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Match report vs Barry Wanderers 20 April 08@ Hayes Point (Skipper and report John Furnham)

In his first game as club captain Skipper Jam won the toss and decided to bat first on a typical Barry Wanderers wicket. Muff and JF both struggled with the lack of pace and bounce early on, creeping along at around 3 an over till Muff was caught for 8 in the 7th over. (18-1)
Smitty made his way out to the middle and was met by the captain telling him to be very watchful - Smitts nodded and immediately smacked his first ball through straight long on for 4! That was pretty much the story for the next 18 overs as Smitty smacked the ball to all parts while JF blocked at the other end. In a 104 partnership, Jam contributed a mere 15 while Smitts eventually fell to an excellent catch behind for a brilliant 75, including 9 fours and 3 sixes. (122-2)
Once Smitty departed, the runs dried up a bit with most people struggling a little with their timing. JF was put out of his (and everyone else’s) misery, lbw to one that stayed low for 26. (126-3).
Ash was involved in a few comedy running/not running moments and was unlucky that a few full blooded blows went straight to fielders, but he was bowled for 9 with the score on 142.
Steveo’s first ball was a dot, the second was hit smartly into the off side for two, and the third was hit like a bullet to mid on; as soon as it left the bat everyone thought ‘4’ - everyone that is, apart from the mid on fielder who, in spite of being knocked backwards by the impact, somehow managed to hold on to the ball. Steve’s face was a picture!! (144-5).
Tesh scored a single before being run out by a direct hit (149-6).
Shandy added 7 before going down the track and missing one. He scrambled back but was adjudged out stumped. He felt he’d made it back, there were mixed views from those looking on from the side, but the only man whose opinion mattered gave it out. (160-7).
Nadeem was out lbw without troubling the scorers (162-8).
Paul had hit two fours and a couple of singles before being the next man out in a way which led to even more debate. He charged the loopy bowler, Denning, and met the ball about chest height; the ball went in the air and was caught. Paul was clearly not happy as he thought it should have been called no ball. If it had been a quick bowler, it was a definite no ball, but with the slow loopy bowler, it may well have been a legal delivery at the crease. Again, opinions were divided amongst those of us watching from side on because he’d gone down the track to meet it. It’s one you could argue either way, but if I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t have called it and I don’t know many umpires on the circuit who would have. In any case, it wasn’t called and so our 9th wicket fell with the score on 171.
Dan played a lovely leg glance for four first ball, but he was caught going for a big one in the last over for 7, leaving Andy Hood 5 not out in a Casuals final total of 182 all out.
I would have taken that at the start of the day, but once again, we suffered from the almost customary Casuals collapse. At 122-1 in the 25th over, we looked to be on target for a score of 200+. However, we lost our last 9 wickets for 60 runs and had to settle for 182 in the end.

Andy & Dan opened the bowling for us and by their own admittance, struggled to find their usual consistency. It was Andy who made the first breakthrough, however, thanks to a good catch by Muff at gully with the score 37-1. He should have had another wicket next ball, but once again a plumb lbw shout against number 3 was not given in our favour. At the time, we didn’t realise how significant that would be.
A couple of overs later, Paul got the prize wicket of Sooty, again well caught after a bit of a juggle by Muff at gully. 42-2 became 56-3 in the 15th over when Pablo got his 2nd wicket (lbw) and I felt we were just edging it at this stage.
Meanwhile, Nadeem was bowling well at the other end, going for a miserly 8 off his first three overs, but he lost his rhythm a bit in his next over when their number 3 went after him.
The next over saw yet another contentious decision go against us. Paul bowled a quick full toss which was hit in the air by the number 3 and caught by JF on the square leg boundary. The celebrations were cut short, however, by the umpire calling a no ball for height. There was no way in a million years it was a no ball - I couldn’t believe it when I saw the outstretched arm. I asked the square leg umpire if the kid had really called a no ball and he replied, “Yes – but I didn’t!” It was especially galling in the light of what had happened to BA (this delivery was a good two feet lower) and to add insult to injury, the umpire was the same kid who was bowling when Pablo was given out!! Paul’s next couple of overs were a lot quicker, but with no further wickets.
Muff bowled a nice spell of 7 overs which yielded another two wickets, an lbw and a top edge to square leg caught safely by Ash. Tesh took a couple of deliveries to find his range but he almost got a wicket first ball with Steveo just failing to hold on to a one-handed catch (comments liked “tangled up in his beard” were heard from all parts!). A nice three over spell from Tesh but all the while, the number 3 kept on attacking and we just couldn’t get him out (a third time?) and so the target kept on getting closer and closer. With only 30 runs needed and wickets in hand, I brought Winkie back in the 33rd over to try and get the all-important wicket, but the batsmen really just played him out. Shandy had a couple of overs from the other end and struggled a bit with his line on the Wanderers’ slope, though his final figures looked worse because of 5 wides that should have been stopped.
Dan came back in the 38th over, the last ball of which was clipped - by number 3 - through the leg side for the winning runs.

Andy H 8-2-28-1
Dan 6-2-32-0
Paul 8-1-38-2
Nadeem 4-0-19-0
Muff 7-0-28-2
Tesh 3-0-15-0
Shandy 2-0-16-0

It was one of those games where we really didn’t get the rub of the green. The number of edges that just didn’t go to hand and the number of times the ball just missed the stumps was incredible. But I firmly believe the whole game hinged on that one poor decision. If we’d got number 3 out then (he was on 20-odd), we would have been favourites to win the game. As it was, he went on to hit an excellent 77, effectively winning the game for the Wanderers.

Still … at least we got a full game in, most people got to do a bit and as ever, the game was played in a very good spirit … but in the pub afterwards, all the talk was about no balls.


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