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Match Report vs Barry Athlectic 27 September 2009@ Barry Athlectic (Skipper and Report Jam)

With the start against Barry Athletic scheduled for 1.30pm, most of the Casuals turned up at Barry Island at around 1.00. My only concern was Cracker: would he be able to resist the lure of the Great British Cheese Festival at Cardiff Castle? I needn’t have worried as Ed decided to do a bit of sightseeing and turned up at 11.30 to have a stroll on the prom and play the slot machines before wandering over to the ground. I’m pleased to report that he did NOT arrive wearing a ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hat!

I won the toss and decided to field first. Dan opened the bowling and sent down a first delivery back of a length which Ashley Baker absolutely mullered over Jam’s head to the long on boundary. At that point we all thought it was going to be a very, very long day in the field, but Dan found his length for the rest of the over, conceding only another single.

The second over was bowled by Mojam who was clearly a bit rusty after not playing for a while. Baker continued to savage anything a touch loose and even a dot hit straight to JF at mid off slapped into my hand as if I’d been hit by the bat! In the third over, Dan frustrated him into coming down the track and he hit one flat to the skipper at mid on who was grateful to hold on to it one-and-a-half-handed. Baker out for 17 off just 7 balls and a big wicket for the Casz: had he stayed in for a few overs the score would have rocketed (and he’s not even the best batsman in his family!)
Even so, Andy Buckland (one of their first teamers) was still in and their number 3, whilst not in the same class, was no mug either. They were nowhere near as aggressive as Baker but they kept the score ticking along nicely, latching on to anything loose. After 10 overs, they were 50-1.

It was Dion who made the next all-important breakthrough, accounting for Buckland’s wicket thanks to a tremendous low catch from keeper Kim down the leg side. This was an even bigger wicket as Buckland was their best batsman. A couple of overs later, the same pair combined for another wicket in almost identical fashion, and with Dion bowling a tight line and Andy Hood giving nothing, literally nothing, away from the other end, the scoring rate started to come down rapidly. 70-3 after 20 overs.

After drinks, Muff & Foxy kept the pressure on by bowling tightly and within a few overs, the pressure told as Foxy had young Tom Ellis caught easily by Ed at point. Two overs later the venerable Fox struck again, bowling Jake Griffiths half way up middle stump. Not to be outdone, Muff also got in on the act in his next over, the batsman hitting the ball straight to Winkie at mid wicket. As if to say ‘anything you can do’, back comes Foxy next over and gets another wicket caught my Mojam at mid off, followed a couple of balls later by yet another, this time caught by Dion at mid wicket. After 30 overs, they had collapsed to 100-8.

JF asked Roachy if he fancied bowling a couple of overs and, confident as ever, JRs response was, ‘Yes, but only if you don’t mind conceding 20-30 runs!’ to which the skipper replied, ‘Oh, ok, just the one over is it?’

All joking aside, JR bowled very well: in fact, he only conceded 6 runs in his first 3 overs while Foxy toiled away at the other end desperately trying to get his first ever 5-for for the club. He should have got it too, but Mo dropped a chance at mid off that he would normally take 99 times out of a hundred. Another ball went in the air just behind square leg which JR may just have got a fingertip to, not really a chance, but so close. Nevertheless, an excellent spell of 8 overs from John - 4½ wickets for just 22 runs.

As Roachy was bowling so well, Jam kept him on to bowl the death overs, while Mojam came back to replace the Fox at the other end. Mo wrapped the innings up in the final over with two wickets in two balls, both bowled, so he’s on a hat-trick next time he plays.

Barry Athletic 136 all out off 39.4 overs

A very good bowling display by the Casz, backed up well in the field – apart from the one blip, we held on to 7 catches

Dan 5-0-23-1
Mojam 5.4-0-29-2
Dion 6-1-20-2
Andy H 5-3-5-0
Muff 5-1-12-1
Foxy 8-1-22-4
Roachy 5-0-22-0

Tea was excellent: as well as the usual array of sandwiches, pizza, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets, crisps etc, there were (diagonally) sliced baguettes, scones with jam & cream, cup cakes, ring donuts with icing sugar and yes … treacle tart wedges with lattice patterned pastry topping!!! .... ? Heaven … I’m in heaven ? The only pity was the oppo started getting ready to go out and field while I was still half way through my second plate. Ah well, back to the cricket …

With the bowlers having done their job it was time for the batsmen to follow suit.
Jam & Kim opened against two youngsters, one very handy and one not quite as good. The idea was to just bat sensibly and pick up the runs as they came along. It was all going swimmingly well until the 6th over when Kim stepped in front of his wicket and missed one that didn’t bounce, LBW for 8. There was no doubt the ball was hitting the stumps: the only possible question could have been whether it pitched outside leg stump – Dion judged it to have pitched in line and he was the one with the best view, so I reckon it was a good shout. 18-1

This brought Cracker in to join Jam and the pair pretty much picked up where they left off after their unbeaten partnership from two weeks before: keeping out the good balls, picking up the singles when they were on offer and attacking the bad balls. I have to say that it’s a real pleasure watching Ed bat with the form he’s in at the moment. Another 100 partnership looked on the cards but when the pair had put on 84, Ed drove one straight back to the bowler who wasn’t able to take the low catch, but the ball came off his hands and went on to the stumps with Jam out of his ground backing up. 102-2 in the 20th over.

Mojam’s innings was short-lived, out LBW second ball, so JR joined the fray and batted sensibly, bringing out the trademark defensive prod and providing good support to Cracker who carried on smacking the ball to all parts, especially square on the off side – one late cut was particularly exquisite.

The pair were never troubled and saw us through to a comfortable win, reaching the target with 12 overs to spare.

Casuals 139-3 off 27.2 overs.

Casuals won by 7 wickets

Kim Swain - lbw 8 (19 balls) 1 x 4
J Furnham - run out 35 (49) 5 x 4
Ed Stewart – not out 59 (76) 11 x 4
Mo Jamal - lbw 0 (2)
J Roach – not out 8 (18) 1 x 4

A very good all round performance by the Casz. The bowling was tight and we took our chances when they came. That could have been the difference, because if any of their top three had stayed any length of time, the target would have been a lot higher. Once again, Ed’s batting was superb – it’s a pity for him that the season has come to an end.

Well done to Pikey yet again for finding another really good fixture: a great setting, against a good bunch of blokes and a tremendous tea. Best of all, they are keen to play us again at the same time next year.

It was a good way to finish the 2009 season



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