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Match report vs Sri Lankans 13 July 08@ Wenvoe (Skipper and report John Furnham)

The Sri Lankan skipper won the toss and opted to bat. The first ball from Andy Hood hit a length and shot through low, reaching keeper JF on the second bounce – everybody groaned, especially the batsmen!! The only runs from the over were two very high no balls, one of which almost killed the batsman.

Rog opened from the other end and his first ball swung like a banana beating the batsman all ends up and pretty much setting the tone for the rest of his spell. He bowled 20 deliveries before conceding a run, and after 10 overs the Sri Lankans had made a paltry 16-0. Andy bowled 6 overs for a mere 11 runs and JB bowled his 8 overs through, also conceding just 11 runs. Brilliant stuff – how they never got a wicket, I don’t know, but I guess that’s cricket.
Shandy replaced Winkie and also bowled 6 overs of excellent line & length without reward, but only conceding 13.

I called on Roachy to replace Rog and the conversation went something like this:
JF – “Have a couple of overs to see if it’s still swinging and if not, we’ll take the pace off with a spinner.”
JR – “I only bowl spin now anyway.”
And it was JR who finally made the breakthrough in the 20th over, their opener departing for 19 stumped by JF. A couple of overs later he had the other opener very smartly caught by Shaky at midwicket – the ball was travelling, believe me (even if you don’t believe Shakes).

That brought our old friend & nemesis Siva to the crease. “Time to bring Shaky on”, thought the skipper, but not before Roachy got himself another wicket, plumb lbw this time.

In the meantime Foxy had replaced Shandy and also bowled very well. The cunning old devil enticed their captain Niluka down the track and clean bowled him.
It was 90-4 after 30 overs, and with 6 wickets in hand you would have thought the batsman would try to increase the run rate, but it just never happened. Shaky, Foxy and Dewbs (who bowled some genuine big turning leg breaks) kept the batsmen quiet and the innings finished with a murmur rather than a bang. Even in the last over, they were leaving balls or just patting them down the track and so only 28 runs were added in the last ten overs. I know it was a difficult pitch to bat on, but even so …

The Sri Lankans finished 118-4 off 40 overs and I was a very happy captain. The bowling figures speak for themselves:

Andy H: 6-0-11-0
Rog: 8-3-11-0
Shandy: 6-0-13-0
Roachy: 6-0-29-3
Foxy: 5-0-16-1
Shaky: 6-2-8-0
Dewbs: 3-0-13-0

Easy & Shakes opened our reply and Chris got unlucky, missing a straight one, lbw first ball. In strode Tesh to join Shaky, with the Casz hoping they could continue in the same vein as their previous (truncated) partnership against the same opposition.
Both of them played really well, keeping out the straight ones and scoring all round the wicket. They stayed together for the best part of 16 overs, putting on 59 runs, before Tesh spooned one up, caught for a well-made 29.

At this stage we were cruising it, but it was around this point that their skipper turned to Fari who turned the game on its head, pretty much blowing away our middle order in a spell which included a burst of 4-4. First of all, he had Richie bowled for 0 (stayed low) and then he got Shaky, who’d played him well up to then, with an absolute jaffa. It pitched on middle and hit the top of off – unplayable and probably the decisive moment in the game. Shaky out for 30 when a game-winning 50+ looked a certainty.

Next to go was Dewbs. He also played Fari very well, but got done at the other end by a double bouncer which hit pad and deflected on to the stumps – very unlucky. Fari then bowled the skipper for 2 and shortly after bowled Shandy in a similar fashion for 0. 59-1 had become 77-7.

Roachy joined Andy Hood in the middle and looked in good touch, scoring a nice 4 (there were only 9 4s scored all day, 5 in their innings, 4 in ours) and then a 3 before being bowled, stepping across his stumps and attempting to hit a straight one to leg.
Foxy joined Andy, and the pair ran a few singles before Foxy inexplicably waited an eternity before calling Andy through for a bye, and was run out “by an inch” for 2.

So at 85-9, Andy and last man Rog needed 34 to take us to victory. Some good running again saw us through to 100, but Rog was bowled shortly after for 3, leaving Andy unbeaten on 9 and the Casz 101 all out.

This was another classic Casuals batting collapse and we truly did snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. At 59-1, we were miles in front of the required rate and were winning the game at canter. We then lost our last 9 wickets for 42 runs. What more can I say?

Oh, how about, "F*CK!!!"


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