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Match Report vs Rogerstone 23 August 2009@ Rogerstone (Skipper and Report Jam)

Squashed by a Berry

First of all, a huge pat on the back for Pikey for getting this game on at all. Our original opponents Lisvane had pulled out the day before, unable to get a side, so our esteemed Fix Sec seemingly moved Heaven & Earth to get us this game instead. Great Job Mr Pike!

Kudos also to all those who managed to get to Rogerstone on time in spite of the M4 resembling a car park rather than a motorway and then several cars following JF after he’d taken a wrong turning! Goughy set off in Emma’s car and would have been on time but then remembered that the club kit was in his car so he had to turn round and go back and collect it!

Rogerstone elected to bat first and so the Casz took to the field armed with 9 players and borrowed keeper’s equipment. Fortunately, Muff & Pablo bowled a tight line against two not-so-mobile openers and were able to keep the score down in spite of the gaps in the field. Muff got the first breakthrough with an lbw in the 5th over and Pablo bowled the other opener deceived by a (much) slower ball, leaving them 37-2 off 10 overs, by which time all 11 Casuals were present.

This brought two Rogerstone first team players together – John Berry & Asif who’s played regional age cricket in Pakistan. Neither were able to take any liberties, however, and when Pablo had Asif caught & bowled for 10 with another slower delivery, that was a massive wicket for us. It’s a pity that Berry was dropped by the skipper running back to try and take one over his shoulder – not an easy catch but one I would usually hang on to – that would have put us right in the box seat.

As it was, their skipper Andy Trinder & Berry put on 81 runs, but it took them almost 20 overs in the face of some good Casz bowling from Mahesh (don’t worry about that last over mate), Cracker and Pikey. JP was on the wrong end of a bad call from the umpire when Berry went down the track to him and he was called for a no ball over waist height – never a no ball as he was yards down the wicket, and to add insult to injury, the extra ball went for four to the short boundary. 5 runs that should never have been.

With Smitty behind the stumps, Goughy said his dodgy shoulder might be ok to have a bowl and it was he who finally broke the partnership, removing Berry for 39 thanks to a tremendous catch on the long on boundary by Mahesh who made it look easy. Two overs later, Goughy caught Trinder off his own bowling for 41 and then took another wicket in the same over caught by Paul at midwicket. 3-14 for Mr Gough on his return to the bowling ranks.

While Simon was bowling the final overs from one end, the skipper bowled the last two without incident from the other end and Rogerstone finished on 163-6 off their 40 overs.

Muff 8-0-36-1
Pablo 8-1-20-2
Mahesh 5-0-29-0
Cracker 8-1-20-0
Pikey 5-0-25-0
Goughy 4-1-14-3
Jam 2-0-8-0

Tea was not a patch on what we’ve become accustomed to over the last couple of Sundays but considering the lack of notice they’d had, it was more than satisfactory.

Jam & Muff opened for the Casz and were immediately faced with Asif’s leg spin. He turns the ball both ways with pace & bounce and some balls were simply unplayable at our level. It was clear we wouldn’t score too many from him, but as runs were coming from the other end, we set out our stall to just keep him out and to be fair, I thought we played him pretty well (or not played him, as we tried to leave as much as we could). After 13 overs we were well set at 49-0.

Their skipper then turned to Berry whom I’ve seen bowling in the leagues on my umpiring travels – he is seriously quick, deceptively so. I told Muff that everything would be straight and that it would be on him very quickly – I don’t think he realised just how quick as the first ball thumped into his pads before he’d moved his bat, plumb lbw for a well made 20. The next couple of overs saw Berry account for Ash (1), Jam (25) & Mahesh (0) all bowled and all of a sudden we were 60-4 off 18 and on the back foot a bit.

At drinks we were 74-4 as compared to their 73-3 so there wasn’t a lot in it.
Unfortunately we were knocked back again in the 21st over when Richie succumbed to Tovey, a massive 13 year old (he must be related to Shrek) who had replaced Asif and then Smitty became Berry’s 5th victim in the 22nd over and although we were still up with run rate, we were running short of wickets.

Goughy was batting well, however, and he and Pikey staged a recovery of sorts, putting on 25 before a mix-up saw another wicket fall. JP pushed one into cover and shouted ‘Wait!’ (his call) but Goughy shouted for the run and kept on coming. By the time he turned, he was miles out of his ground but there was nobody at the stumps, so the fielder had to hit them direct … and he did. And who was the bloody fielder? Yes, you guessed it, Berry – he wasn’t even bowling any more and yet he was still taking wickets! A pity, because Goughy was looking good on 32.

3 more runs were added before Pikey (11) went caught behind and when Cracker (3) went in similar fashion a few overs later, we were 124-9 and looking dead and ‘berried’ (sorry, I couldn’t resist it!).

Having said that, the runs were never a problem as we were well up with the rate, needing just 40 off 11 overs, but we were down to our last wicket. Undaunted, our final pairing of Pablo & Porno decided just to bat sensibly - keeping out the good balls, taking the odd single and punishing the bad ball – and see where it took us. With their skipper giving their lesser/younger bowlers a chance, there were a few wides plus the odd loose one which Paul latched on to, looking in good touch yet again with Junior providing good support. The approach began to pay dividends as the next couple of overs brought 7, 4, 14 and 7 runs: the score advanced to 153-9 off 34 overs and Rogerstone began to look nervous whilst the Casz sensed a chance.

Trinder brought Shrek back on: after a dot, Paul took a single and then Porno played a glorious cover drive for 4. Two more dots followed and the final ball of the over was a short one that just stopped and died and Junior was through the shot before it hit the stumps on the way down, ending the innings with the Casz just 5 runs short.

Casuals 158 all out off 35 overs

Jam – bowled 25
Muff – lbw 20
Ash – bowled 1
Goughy – run out 32
Mahesh – bowled 0
Richie – bowled 1
Smitty – bowled 1
Pikey – caught keeper 11
Cracker – caught keeper 3
Pablo – not out 24
Andy F – bowled 9

Rogerstone won by 5 runs.

It was a good game of cricket and a valiant effort at the end. The target was never a problem but after a good start, we lost too many wickets at crucial times. For once, the collapse was not really of our own making – it came down to a burst of bowling from a first division quickie who ripped out the top of the order, taking 5-12 in six overs. Berry was the difference in the game but on the way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about that dodgy no ball call and the 5 runs that shouldn’t have been.



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