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Match report vs Walkovers, Jersey 20 June 08@ Bry-y-Don, Dinas Powys (Skipper ....Jamie Pike, report J Pike)

The Scottish have an excellent word to describe damp, miserable weather: dreek. And so it was, that 13 Casuals assembled on a particularly dreek evening at Bryn -y-Don. There was some doubt that we would manage to complete the game but since the opposition were from Jersey (famous for cows and Bergerac) we decided to try our utmost to get a game in and opted for a reduced 18 over match.

Vale of Glam council fucked up and we all had to get changed outside in the rain. The Casuals were very impressed by the length and width of the enormous bruise on Pikey's right thigh( alas, far bigger than his penis). Nominated skipper Pabs abdicated his postion asking Coach P "Do you want to captain? I can't be arsed" in his best Cardiff accent.
So the newly elected skipper duly went and lost the toss (for the second game running) and the Walkovers elected to bat in the drizzle.
There was a fleeting sense of optimism among the Casuals when it was noted the oppo had lost all four tour games in Wales prior to this fixture. When it was revealed they had lost to teams of the calibre of Blackwood and Usk, that sense of optimism began to diminish faster than Shakey eating a Clarke's pie.

And then the injuries kicked in...
Pabs opened the bowling and promptly tweaked his hamstring. Three overs in and Manish pulled up chasing the ball in the field and suddenly the skipper was presented not only with a bowling dilemma but a batting one too. Keeper Dewbs made it a hat trick later in the innings when he copped one full in the goolies from Teshie's quick throw in. Effectively, we finished the innings with 8 and half men ( Dewbs' voice had gone up several octaves and a blindman could be forgiven for thinking he was in the presence of a woman).
The Walkovers scored at a steady, if not spectacular rate, moving the ball around the quick outfield. Rog and Pabs manfully probed away without success in the inclement conditions, Pabs off a very short run up due the injury.
After 8 overs Walkovers were 53 without loss and their skipper, Vauner, despite being dropped twice, was looking good at the crease. The breakthrough came in the 9th over when the Fantastic Mr Fox undid their opener English with a beautifully flighted delivery. Meanwhile, Shakey had come on for Rog at the other end and bowled a miserly opening over.

Walkovers found themselves 60 for 2 after 11, when a sharp piece of fielding by the skipper throwing in to Foxy, ran out their number three for a duck.
The pressure was on the Walkovers as their run rate had dropped considerably. However, with wickets in hand and their skipper rapidly approaching his half century, the next 7 overs were to yield 67 runs for only one more wicket.
That came courtesy of that man Fox, who bowled Coynes through his legs for 1. 73 for 3 off 13. The rest of it was a mixed bag and as the ball became a bar of yellow soap, the rain got slightly heavier, and our fielding began to deteriorate along with the weather.
Vauner punished anything loose and made a well-wrought 68 not out, which included 11 fours. He was ably assisted by Cowlin at number 5 who came in and bludgeoned a quick 25 not out.
The last two overs, by the part-time bowlers Pike and O'Reilly - the latter, who earlier in the game had disappeared as Foxy was running in to bowl to piss behind a telegraph pole the other side of the boundary - went for a hefty 26, as the batsmen attempted to hit everything and our fielding became generous, to put it politely.

P Stephens 4 overs, 0 for 23
R Bannister 4 overs 0 for 29
Fox 4 overs 2 for 24
M Stephens 4 overs 0 for 24
Pike 1 over 0 for 16
O'Reilly 1 over 0 for 10
Amazingly, despite the damp ball, there were only 7 extras, 5 of which were wides.

With a mountain to climb and the rain becoming heavier and the light gloomier, Easy and the piss artist O'Reilly opened the batting.
Steveo, who had been boasting before the game about his splendid 46 against the Cardiff Blind School, went first, bowled by Patterson for 2 off 5 balls (3 for 1 off 1).
In came Tesh. What happened in the second over owed more to the slapstick world of Charlie Chaplin than cricket, as the now mandatory Casuals comedy run out gave the visitors a laugh and another early wicket.
Easy pushed one to the leg side, called 'yes' and purposefully ran up the wicket. Tesh, statuesque at the other end, said 'no'. Easy, now stranded between the devil and the deep blue sea, slipped on his arse in the rain, and the fielder had time to spare before drawing to a close the novelty act. Easy out for 1 off 3 balls.
'Thanks Tesh, you fucker!' Easy was heard to bark. 6 for 2 off 2.

Next in, the hobbling Manish, aided by his 'runner', O'Reilly. Two more overs of comedy running ensued. Steveo looking for a three and making it but Tesh calling 'no' and standing his ground forcing the bearded one to scuttle back to whence he came for refuge. There then followed a heated debate from 22 yards about who was right and who was wrong.

Manish departed in the fifth for 2 off 12 balls , caught following a deflection off the keeper, by first slip. 15 for 3 off 5 and things were looking grimmer than the weather.
Roachy and Tesh stabilised the ship, seeing off the Walkovers' opening pair, Patterson and Mitchell, who bowled admirably in the steady rain. Patterson finished with 2 for 17 and Mitchell 0 for 12, leaving the Casuals 32 for 3 off 8 and needing a miracle.

Tesh and Roachy hit some lusty fours until JR was unluckily run out for 18 off 16 balls(two fours) in the 11th over. The ball cannoned off the keeper, who was standing up, onto the stumps with JR just out of his ground. 53 for 4 off 12.
Tesh followed in the 13th bowled by Cox for 22 off 27 balls, including two fiercely struck fours.
Pike joined Shakey at the crease with score 55 for 5 after 12.3 overs. 'Let's try and reach 90' Shakey said.
The two did just that, putting on 46 in the next five overs. Shakey dominated the bowlers, while Pikey pushed ones and twos. The running was surprisingly good between the two, as they strove to make the score look more respectable.
Shakey played some lovely pull shots and cuts to reach 33 in 25 balls before he was caught in the gully. 101 for 6 in the 17th. No-nuts Dewbs came to the wicket for the final few deliveries, attempting to give the skipper a heart attack with quick doubles.
So, we reached 111 for 6, 16 short. Pike finished 15 not out off 14 and Scooby 1 off 1.

In truth, the opposition always had us at arms length and didn't bowl all of their best bowlers but at least we ended the game positively and showed them that on another day things might have been a lot closer. Taking into account the fact they had the better of the playing conditions, and two of our more experienced players, Manish and Pabs, were injured during the game, all in all, we didn't do too badly.

An eventful game, played in a decent spirit despite the pissing rain, against a good bunch of lads. Maybe we should have a return match in Jersey next season? Get those Bergerac re-runs on!

After the game the opposition kindly presented us with a beautifully engraved silver memento. Foxy repaid their generosity by presenting them with a Casuals blue cap, much to their delight. The only disappointing thing was that they had to go back to Cardiff straight after the game, while most of the Casuals went to the Merry Harrier to eat crisps and dry off.

the end


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