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Match Report vs Abercarn 18 July 2021 @ St Mellons(Skipper Rob, report Tim)

And so, after a month of Sunday inactivity (Rogerstone, 13th June – outstanding match report DT) the Cazh were finally back on the road. Such was the pent up enthusiasm within the squad that the day before the game we eventually had ten, but Ben stepped up long after most of us had gone to bed, only to be bumped by Goff who had somehow managed to cancel his kids’ collective birthday celebrations on the morning of the game.

And so to Abercarn. A decent sized ground, curiously located, bordered on one side by trees and on the other by an industrial estate, with a mock Brutalist pavilion that from the outside had the air of a long since abandoned Little Chef. Inside was a Cazh-confusing maze which led to a refurbished, Covid-friendly, changing room where the only ventilation, for a little while at least, came from Pabs’ portable fan.

As usual, there was a certain amount of confusion about the opposition – firstly that with the side they had out they’d be lucky to reach three figures, then that they were mainly second teamers with a few from the first team thrown in, and latterly that they don’t play many Sunday games so it was pot luck but they were keen for a rematch. Whatever the truth they took the field bedecked in their heat absorbing dark blue (Are you sure this is a good idea? It’s the hottest day of the year) kit.

With the hosts happy to run both scorebooks, Tim headed to the middle to umpire with Goff, and DT sat around in the sun before realising just how hot it was and opting for a more shady spot.

Pabs and Martin opened up, constrained by some tight bowling, but happy to pick off the ones and twos in the blistering heat. The outfield was slow, and it took until the ninth over for the first boundary of the day to be registered, a first of the season for Martin. Progress enough to prevent the watching SteveO (due in at four) from his usual tempo related heckling. The score had moved gracefully to 39 in the 16th when Pabs succumbed to the heat and retired on 22 (I actually heard 25, then 23, but the book says 22). In fairness, it was truly hot, and Pabs commented that he felt he was holding Martin back by not wanting to run. It was a wise move as back in the confines of the changing room Pabs condition worsened and he was to play no further part in the days’ events.

Richie was next in, and a mixture of stout defence, some decent strokes and more than a bit of luck had brought him 11 runs before he was harshly adjudged LBW by Tim.

This brought the in form SteveO to the crease, leg stump guard, chest puffed out, straight ball….bowled.

Skipper Rob survived the hat-trick ball and set about building a partnership with Martin, and a decent partnership it was to be, as the score moved from 71 for 2 in the 28th to 122 for 2 in the 34th before Rob was cleaned bowled for 28. Worth a mention here is the Casual-esque groin injury suffered by Oates as he attempted what looked like a routine pick up at long on, the ball popping up awkwardly and leaving him out on the floor.

Steve B was next up with his first knock of the season (?) and moved quickly to 14 before being stumped. Martin meanwhile was still there, passing 50 for the first time for the Cazh (previous best 36). A tremendous effort in the searing heat, before being run out for 56. On another day it might have been 10 or 20 more.

Dan was at the crease by now and pushing the score on. Goff’s new bat made a brief cameo towards the end of the innings, and Patrick squeezed a single from his three balls in the final over.

Innings closed on 176. A decent total on the face of it, but the Cazh would be fielding without the homeward bound Pabs, and without him they were also a bowler down.

Pabs Retd Hurt 22
Martin Run Out 56
Richie LBW 11
SteveO Bowled 0
Rob Bowled 28
Steve B Stumped 14
Dan Not Out 21
Goff Bowled 4
Patrick Not Out 1

DNB – Tim, DT

Dan and DT opened up. The former in typically miserly style, but as with the Cazh’s innings, both openers could bat, and were happy to dig in and wait for any bad balls and the first change of Goff for Dan and Patrick for DT brought no immediate joy. Indeed it took until the 17th over, Goff’s fourth, for the breakthrough to occur, with Goff bowling Chilton for 38. With Rob having to juggle bowlers and looking to rotate in five over slots due to the heat, Goff was to have come off with figures of 1 for 10, but persuading Rob to allow him to stay on could have proved to be decisive when in his 7th over Goff took three wickets – the first a well taken catch by Patrick at mid off, the next bowled, and whilst the incoming batsman survived the hat trick he was out two balls later.

A triple wicket maiden for Goff.

Tim had replaced Patrick at the other end by now and unusually the field didn’t feel particularly threatened. Indeed, nothing much happened until midway through his sixth over when he threw himself to the ground in an attempted caught and bowled. Getting a hand to the ball was a decent effort and probably saved four. There are a number of descriptions of what came next – ranging from a WWE move to a high board dive to being shot by a sniper – but nobody really knows how it happened, Tim ambling in managed end up face first in a heap on the ground whilst still manage to project the ball towards the waiting batsman.

Rob had by now replaced the bowled out Goff and was bowling well, and DT thankfully replaced Tim, but the batsmen (including one of the openers) were set and with five overs to go and 40 still required, a tight finish looked on the cards. Tighter still when, in the penultimate over, Rob bowled the opener for 59.

(Whilst they didn’t appear to be scoring at that rate) Abercarn arrived at the final over needing nine, which became two off the last ball and unfortunately the Cazh were unable to hold out.

A disappointing end to what had been a great game where everybody played a part, particularly in the field where the missing body really told.

Dan 8-3-18-0
DT 8-0-47-0
Goff 8-2-14-4
Patrick 5-0-26-0
Tim 7-0-44-0
Rob 4-0-22-1

Personal highlights – Martin’s maiden 50, Goff’s triple wicket maiden and a solid performance from Steve B behind the stumps.

 

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