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It was a day at home for the Machine after last weeks reverse at Easton so Curdridge’s finest were looking to get back on the winning trail at home vs Ampfield and Baddersley.


Reading Room Lane was as fine as ever, think Jennifer Lopez - beautiful looking but with bumps in places other grounds don’t have them. The strip was looking great too, so thanks again to Messers Hillier, Bollard and Cozens for this weeks effort!


It was a much changed team with Monster, Hilman, Jack & Craig returning - the latter returning after having a tattoo of his hero applied - Ask him to see his Buzz Lightyear next time you see him.


There was also a new addition in the scoring hut, with Alan’s finest ping pong paddle being used as a communication tool. Strange thing is he doesn’t have a table tennis table at home, so we were not sure what it is normally used for...

After last weeks abnormality Skipper returned to form and lost the toss, but got what he wanted when Curdridge were invited to have a whack.

The now legendary opening partnership Rob & Dom took to the middle, and usual service resumed as the ball departed to all parts courtesy of some classy shots. At one point Botley’s finest fire service were put on notice given the sparks coming off the scoreboard.


The bashathon was halted temporarily when Rob departed with crumpled stumps for a rapid fire 27. By now the scoreboard was already 75 by them and the masses were disappointed not to see the third 100 opening partnership of the season.


Skipper then joined Dom, and watched from the other end as Dom cruised past 50 before holing out a yard inside the fence for 52. Skipped them steered one to gully and the innings was at risk of stalling.


Out marched young Jack Childs, looking more and more like Ben Stokes each day, well they are both ginger and left handed, but Jack can bat a bit too!


Classy shots continued to follow with Craig in support as they held a who can whack the ball the hardest - Craig ended up the winner with a pull shot for 6 high into the trees.


The scoreboard had now rumbled past 200 (not a typo) and Jack made his way past fifty before finding a fielder. Craig then followed suit with his own fifty and the machine had delivered three fifties in one day - we checked with the historian (Del) and he couldn’t recall this happening in his 879 years of playing for Curdridge.


Alan and Craig finished up with some quick singles and the final score was an imposing 235-5.


The Bollard family tea was demolished before the lads took to the field seeking wickets and an early finish for bonus beer time.


Alas the Ampfield batsmen had different ideas, deciding blocking was the best way to chase down over 200 runs…


41 dull runs had been Del tempted one of the openers to lift one into the gully and Dom did the rest with an excellent grab, Sammy then replaced Stu and delivered a wicket in his first over with one that rolled back onto the stumps to nudge off one of the bails.


Skipper then turned to Rob and he delivered, firstly with one that was smashed towards the long on boundary before Punter arrived from nowhere and grabbed a stunner, then tempting the obdurate batsman out of his crease and Jack did the rest.


A partnership then formed as the Ampfield batsman decided with the required run rate over 15 it was time to play a few shots - by now the horse had well and truly bolted and was sitting in the saloon on its second pint…


This did result in the ball spiralling upwards a few times and Skipper decided he would save his catches for another day, ditching two off Punters bowling in one over. Punter took the news well and didn’t mention it for the rest of the game.


Stu returned after Steve ran out of gas and picked up a late wicket, again well caught by Jack and the innings closed with a comfortable win for Curdridge by 85 runs.


A morale booster and we go again next week, at home 1pm vs Southampton Community

Man of the Match - Three fifties in a day makes it a difficult choice but when combined with some sharp glove work Jack Childs takes the prize this week.

Champagne moment - He doesn’t like to talk about it but it was a good grab in the deep so we will give Punter some recognition.

Donut of the Day - A small straw poll post match confirmed Skipper takes the price for his blemishes in the field

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