumped the bloke in case the fine nick hadn’t been heard). 25-2-7. JR bowled well chucking in a couple of wides for good measure, but kept the pressure on the batsmen. Shag took over from JR (4overs;0maidens;20runs;0wickets), and had the batsmen playing and missing from the off – unfortunately each one they hit usually went for four! Foxy took over from Jeff (6-2-9-2), and kept the batsmen guessing – this was helped with sly Smitty telling the batmen that The Fox was looking to take his 50th wicket this season in this spell, and so after an over of forward defensives and quizzical looks from the batsman, Smitty owned up to telling a big, fat porker. However Foxy’s figures looked very good at the end of his spell (5-1-8-0).

Insy-Winsy took over from Foxy and Rog from Shag. Rog got a wicket first ball caught by Smitts – a faint edge. 80-3-24. He took another in his second, the second Harry Potter to a full toss landing at the base of the stumps. 81-4-26. Dewbs got the next one – the opening bat caught by JF at mid-off. 88-5-28. The last pair of batsmen looked to bat through the innings though did take on anything wayward. (Dewbs – 6-1-22-1; Rog – 6-0-14-2). With 5 overs remaining Shag was brought back on, coming close again, but no cigar. Muff had one over (after pulling what seemed to be his hamstring, but turned out to be cramp…) and had a very eventful over – with a very attacking field, first ball – dropped by Shandy at silly point, second dropped by Pikey silly mid off, third dropped by JF silly mid-on, fourth and fifth – play an miss, sixth missed stumping. The final over went to Shag and the batsman managed to defend against the increasing bounce – one even hitting Smitts in the grill (result!). Llanvapley finished on 124-5 off 39overs. Match drawn. (Muff-1-1-0-0; Shag -11-2-39-0 (32 of 39 in fours...)

To compensate for tea, the two team went off to the pub for sausage and chips – marvellous, and the task of finding our way home began!


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