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Match Report vs Cardiff Hockey 23 July 2009 @ Sudbrook (Skipper and Report Jam)

A Miracle! It had rained at Wenvoe the previous day and yet we were still able to play cricket! Yes, the pitch was soft, damp and spongy with a green crust on it, but at least we could play. Cricket in July – who’d have thought it?

Unsurprisingly, the opposition elected to bat first and opened with a cricketer, Egan, who could bat and their skipper, Shelton, a hockey player who couldn’t bat. Now when I say ‘couldn’t bat’, what I mean to say is ‘couldn’t play cricket shots’ – that didn’t stop him playing hockey shots to cow corner and so the innings got off to a bit of a flyer, mostly at Mojam’s expense. If you’re used to hitting a ball with a two-inch wide stick, I guess a cricket bat must feel about the size of a barn door, but there’s only so many times you can play across the line to Andy Hood and he got his man bowled in the third over – let’s just say it would have gone a long way if he’d connected!

This brought in another ‘can’t bat’ hockey player and it was more of the same: if it was outside off stump, it went through mid/long off in a hurry; if it was on off stump, it went through mid/long on in a hurry; if it was on middle or leg, it flew to cow corner. How do you bowl to it? One option is to tie him up by bowling at his legs but when Andy did this, the batsman stepped inside it and the umpire called a wide down the leg side!!!
After going for 18 in his first over, Mohamed came back very well but after 6 overs, Hockey were 54-1.

The enforced change brought Dan & Iain in to the attack and both bowled very well, Dion even managing to bowl a rare maiden over! The only problem was that when the boundaries were stopped, they ran superbly between the wickets, taking quick singles and turning lots of ones into twos and so the score kept mounting.

In Dan’s third over, ‘Can’t bat’ jumped out of the way of the ball and the umpire called wide again. The next couple of deliveries were somewhat quicker, and Can’t bat finally missed one and was bowled for 29. In the context of the game, Shagger’s figures of 1-16 were excellent.

Pablo handed the keeper’s gloves to Will in order to take over the bowling from Dan, whilst Muff took over from Dion. At this stage Hockey were flashing at everything and running everything and it’s to the bowlers’ credit that apart from two full tosses that cleared the short boundary for 6, not many boundaries were scored in the final overs. The batsmen continued with the excellent running, however, although one quick single too many led to a run out, JF at midwicket underarming the ball to Pablo who whipped the bails off sharpish. Pabs followed up with another wicket bowled by a quicker one, but that was all the wickets that fell, Hockey finishing on a daunting 149-4, with Egan ‘the cricketer’ carrying his bat for a solid 55. The total was boosted by a massive 33 extras, including 22 wides.

A Hood 3-0-22-1
M Jamal 3-0-26-0
D Lewis 3-0-16-1
I Warwick 3-1-20-0
P Stephens 3-0-26-1
M Foote 3-0-28-0

Just as the second innings was about to get under way, we had a short shower which was just enough to slow down the pitch and outfield even more.

Will & Manish opened the Casz reply, a right-hand/left-hand combination with JF & Kim ready to come in at 3 or 4 depending on which wicket was to fall first, so that we could keep the bowlers guessing with RH/LH mix. Unfortunately, the cunning bastards bowled straight to all the batsmen!! Chasing almost 9 an over from ball one, we needed to get off to a good start, but good bowling on a pitch that was getting more unpredictable by the minute, made it almost impossible to get the flyer we needed. At 9-0 after three overs, we really needed to up the rate but Manish fell on his sword going for the big shot and missing a straight one for 7. This brought the right-handed skipper to the crease and he watched as Will (3) also perished going for the big shot, followed two balls later by Kim whose head appeared to be elsewhere. 18-3 after 6 overs and things were already looking grim for the Casz.

The change of bowling brought a mini recovery of sorts as Mahesh & the skipper took 9 off the 7th over and then former Casual, Ben Cossins, came on to bowl the 8th. As JF was taking guard, he asked umpire Manish what the action was. Manish shook his head and said ‘I dunno’. The keeper said right arm over and in ran Ben for his first delivery, at which point Manish bellowed NO BALL! We all assumed he’d overstepped but when asked why it was a no ball, Manish said it was because he didn’t tell him what his bowling action was! I couldn’t laugh out loud but I was chuckling away inside. I suppose Mani has a point when he said that if you play proper league players, you play and abide by proper league rules. Nice one MV! A few more no balls (for height) and the over went for 19 – more than the first 6 overs had cost in total.

We couldn’t keep up that pace though as Mahesh (8) was next to fall, caught at gully also going for the big shot. Two overs later JF (28) was caught at cover also going for the big shot. Mohamed joined Pablo but not for long as Paul (2) was caught behind off what looked like an under edge … yes, you guessed it, also going for the big shot.
Mojam kept playing his shots and Muff (1) did a lot of running before getting a slow straight one which he couldn’t decide whether to hit to off or leg and ending up missing!

Dan tried to smack everything but could only spoon one up to cover for 2 and Winkie also managed 2 before losing his stumps. This left Dion to join Mo who was still smacking the ball to all parts although the slow outfield meant hardly anything ran to the boundary. A couple of good shots from Iain at the end left him unbeaten on 7 and Mojam was 39 not out when the overs ran out with the Casz total 121-9, beaten by 28 runs.

It was a valiant effort all round. We had no choice but to go for the big shots and although a lot of us got out that way, nobody should recriminate themselves for that. In fact, we reached a very good total in our innings – if we had been offered 121-9 batting first, I’d probably have taken it. We just leaked too many runs in the field and their opening bowler’s spell of 3-1-7-3 put us behind the 8-ball from the start. Another game where we came up short but one in which everyone could be proud of our efforts.

Will Goad – bowled – 3
Manish Vyas – bowled -7
John Furnham – caught – 28
Kim Swain – bowled – 0
Mahesh Kannan – caught – 8
Paul Stephens – caught – 2
Mo Jamal – NOT OUT – 39
Matt Foote – bowled – 1
Dan Lewis – caught – 2
Andy Hood – bowled – 2
Iain Warwick – NOT OUT 7



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